Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell modestly last Friday. They were still higher than they were at the start of July, but lower than a week ago.
Judging by market movements first thing, mortgage rates today might rise. But that could change as the day progresses.
Find your lowest rate. Start here (Jul 18th, 2022)
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.927%||5.962%||+0.02%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.048%||5.104%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.727%||5.782%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.066%||5.171%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.674%||6.437%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.248%||5.737%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed VA||5.313%||5.535%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA||5.16%||5.532%||Unchanged|
|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.
We’re still seeing seesawing mortgage rates as periods of rises follow periods of falls in a continuing cycle. Most of the ups and downs cancel each other out. But there’s still a shallow upward trend overall.
So, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term must remain:
- LOCK if closing in 7 days
- LOCK if closing in 15 days
- LOCK if closing in 30 days
- LOCK if closing in 45 days
- LOCK 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 edged up to 2.98% from 2.96%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were higher soon after opening. (Bad for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationship
- Oil prices jumped to $101.75 from $97.63 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices increased to $1,717 from $1,704 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. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
- CNN Business Fear & Greed index — climbed to 32 from 27 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 direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Find your lowest rate. Start here (Jul 18th, 2022)
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 advertised
- Lenders 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 time
- When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
- Refinance 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?
Sorry to be repetitive, but very little has changed for mortgage rates for weeks. When markets are more frightened of inflation than a possible recession, those rates tend to move up. When investors are more scared of a possible recession than inflation, rates tend to move down.
As you can tell, investors can’t make up their minds which is worse. Hence mortgage rates’ prolonged seesawing.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal issued an e-news alert saying:
Federal Reserve officials have signaled they are likely to raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage point later this month, for the second straight meeting, as part of an aggressive effort to combat high inflation.
Higher interest rates are a proven way to cool the economy. So that might focus investors’ minds on the possibility of a recession. As might CNN Business’s roundup in its Before the Bell e-newsletter yesterday of bank CEO’s grim forecasts. For a flavor, here’s JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s take:
Geopolitical tension, high inflation, waning consumer confidence, the uncertainty about how high rates have to go and the never-before-seen quantitative tightening and their effects on global liquidity, combined with the war in Ukraine and its harmful effect on global energy and food prices are very likely to have negative consequences on the global economy sometime down the road.
Oof! Perhaps I should mention that “quantitative tightening” is what the Federal Reserve’s doing now: hiking rates and running down the assets on its balance sheet. It’s the opposite of the more famous quantitative easing, which it does when it wants to stimulate the economy.
Devil and the deep blue sea
Balancing Mr Dimon’s and his peers’ sentiment was last week’s consumer price index (CPI) figures for June, which were worse than expected and set another 40-year high. Meanwhile, oil prices were climbing over the weekend as hopes were dashed that Saudi Arabia might hike its production of oil to meet global demand.
So, investors really are caught between the devil (inflation) and the deep blue sea (recession). And they don’t know which way to turn.
Consequently, they’re turning alternately to one and then the other. Each time they do, mortgage rates move up or down.
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.
Recent trends — updated today
Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they’ve been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although May and June were kinder months.
Freddie’s Jul. 14 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.51% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.3%.
Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.8 fees and points”) on closing that earn you a lower rate. If you don’t do that, your rate would be closer to the ones we and others quote.
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 current rate forecasts for the remaining three quarters of 2022 (Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first quarter of next year (Q1/23).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on Jun. 16, and the MBA’s on Jun. 10. Freddie’s were released on Apr. 18. But it now updates its figures only quarterly, so they’re already looking stale.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. Recent events certainly make them look that way.
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.”
Verify your new rate (Jul 18th, 2022)
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.