Today's mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell slightly yesterday and have likely hit another all-time low. And conventional loans started this morning at 3.063% (3.063% APR) for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.
I continue to think that falls will outweigh climbs for the foreseeable future. But there are now some short-term threats (see below) that could result in a relatively short period of moderate increases.
And that could start today. Even a disappointing report on the employment situation this morning did not dampen optimism. And I expect a small increase in mortgage rates today.
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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 4, 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?
Freddie Mac hit another all-time low yesterday. And since then we've only had a tiny drop. So this could be a great opportunity to lock your tariff.
I think we'll likely see more declines and all-time lows over time. But do you have time to wait for her?
Because we might stop for a moment when they move up a little. Might need to close while they are temporarily higher? If this is an option for you, today is an excellent day to lock out – when you get your ice skates on.
See “Are Mortgage and Refinance Rates Going Up or Down?” (Below) for more details. In the meantime, my personal recommendations on tariff blocking are:
LOCK when you approach 7th DaysLOCK when you approach 15th DaysHOVER when you approach 30th DaysHOVER when you approach 45 DaysHOVER when you approach 60 Days
But with so much uncertainty right now, your instincts could easily turn out 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 yesterday morning, were:
The 10-year Treasury yield rose from 0.96% 0.93%. (Bad for mortgage ratesMore than any other market, mortgage rates usually tend to follow these particular government bond yields, albeit more recentlyImportant stock indices were moderately higher when opened. (Bad 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 rose to $ 45.87 from $ 45.03 per barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates * because energy prices play a major role in causing inflation and also indicate future economic activity.) Gold prices were at $ 1,849 from $ 1,838 an 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 – Notched up to 86 out of 85 out of 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. 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 Federal Reserve intervention in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good estimate 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 a bit worse for mortgage rates today.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 4, 2020)
Important Notes About Today's Mortgage Rates
Here are some things you need to know:
The continued intervention of the Fed 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?
I'm expecting one today worse day for mortgage rates. In this morning's report on employment, the economy continued to create jobs. But much more slowly than would be necessary for a quick recovery from the pandemic downturn.
However, that was not enough to deter the markets from riskier investments. And that may be because three low rate threats emerged, the first two recently:
Progress could be made in the US Congress to agree on a stimulus package. Could it finally be here? Yesterday, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia reached an agreement on the upper limits for oil production. And oil and copper prices have risen. There is a possibility that the Federal Reserve may announce changes of direction on December 16 after the next meeting of its Political Committee. It is possible that one or more of these changes could drive up mortgage rates
I believe these are mostly short-term threats. And that the economic damage caused by the pandemic will generally keep mortgage rates low for many months. For example, millions of Californians are on the verge of enduring the state's toughest containment measures since spring. But of course I could turn out to be wrong.
The general trend in mortgage rates has been falling significantly in recent months. Freddie Mac said a new all-time low was set in each of the weeks ending October 15th and 22nd, November 5th and 19th and December 3rd. In fact, there have been 14 such weekly records so far this year.
Note, however, that Freddie's numbers only relate to buying mortgages and ignore refinancing. And if you averages across both, the rates have been consistently higher than the all-time lows since a record high in early August, even though they're actually very close now. The gap between the two has been widened by a controversial regulatory change.
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 November 17th) and the MBA (also November 17th) are updated monthly. However, Freddies are now released quarterly. And its latest was released on October 14th.
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year fixed rate mortgages:
ForecasterQ4 / 20Q1 / 21Q2 / 21Q3 / 21Fannie Mae 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% Freddie Mac 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% MBA 2.9% 3.0% 3.0% 3.2%
So the predictions vary considerably. You pay your money …
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 refinance, 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 shop a lot in comparison. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping for your mortgage can result in real savings. It might 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 4, 2020)
Mortgage rate method
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We 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.