Mortgage and refinance charges immediately, Dec. 29, 2022
Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates nudged higher again yesterday. That’s six rises in the last seven working days.
Earlier this morning, markets were signaling that mortgage rates today might fall a bit. But those markets were suggesting the same thing yesterday morning. And those rates ended up rising. So, don’t bank on these daily predictions, certainly when momentum is weak.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed
30 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.
Should you lock a mortgage rate today?
Don’t lock on a day when mortgage rates look set to fall. My recommendations (below) are intended to give longer-term suggestions about the overall direction of those rates. So, they don’t change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.
It’s clear that mortgage rates have been rising recently. But we still can’t be sure why.
So, as I’m a cautious person, my personal rate lock recommendations for now remain:
LOCK if closing in 7 daysLOCK if closing in 15 daysLOCK if closing in 30 daysLOCK if closing in 45 daysLOCK if closing in 60 days
>Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate
Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates
Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose to 3.85% from 3.84%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yieldsMajor stock indexes were higher soon after opening. (Sometimes bad for mortgage rates.) When investors buy shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes those prices down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationshipOil prices decreased to $77.86 from $78.96 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity Gold prices nudged up to $1,822 from $1,813 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) It is generally better for rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. CNN Business Fear & Greed index — inched lower to 35 from 36 out of 100. (Good for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones
*A movement of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a change of 1% or less. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.
Caveats about markets and rates
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won’t achieve its former high levels until things settle down.
So, use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, mortgage rates today look likely to fall. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change speed or direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Important notes on today’s mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care’Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertisedLenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the broader trend over timeWhen daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the sameRefinance rates are typically close to those for purchases.
A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
Apologies to regular readers, who must be getting bored reading the same thing in different words each day. But — barring some extraordinary event — we likely have another week before that changes.
Mortgage rates are largely determined by a bond market: the one on which mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) are traded. But, right now, the number of people trading and investing in bonds is much lower than normal because so many are taking extended holiday breaks.
And that means the relatively few who remain at their desks have much more influence. Because the fewer the number of trades the more sway each one has.
This is fairly typical at this time of year. And we just have to live with it. But it makes it much harder to identify why mortgage rates are moving the way they are.
Yesterday, I suggested they might be rising because investors are having second thoughts about Federal Reserve events on Dec. 14. And I still think that may be the case — or, at least, a contributing factor.
However, let’s wait a week or eight days before drawing any hasty conclusions. We’ll probably have a clearer picture by then. Because we’ll have a full complement of investors and traders next Tuesday. And, two or three days later, they should have settled back into their routines and will have assessed the MBS market anew.
For more background, please read the latest weekend edition of this report.
According to Freddie Mac’s archives, the weekly all-time low for mortgage rates was set on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.
Freddie’s Dec. 22 report put that same weekly average at 6.27%, down from the previous week’s 6.31%.
In November, Freddie stopped including discount points in its forecasts. It has also moved later in the day the time at which it publishes its Thursday reports. And, from now on, we’ll be updating this section on Fridays.
Expert mortgage rate forecasts
Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.
And here are their rate forecasts for the current quarter (Q4/22) and the first three quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23 and Q3/24).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s and the MBA’s forecasts appeared on Dec. 19 and Freddie’s on Oct. 21. Freddie now publishes its forecasts quarterly and its figures can quickly become stale.
ForecasterQ4/22Q1/23Q2/23Q3/23Fannie Mae6.7%6.5% 6.4%6.2%Freddie Mac6.8%6.6% 6.5%6.4%MBA6.6%6.2% 5.6%5.4%
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. And their past record for accuracy hasn’t been wildly impressive.
Find your lowest rate today
You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
“Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”
Mortgage rate methodology
The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.