Today's mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell on Friday. So you are definitely at an all-time low. And it looks like it does These rates could remain stable today or even be an inch lower.
You may have expected mortgage rates to rise today in response to Congressional agreement on a $ 900 billion pandemic relief package. But at first there was little sign of it. Read on for something that could scare investors – and that could result in lower mortgage rates in the coming days.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 22, 2020)
Current mortgage and refinancing rates
Conventional 30 years fixed
Conventional 15 years fixed
Conventional 5-year ARM
Fixed FTA for 30 years
Fixed FTA for 15 years
5 years ARM FHA
30 years permanent VA
15 years fixed VA
5 years ARM VA
Prices are provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your rate could be different. Click here for a personalized price offer. See our tariff assumptions here.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 22, 2020)
COVID-19 Mortgage Updates: Mortgage lenders are changing interest rates and rules due to COVID-19. For the latest information on the impact of Coronavirus on your home loan, click here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
I recently said that I think mortgage rates can stay largely unchanged over the holiday season. And that might still turn out to be the case.
But something emerged over the weekend that could change that. See "Will Mortgage Rates Go Up Or Down?" (below) for information on the emergence of a new, more infectious COVID-19 strain.
It's too early to tell how scared investors will be by this phenomenon. But if it bothers them a lot, we might see lower mortgage rates despite the holidays. And maybe you prefer to pause the locking until things get clearer.
I am not changing my personal tariff blocking recommendations yet, but I know I can do this soon:
LOCK when you approach 7th DaysLOCK when you approach 15th DaysLOCK when you approach 30th DaysHOVER when you approach 45 DaysHOVER when you approach 60 Days
With so much uncertainty right now, your instincts could easily prove to be as good as mine – or better. So let your gut and your personal risk tolerance guide you.
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here is the current status at 9:50 a.m. (ET) this morning. The dates, compared to roughly the same time last Friday morning, were:
The 10-year Treasury yield rose from 0.92% to 0.93%. (Good for mortgage rates Because they fell this morning) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually tend to follow these particular government bond yields, albeit more recentlyImportant stock indices were lower when opened. (Good for mortgage rates.Often times, when investors buy stocks, they sell bonds, which lowers the prices of those bonds and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite happens when the indices are lower. Oil prices fell to $ 47.24 $ 48.82 per barrel. (Good for mortgage rates * because energy prices play a major role in causing inflation and also indicate future economic activity.) Gold prices barely moved to $ 1,887 from $ 1,888 per ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is better for interest rates when gold rises and worse for interest rates when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to cut rates. CNN Business Fear & Greed Index – Decreased from 63 from 100 to 62 last Friday evening. (Good for mortgage interest.) "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. Lower readings are therefore better than higher ones
* A change of less than $ 20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a fraction of 1%. Hence, we count significant differences in mortgage rates only as good or bad.
Reservations about markets and prices
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve's intervention in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and get a pretty good idea of what would happen to mortgage rates that day. However, this is no longer the case. The Fed is a big player now and a few days can overwhelm investor sentiment.
Use markets only as a rough guide. They have to be exceptionally strong (rates are likely to rise) or weak (they could fall) to be relied on. But so far they have been searching with this restriction for mortgage rates today, calm to good.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 22, 2020)
Important Notes About Today's Mortgage Rates
Here are some things you need to know:
The continued Fed interventions in the mortgage market (well over $ 1 trillion) should continue to put pressure on these rates. But it can't always work miracles. So expect both short-term increases and decreases. And read: “For once, the Fed affects mortgage rates. Here's why: "If you want to understand this aspect of what is going on, mortgage rates usually go up when the economy is doing well and go down when they're in trouble." There are exceptions, however. Read about how mortgage rates are determined and why you should care. Only top notch borrowers (with great credit scores, high down payments, and very healthy finances) will get the ultra-low mortgage rates for which the listed lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily interest rate movements – though they usually all follow the broader trend over time. When interest rate changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and leave their interest rate cards the same. Refinancing rates are usually close to these for purchases. However, some types of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinancing are currently significantly higher after a change in regulations
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?
Judging by early trading Mortgage rates could stay stable today or decrease slightly. But of course that could change during the day.
New, contagious COVID-19 strain
Any fall will be in the teeth of Congress, which agrees on a pandemic relief package. And will likely be due to a new, more contagious version of the COVID-19 virus. This is up to 70% more transferable than the existing burden.
Scientists say there is as yet no evidence that the new version causes more acute symptoms than the current strain. It is also not more resistant to vaccines. However, a superspreader virus is clearly a real threat to communities and economies.
So far it is known that the new tribe is only active in the southeast of England and South Africa. Several European countries have implemented total travel bans from the UK within hours of the UK government's announcement of concerns. The US has yet to follow suit.
Of course, there is a high probability that the new strain, which was first discovered in September, has already spread to several continents. What changed last Friday was that scientists were able to establish a causal link between him and higher infection rates.
We don't know yet how eerie investors will be about this new version of the coronavirus. But first signs are that they are taking it seriously. And that could drive mortgage rates down.
The general trend in mortgage rates has been falling significantly in recent months. According to Freddie Mac, a new weekly all-time low has already been reached 15 times this year. The last recording of this type was last week – December 17th.
Mortgage Forecast Experts
Looking ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists devoted to monitoring and forecasting the impact on the economy, housing and mortgage rates.
And here are their current interest rate forecasts for the final quarter of 2020 (Q4 / 20) and the first three of 2021 (Q1 / 21, Q2 / 21 and Q3 / 21).
Note, however, that fannies (published December 15th) and the MBA (November 17th) are updated monthly. But Freddies are now released quarterly. The latest version was released on October 14th. So this is starting to look stale.
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year fixed rate mortgages:
Q4 / 20
Q1 / 21
Q2 / 21
Q3 / 21
So the predictions vary considerably. You pay your money …
And another prognosis
On December 2nd, the National Association of Realtors threw its hat into the forecast ring. It said:
The forecast assumes that mortgage rates will slowly rise towards the end of the last half of 2021 and reach 3.4% by the end of the year.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they only limit their offerings to the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.
But others remain brave. And chances are you can still find the withdrawal refinancing, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. You just need to shop broader.
But of course, no matter what type of mortgage you want, you should do a lot of shopping in comparison. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping for your mortgage can result in real savings. It may not sound like much, but if you save even a quarter point on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Check your new plan (December 22, 2020)
Mortgage rate method
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We'll find an average rate and an annual interest rate for each type of loan that we want to show on our chart. Since we calculate a series of average prices, this will give you a better idea of what you might find in the market. We also calculate average interest rates for the same types of loans. For example, FHA was fixed with FHA. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.