Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates were stable yesterday. So they stay extremely low.
It looks like it does Mortgage rates could surge up today. This morning's August retail sales figures were better than expected, "a sign of resilience in the economic recovery despite the Delta variant," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Find and lock a cheap rate (September 17, 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.
Find and lock a cheap rate (September 17, 2021)
COVID-19 Mortgage Updates: Mortgage lenders are changing interest rates and rules due to COVID-19. Click here to learn how the coronavirus could affect your home loan.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
There are two reasons why, if I were you, I would soon be putting my mortgage rate on hold. First, those prices haven't been going anywhere in weeks. So levitating hardly brings any advantages. And second, when they finally move, which they have to do at some point, they are more likely to rise than fall.
Of course, nobody can see into the future. And it is always possible that prices could still fall. But that seems less likely than her rise.
My personal rate lock recommendations remain for the time being:
LOCK when close in 7th DaysLOCK when close in fifteen DaysLOCK when close in 30th DaysHOVER when close in 45 DaysHOVER when close in 60 Days
However, I am not claiming perfect foresight. And your personal analysis could be as good as mine – or better. So let your instincts and your personal risk tolerance guide you.
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here's a snapshot of what was now this morning at around 9:50 a.m. ET. The dates, compared to about the same time yesterday, were:
the 10 year Treasury note yield jumped from 1.29% to 1.35%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually follow these particular government bond yields
Important stock indices were mixed shortly after opening. (Neutral for mortgage rates.Often times, when investors buy stocks, they sell bonds, which depresses the prices of those stocks and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite can happen when the indices are lower
Oil prices fell to $ 72.08 from $ 72.57 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play a huge role in creating inflation and also indicate future economic activity.
Gold prices dropped to $ 1,754 from $ 1,799 an ounce. (Bad for mortgage ratesIn general, it is better for interest rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to cut rates
CNN Business Fear and Greed Index – increased from 32 to 41 From 100. (Bad 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 ones
* 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 as a rough guide only. Because they have to be extraordinarily strong or weak to be able to rely on them. But with this restriction so far Mortgage rates are likely to rise today, probably moderately. Note, however, that "intraday swings" (when prices change direction during the day) are a common feature these days.
Find and lock a cheap rate (September 17, 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. Reading & # 39;How Mortgage Rates Are Determined and Why You Should Care About It
Only “top notch” borrowers (with great credit scores, high down payments, and very healthy finances) will get the extremely low mortgage rates you see advertised
Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily price action – though they usually all follow the broader trend over time
When the daily price changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and leave their price lists unchanged
The refinancing rates are usually close to those 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?
today and so forth
Not much is moving on mortgage rates at the moment. It's true we're seeing a bit of movement this morning. And there's a chance they'll move from the outside on September 22nd. But it is more likely that they will continue to remain almost comatose, maybe for weeks or even months.
Of course they will move at some point. And if you want to see the various pressures it could push higher – or possibly just lower – check out yesterday's column.
Why did they shrug off good and bad economic data and stay flat? There are probably two main reasons:
The Federal Reserve buys huge amounts of mortgage-backed securities (MBS, the type of bond that largely drives mortgage rates) and distorts the market
Bank deposits are currently significantly higher than the demand for credit. Even normal banks park part of their free money in MBS, which also distorts the market
Neither of these sources of additional demand for MBS is particularly sensitive to daily economic data. For the Fed, it's part of their monetary policy. And for banks it is an “emergency purchase”: there is nowhere better to store your excess cash.
But together they keep mortgage rates artificially low. We'll get into how low next …
How low are the current mortgage rates?
Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rates fell below 3% for the first time in August 2020, according to Freddie Mac's monthly archives. And when I say the first time, I mean it too. It's the first time since Freddie started tracking these rates 50 years ago. And that's practically forever, in terms of modern mortgages.
How exceptionally low a rate of less than 3% is, you can see when you scroll back to earlier decades. Before the 2008 credit crunch, average annual rates for 30-year-old FRMs started with a 5 or 6 – and an 8 in the 2000s. In the 1990s, they ranged from 6% + to 10% +. And in the 1980s, prices started with 10s, 12s, 13s and 16s. Not really! In 1981 the annual average was 16.63% and in 1992 it was 16.04%.
So I'm not exaggerating when I describe today's mortgage rates as exceptionally low or extremely low. They are really at a level that was unimagined in the past few years and decades. And for home buyers and refinancers, it can be a unique opportunity that is likely to close soon.
For more background information, see Saturday's weekend edition of this column.
Recently – Updated today
The general trend in mortgage rates was clearly declining for much of 2020. And according to Freddie Mac, a new weekly all-time low was hit 16 times in the past year.
The latest weekly record low was recorded on January 7th when it was 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But then the trend was reversed and interest rates rose.
However, in April and beyond, these increases were largely replaced by decreases, albeit typically small. And interest rates have barely moved lately. Freddie's September 16 report puts that weekly average at 2.86% (with 0.7 fees and points). Low from 2.88% 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 quarters of 2021 (Q3 / 21 and Q4 / 21) and the first two quarters of 2022 (Q1 / 22 and Q2 / 22).
The numbers in the table below apply to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fannies and the MBAs were updated on August 19th. However, Freddies was last updated on July 15th as these numbers are now only released quarterly. And his prognosis is already looking stale.
Q3 / 21
Q4 / 21
Q1 / 22
Q2 / 22
However, with so many imponderables, all of the current projections could be even more speculative than usual.
All of these predictions anticipate higher mortgage rates soon. But the differences between the forecasters are stark. And Fannie may not be involved in curbing Federal Reserve mortgage support while Freddie and the MBA do.
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 probably 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 much, but if you save a quarter point on interest on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Confirm your new plan (September 17, 2021)
Mortgage rate methodology
The mortgage reports receive daily interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners. 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. Example: FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.