Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates fell last Friday. And for a worthwhile amount. Indeed, the past three business days have pushed these rates from a recent high to a more comfortable place.
There used to be signs in the markets that Mortgage rates could go higher again today. President Joe Biden announced at around 9 a.m. ET that Jerome Powell would retain his role as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. And that could add more volatility as investors digest the news.
Find your lowest plan. Start here (11/22/2021)
Current mortgage and refinancing rates
Effective interest rate*
Conventional 30 years
Conventionally fixed for 15 years
Conventional 20 years old
Conventionally fixed for 10 years
30 years permanent FHA
Fixed FTA for 15 years
5/1 ARM FHA
30 years of permanent VA
15 years fixed VA
Prices are provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your rate can be different. Click here for an individual price offer. View our rate assumptions here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
A recent resurgence in COVID-19 rates in Europe is forcing me to reconsider my personal rate lock recommendations, especially as we seem to be seeing the beginning of a similar trend here. However, I need more data before making hasty changes.
Therefore, these recommendations remain for the time being:
LOCK when close in 7th DaysLOCK when close in fifteen DaysLOCK when close in 30th DaysLOCK when close in 45 DaysLOCK when close in 60 Days
> Related: 7 tips for the best refinancing rate
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here is a snapshot of the current status this morning at around 9:50 a.m. ET. The dates, compared to about the same time last Friday, were:
the 10 year Treasury note yield increased from 1.53% to 1.58%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually follow these particular government bond yieldsImportant stock indices were mostly higher shortly after opening. (Bad for mortgage rates.Often times, when investors buy stocks, they sell bonds, which drives the prices of those stocks down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite can happen when the indices are lower. But that's an imperfect relationshipOil prices down from $ 77.04 a barrel to $ 76.13. (Good for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play a huge role in creating inflation and also indicate future economic activity. Gold prices fell from $ 1,863 an ounce to $ 1,818. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is better for interest when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And concerned investors tend to cut ratesCNN Business Fear and Greed Index – decreased from 74 from 100 to 71. (Good for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) when they exit the bond market and invest in stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower values are better than higher
* A change of less than $ 20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a fraction of 1%. Therefore, when it comes to mortgage rates, we only count meaningful differences as good or bad.
Reservations about markets and prices
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve's interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good guess as to what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that is no longer the case. We still use the phone every day. And they are mostly right. But our records for accuracy will not reach its previous high levels until things settle down.
Use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be extraordinarily strong or weak to be able to rely on them. But with this caveat, Mortgage rates are likely to rise today. Note, however, that "intraday swings" (when prices change direction during the day) are a common feature these days.
Find your lowest plan. Start here (11/22/2021)
Important information about current mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
Usually mortgage rates go up when the economy is doing well and go down when the economy is in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read How Mortgage Rates Are Determined And Why You Should Care Only top borrowers (with great credit scores, big down payments, and very healthy finances) get the extremely low mortgage rates you see advertised lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the bulk of daily price movements – although they all follow the broader trend over time. When daily price changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and keep their price lists the same as for purchases. And a recent regulatory change has closed a pre-existing loophole
So there is a lot going on here. And no one can claim to know for sure what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks, or months.
Are mortgage and refinancing rates rising or falling?
Any force currently trying to drive mortgage rates high has its roots in the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, you could have said the same thing last year about the forces that tried to lower those interest rates back then.
So a resurgence of the pandemic could change everything. It could lower inflation, force the Fed to re-increase support for artificially low mortgage rates, and cripple economic recovery.
And just such a resurgence is taking place on the other side of the Atlantic. As the New York Times put it yesterday:
Europe is experiencing a threatening fourth wave of the coronavirus with rising infection rates. Austria may be the first European country to respond with a nationwide lockdown, but it may not be the last.
– NYT, “Angry and divided, Austrians argue about a ban and vaccination mandates”, November 21, 2021
If a similar new wave hits America, we could see economic problems. And just such a new wave could begin here.
On January 6, COVID-19 hit an all-time high of 301,000 daily infections in the US. Then these collapsed, but climbed again on September 13 to another high of 285,000. After that, they fell again, reaching 70,000 on October 25th. But they have been moving up since then, hitting 94,000 yesterday. That is 29% more than in the last 14 days.
All of these numbers come from the New York Times, which has a general paywall. At some point, however, there was universal and free access to COVID-19 stories and data. And it can still go. So try clicking these links for more background information even if you are not a subscriber.
Are you about to lower mortgage rates?
It has long seemed to me that I could ask if we are going to see lower mortgage rates anytime soon. But they are a real possibility if we get a new and serious coronavirus wave here.
However, these lower prices are just that: a possibility. At the moment we don't know how bad a new wave will be. Nor how much economic damage it will do.
Far more Americans (59%) will be vaccinated this year than last year. So we may see fewer hospital admissions and fewer deaths, allowing for less stringent – or no – lockdowns.
But that is far from certain. Vaccination rates in Europe tend to be much higher than in the US. For example, 87.6% of French people over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated. But it is Europe that is currently struggling to contain infection rates.
All of these unknowns mean I'm not ready to change my advice on mortgage rates just yet. If they fall at all, it will likely only be for winter, after which they will likely continue their upward trend. And it is far from certain that they will fall at all.
But now I wonder if they do. And that means you should be too.
Read last Saturday's weekend edition for more background information.
The general trend in mortgage rates was clearly declining for much of 2020. And according to Freddie Mac, it hit 16 new weekly all-time lows in the past year.
The latest weekly record low was hit on January 7th at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with longer phases of ascent and descent. Unfortunately, the increases have become more pronounced since September, if not constant.
Freddies November 17th Report gives this weekly average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 3.1% (with 0.7 fees and points), high from 2.98% the previous week.
Expert predictions for mortgage rates
Looking ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists devoted to monitoring and forecasting developments in the economy, real estate and mortgage rates.
And here are their current interest rate forecasts for the remaining current quarter of 2021 (Q4 / 21) and the first three quarters of 2022 (Q1 / 22, Q2 / 22 and Q3 / 22).
The numbers in the table below apply to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fannies were released on November 18, Freddies on October 15, and the MBAs on October 18.
ForecastersQ4 / 21Q1 / 22Q2 / 22Q3 / 22Fannie Mae 3.1% 3.2% 3.3% 3.3% Freddie Mac 3.2% 3.4% 3.5% 3.6% MBA 3.1% 3.3% 3.5% 3.7%
However, with so many imponderables, all of the current predictions can be even more speculative than usual.
All of these forecasts expect at least slightly higher mortgage rates in the near future.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they are limiting their offerings to vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinancing.
But others remain brave. And you can still likely find the refinance, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. All you have to do is look around.
But of course, no matter what type of mortgage you want, you should compare widely. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping for your mortgage has the potential to result in real savings. It may not sound like a lot, but it does If you save even a quarter interest on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Confirm your new price (November 22, 2021)
Mortgage rate methodology
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We'll find an average interest rate and an APR for each type of loan shown on our chart. Since we average a range of prices, this will give you a better idea of what you might find in the market. In addition, we determine average interest rates for the same types of credit. For example FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.