The housing market has changed a lot in just a year, and mortgage rates are to blame.
The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has doubled, with the highest inflation in 40 years largely to blame. That inflation has led the Federal Reserve to its key interest rate several times already this year.
For homebuyers, those big changes mean higher monthly payments, even as the prices of homes have started to drop in many areas. The most important thing is to ensure that the house you’re thinking of buying is one you can afford. Factor changes to prices and to mortgage rates into your calculations when determining if the monthly payment is something you can manage.
Let’s look at today’s rates and what they mean for buyers and homeowners.
A few benchmark mortgage rates sunk lower today. The averages for both 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages slid down. The most common type of variable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) which also dropped.
Take a look at today’s rates:
Mortgage Rate Forecast: Why Do Mortgage Rates Change?
Mortgage rates have been pushed up primarily by the highest inflation in four decades. The consumer price index showed prices up 7.7% year-over-year in October, compared to 8.2% in September. Inflation has remained higher than expected, but appeared to be slowing down in October.
In response to that high inflation, the Federal Reserve has increased its benchmark short-term interest rate, known as the federal funds rate. In November it raised the federal funds rate by 75 basis points for the fourth time in a row. While the Fed’s changes don’t directly drive increases in mortgage rates, they have some correlation because they both respond to inflation.
“Inflation is absolutely in the driver’s seat, particularly as it pertains to mortgage rates. Until we get some sustained evidence that inflation is beginning to recede, the upward pressure on mortgage rates will remain,” says Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American Financial Corporation.
Is It a Good Time to Buy a Home With Rates Where They Are?
The big increase in mortgage rates this year has taken a lot of potential homebuyers out of the market. That could present opportunities for you – if you can afford the higher cost of borrowing money.
Homebuyers are facing less competition and prices are down compared to their all-time highs earlier this year, but they’re still high. If you can find a deal you can afford, it can still be a good opportunity. After all, nobody knows what mortgage rates and prices will be like next year, and buying a home is a lifestyle decision, not just a financial one.
“If they find a house that they love, then they should absolutely pull the trigger,” says Joe Allen, a senior mortgage lending officer at Quontic Bank, an online community development financial institution.
Closing Costs & Loan Fees
The catchall term for the fees you pay to get a mortgage is closing costs. The fees for your appraisal, title insurance, and any lender origination charges are all part of your closing costs. In general, closing costs are 3% to 6% of your loan amount, so the larger your mortgage the more you’ll pay as a total dollar amount. Your closing costs play a crucial role in determining your annual percentage rate (APR). In other words, the higher your closing costs, the higher your APR will be..
Looking at Today’s Mortgage Refinance Rates
There’s good news if you’ve been considering a refinance because the average rates for 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinance loans trailed off. If you’ve been considering a 10-year refinance loan, just know average rates also trailed off.
The average refinance rates are as follows:
Current Mortgage Rates.
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Interest Rates
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 6.88%, which is a decline of 5 basis points from the previous week.
15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rates
The median rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 6.22%, which is a decrease of 6 basis points from seven days ago.
A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment is larger than what you would pay with a 30-year mortgage. However, 15-year loans have some considerable benefits: You’ll pay thousands less in interest and pay off your loan much earlier.
5/1 ARM Mortgage Rates
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 5.48%, a slide of 11 basis points compared to a week ago.
An ARM is ideal for borrowers who will refinance or sell before the rate changes. If that’s not the case, their interest rates could end up being noticeably higher after a rate adjusts.
For the first five years, a 5/1 ARM will typically have a lower interest rate compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. Keep in mind that your payment could end up being hundreds of dollars higher after a rate adjustment, depending on the terms of your loan.
How Our Mortgage Interest Rates Are Calculated
We use Bankrate’s daily mortgage rate data for our mortgage rate trends. These overnight rates are based on a specific personal profile, which only includes loans for single-family homes with a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or better. Bankrate is part of the same parent company as NextAdvisor.
This table has current average rates based on information provided to Bankrate by lenders from across the nation:
Rates as of November 22, 2022.
Use our mortgage calculator to see how your mortgage payment changes based on considerations like your mortgage interest rate, down payment, and homeowners insurance.
Mortgage Rate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
How Do I Get the Best Mortgage Rate?
Shopping around for a home loan is a great way to get the lowest mortgage interest rate.
The mortgage rate you’ll qualify for depends on a variety of factors lenders consider when assessing how risky it is to give you a mortgage. Your credit score is a big part of this decision. And even the property’s value compared to your loan balance is important. So increasing your down payment can reduce your mortgage rate.
But banks will consider your circumstances differently. So you can provide the same documentation to three different mortgage providers, and find that none of the mortgage rates and fees you are offered are the same.
Is Now a Good Time to Lock in My Mortgage Rate?
Mortgage rates move up and down on a daily basis, and it’s impossible to time the market. So locking in your interest rate right now is a good idea because overall, rates are historically favorable.
A rate lock will only last for a set amount of time, typically 30-60 days. If you hit a snag during closing and it looks like your rate lock will expire you should contact your lender. It may be able to extend the rate lock, however, you might have to pay a fee for that privilege.