Mortgage and refinance charges right this moment, Jan. 17, 2023
Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Markets were closed yesterday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And average mortgage rates just inched higher last Friday.
So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might rise again. However, there’s always a chance that could change as the hours pass.
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
Conventional 5 year ARM
5/1 ARM FHA
5/1 ARM 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.
Last Friday, I promised I’d review my personal rate lock recommendations once I’d had a chance to gauge the Federal Reserve’s reaction to recent economic data. And we’ll be getting hints from top Fed officials starting today.
So, for now, those recommendations 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 last Friday, were:
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes climbed to 3.53% from 3.44%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yieldsMajor stock indexes were mixed soon after opening. (Neutral 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 $80.98 from $78.94 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity Gold prices edged up to $1,916 from $1,910 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 — soared to 67 from 60 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 often 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?
Regular readers may be growing concerned about my continuing obsession with the gap between the expectations of the Federal Reserve and investors for future interest rates. And you’re right! I am obsessed. But only because that’s currently the biggest threat to mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates have had a great run since Jan. 6. That day brought December’s employment data that investors thought made it more likely the Fed would slow its rate hikes further. And that feeling was reinforced when, on Jan. 12, the consumer price index showed prices falling that month.
But will the Fed actually change course over its rate increases? Markets are betting heavily that it will, which is why mortgage rates are currently as low as they are.
This week, we’ll have a better idea of how secure those wagers (and relatively lower mortgage rates) are. Because a number of top Fed officials will be making speeches or media appearances. And that kicks off today when New York Fed President John Williams speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Other influences on mortgage rates this week
Remarks by these Fed speakers may prove the most influential drivers of changes in mortgage rates this week. But there are some economic reports that could also move those rates.
And most of those land tomorrow. That day, we’ll get retail sales, the producer price index (a forward-looking measure of inflation) and industrial production, all for December.
Whether this turns out to be a bumpy week for mortgage rates will depend on what the Fed speakers and those economic reports actually say. But it might be worth strapping in, just in case.
The debt ceiling could also raise its ugly head this week: as early as Thursday, according to a warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last Friday. A failure to raise the debt ceiling is always spoken of in apocalyptic terms, not least because its consequences could prove apocalyptic.
Ultimately, the United States Treasury could default on its debt payments, most obviously, those made to Treasury bondholders. Those bonds are seen as the safest investments in the world and are used to secure many other debts internationally. So, were the U.S. government to default, that could trigger a global financial meltdown that might make 2008 look like Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe (a tranquil, relaxed picnic).
Such a catastrophe would very likely bring much lower mortgage rates, at least in the end. But that might be little consolation if it’s also wiped out your job and investments.
Will the new U.S. Congress authorize the raising of the debt ceiling? Watch this space. And pray.
For more background, please read the latest weekend edition of this daily rates 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 Jan. 12 report put that same weekly average at 6.33%, down from the previous week’s 6.48%.
In November, Freddie stopped including discount points in its forecasts. It has also delayed until 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.