Mortgage and refinance charges in the present day, Dec. 23, 2022
Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates nudged modestly higher yesterday. But we should probably count ourselves lucky they didn’t climb further.
Once again, mortgage rates today look likely to rise. Let’s hope that changes as the hours pass.
Bond markets will be closed next Monday, meaning mortgage rates shouldn’t move that day. So, we’ll be back on Tuesday. But you can read our weekend edition tomorrow morning, as usual. Have a very happy holiday. And please stay safe if you’re traveling.
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.
Nothing’s changed since yesterday. Mortgage rates remain unpredictable and may be subject to heightened volatility.
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 3.75% from 3.67%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yieldsMajor stock indexes were mostly lower soon after opening. (Sometimes good 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 increased to $79.60 from $78.71 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity Gold prices fell to $1,799 from $1,808 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 higher to 37 from 36 out of 100. (Bad 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 rise. 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?
Why did I start out by saying we should count ourselves lucky that mortgage rates didn’t move higher yesterday? Because some economic news landed that day that often would have made those rates jump further.
Revised figures for gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter showed the economy grew 3.2% instead of the 2.9% forecast by economists and analysts. And that’s a lot. Meanwhile, weekly new claims for unemployment benefits were also a bit better than expected.
This is a time when the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes should be slowing the economy. But that’s simply not happening in the way most expected. Even consumer spending is holding up well.
So, what will the Fed do about that? Well, it’s very likely to hike rates even higher and for even longer than markets would like. And that’s bad for mortgage rates.
Today’s inflation report
This morning brought the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. And that was a mixed bag.
The main price index rose only 0.1% in November, down from 0.4% in October. And most other figures were similarly good. However, the year-on-year “core” price index (after volatile food and energy prices have been stripped out) was a little higher than economists had expected.
Were this morning’s rising mortgage rates a result of that one figure? Or is it a result of disappointment about the too-resilient economy continuing from yesterday? I’m not sure yet.
For more background, please read the latest weekend edition of this report.
Recent trends — updated today
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%.
Recently, 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.