Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates fell a little yesterday. They have barely moved since the beginning of this month, despite their ups and downs.
Until this morning it looks like it is Mortgage rates could go down again today. But at the moment nothing is certain.
Find your lowest plan. Start here (December 18, 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 price can be different. Click here for an individual price offer. View our rate assumptions here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
Yesterday I wrote here: “… the effects (on mortgage rates) of the Fed's announcement can only be short-lived. That depends on the impact that the Omicron variant has on the American economy. "
Indeed, overnight CNBC reported: “U.S. Government bond yields fell Friday morning as investors remained cautious about the spread of the Omicron variant. ”There is usually a close correlation between 10-year government bond yields and mortgage rates.
If investors become more cautious about the economic threats posed by the new COVID-19 variant, we could see even lower mortgage rates.
But since I'm financially cautious, 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 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 yesterday, were:
the 10 year Treasury note yield decreased from 1.43% to 1.38%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually follow these particular government bond yieldsImportant stock indices were usually lower shortly after opening. (Good 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. But that's an imperfect relationshipOil prices fell to $ 71.18 from $ 71.35 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play a major role in the development of inflation and also indicate future economic activity Gold prices increased from $ 1,791 per ounce to $ 1,808. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, prices are better when gold is rising and worse when gold is falling. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And concerned investors tend to cut ratesCNN Business Fear & Greed Index – Was not available at the time of publication
* 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 record for accuracy won't hit its old highs 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 could fall moderately 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 (December 18, 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 crowd when it comes to daily price movements – though 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 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?
Mortgage and refinancing rates are barely moving at the moment. Without other factors, they should go up. But other factors are not missing either.
On Wednesday the Federal Reserve announced monetary policy changes that should have put upward pressure on mortgage rates. It said it would:
Double the pace at which it is reducing ("shortening") its support for artificially low mortgage rates. It buys mortgage-backed securities (the type of bond that largely drives mortgage rates) for $ 40 billion a month. It was planned to bring this down by $ 5 billion per month. Now it is lowering him by $ 10 billion a month and is likely to increase his own interest rates three times (possibly four) over the course of 2022
Normally that should have been enough to keep mortgage rates on a steady upward trend.
But the Fed's actions did not have that effect. According to the Mortgage News Daily archives, a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate rose just 2 basis points (one basis point is one hundredth of 1%) in response to Wednesday's announcement. And then yesterday down the same 2 basis points.
It is too early to assess just how great the economic threat to Omicron is. Scientists are still trying to understand its properties. And every day we see headlines with bad or good news from small studies that are inconclusive.
But the markets are clearly viewing the mutated virus with caution. You can find more information about Omicron in yesterday's edition of this daily report.
If Omicron spreads in America as it is now in Europe, and if it turns out to be as dangerous as some fear, we could see mortgage rates falling here. But that is probably not something you should rely on at this point.
Further background information can be found in the weekend edition of this daily report from Saturday.
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 last year.
The latest weekly record low was recorded on January 7, when 30-year fixed-rate mortgages stood at 2.65%.
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 December 16 Report puts the weekly average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 3.12% (with 0.6 fees and points), slightly high from 3.10% 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 18th and the MBAs on November 22nd.
Freddie’s was released on October 15th. It now only updates its forecasts every quarter. So maybe we won't get another of these until January.
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.
And none of these forecasters suspected that Omicron could completely change the models on which they are based.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they limit their offerings to mortgages and refinancing with the most vanilla flavor.
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, whatever type of mortgage you want, you should make extensive comparisons. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Real savings can be achieved when looking for your mortgage. 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.
Show me today's prices (December 18, 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. By averaging a number 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.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be an advertisement for the products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the policies or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parents or affiliates.