Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates rose modestly yesterday. A little over a year ago, these rates hit their all-time low: 2.65%. But now they're mostly closer to 4% than 3%. Still, that remains remarkably low by historical standards.
It's finally looking more likely Mortgage rates will remain stable or fall today instead of increasing. But I suspect this will be a short and flat dip before any further increases.
Find your lowest fare. Start here (01/19/2022)
Current mortgage and refinancing rates
Effective interest rate*
Conventional 30 years fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 20 years fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed
30 year solid FHA
15 year solid FHA
5/1 ARM FHA
30 years solid VA
15 years solid VA
5/1 ARM VA
Prices are provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your tariff may vary. Click here for an individual price offer. See our rate assumptions here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
The last month has been terrible for mortgage rates. And I see little sign of things getting better, at least sustainably and meaningfully. In fact, I guess it would take a catastrophic event to reverse their direction.
Therefore, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
LOCK when it closes 7 daysLOCK when it closes fifteen daysLOCK when it closes 30 daysLOCK when it closes 45 daysLOCK when it closes 60 days
>Related: 7 tips to get the best refinancing rate
Market data affecting today's mortgage rates
Here's a snapshot of the current status at around 9:50 am ET this morning. The data, compared to around the same time yesterday, was:
the Yield on 10-year treasury bills increased from 1.83% to 1.85%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) But this yield fell first. More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular government bond yieldsMajor Stock Indices were slightly higher. (Bad for mortgage rates.) When investors buy stocks, they often sell bonds, pushing down their prices and raising yields and mortgage rates. The opposite can happen when indices are lower. But this is an imperfect relationshipoil prices rose to $86.60 from $84.85 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a big role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity gold prices rose to $1,827 from $1,813 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, interest rates are better when gold is rising and worse when gold is falling. Gold tends to rise when investors are worried about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates downCNN Business Fear & Greed Index – increased from 53 to 68 from 100. (Bad for mortgage rates.) "Greedy" Investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) when they exit the bond market and into stocks, while "anxious" investors do the opposite. So lower values are better than higher ones
*A change of less than $20 in gold or 40 cents in oil is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.
Reservations on Markets and Courses
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve's intervention in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good guess as to what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that is no longer the case. We still talk on the phone every day. And are mostly right. But our accuracy record won't reach its previous high level until things settle down.
Therefore, use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to be able to rely on them. But with this caveat Mortgage rates are likely to remain stable or fall slightly today. Note, however, that "intraday swings" (when prices change direction throughout the day) are a common feature these days.
Find your lowest fare. Start here (01/19/2022)
Important information about today's mortgage interest rates
Here are some things you need to know:
Typically, mortgage rates rise when the economy is doing well and fall when it's troubled. But there are exceptions. Read 'How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care"Only "premium" borrowers (with great credit, large down payments, and very healthy finances) get the ultra-low mortgage rates you'll see from advertised lenders. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily interest rate movements – although over time they all usually follow the broader trend. When daily interest rate changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and leave their price lists the same as those for purchases.
There's a lot going on at the moment. And no one can claim to know for sure what will happen to mortgage rates in the hours, days, weeks, or months ahead.
Are mortgage and refinancing rates rising or falling?
Once again this morning, CNBC attributed rising bond yields (and therefore mortgage rates) to "growing investor expectations that the Federal Reserve could soon begin raising rates."
Yes I know. The Fed does not set mortgage rates directly. Their level is mainly due to trading in mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), a type of bond.
But the Fed's plans are certainly having an impact on bond markets. And right now, they're affecting her tremendously.
Yes, it is possible that the Fed will end up acting less aggressively. This morning's Financial Times (Paywall) asked all central bankers (ours the Fed) a question: "Will policymakers dare pull back stimulus and raise interest rates when there is a risk of asset price increases?" (Paywall .)
Certainly, the Fed has a difficult path to follow in order to contain inflation – while not spoiling the economic recovery by raising interest rates too quickly. Perhaps one day it will have to moderate its wanderings.
But that probably won't be anytime soon. And almost certainly not before you have to lock your plan.
So, as far as I can tell, it looks like we're going to be in for higher mortgage rates for some time. Of course, rises are inevitably tempered by occasional bouts of modest declines – perhaps we'll see one today.
But in my eyes, the future for these courses looks bleak at the moment. And just something massive and terrible (a new, deadly strain of COVID-19, a major war involving the US, a stock market crash, a huge natural disaster…) is likely to pull them down sharply for an extended period of time send.
For a longer look at what's driving mortgage rates, including why markets are bullish on Omicron, read the weekend edition of this daily rates report.
For much of 2020, the overall trend in mortgage rates was clearly down. And according to Freddie Mac, a new weekly all-time low was hit 16 times last year.
The most recent weekly record low was on Jan. 7 when it was 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Since then, the picture has been mixed by extended periods of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the increases have become more pronounced since September, although not consistently.
Freddies 13th January Report puts this weekly average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 3.45% (with 0.7 fees and points), high from 3.22% of the previous week.
Mortgage rate forecasts by experts
Looking ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, housing, and mortgage rates.
And here are their current rate forecasts for the remaining current quarter of 2021 (Q4/21) and the first three quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22 and Q3/22).
The figures in the table below refer to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fannies were released on December 20th and the MBAs on December 21st.
Freddie's was released on October 15th. It now only updates its forecasts quarterly. So we might not get another one of these until later this month. And his numbers are already looking stale.
forecasterQ4/21Q1/22Q2/22Q3/22Fannie Mae3.1%3.1%3.2%3.3%Freddie Mac3.2%3.4%3.5%3.6% MBA3.1%3.3%3.5%3.7%
However, with so many unknowns, the entire current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
Find your cheapest fare today
You should compare extensively no matter what type of mortgage you want. As the federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
“If you look after your mortgage, you can make real savings. It may not sound like much, however Saving even a quarter point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”
Show me today's prices (January 19, 2022)
Mortgage interest methodology
Every day, The Mortgage Reports receives interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners. We get an average interest rate and APR for each loan type shown in our chart. As we average a range of rates, you'll get a better idea of what you might find on the market. In addition, we calculate interest rates for the same types of credit. For example FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for the products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policies or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent companies or affiliates.