Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates held steady last Friday, in spite of the jobs report that some found disappointing. A fall had looked more likely first thing.
So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today may again hold steady — or maybe just edge either side of the neutral line.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 5 year ARM
30 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA
5 year ARM FHA
30 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA
5 year 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.
COVID-19 mortgage updates: Mortgage lenders are changing rates and rules due to COVID-19. To see the latest on how coronavirus could impact your home loan, click here.
Should you lock a mortgage rate today?
Judging by recent weeks’ movements in mortgage rates, you probably won’t gain or lose much whether you float your rate or lock it.
But those who float carry a real risk of being caught out by the higher rates that most experts expect. And, generally, it’s not a good idea to take on risk without a strong possibility of reward. Currently, I judge that as a weak possibility.
And that’s why my personal, overall rate lock recommendations must 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
However, I don’t claim perfect foresight. And your personal analysis could turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So you might choose to be guided by your instincts and your personal tolerance for risk.
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 Treasurys inched down to 1.57% from 1.58%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields, though less so recentlyMajor stock indexes were mostly higher on 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 lowerOil prices climbed to $69.74 from $69.59 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity. Gold prices edged lower to $1,892 from $1,893 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s 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 lowerCNN Business Fear & Greed index — held steady at 49 out of 100. (Neutral 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 change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage 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, so far mortgage rates today look likely to be unchanged or barely changed. However, be aware that intraday swings (when rates change 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 advertised
Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the wider 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. But some types of refinances are higher following a regulatory change
So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks, or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
Today and soon
Last Friday’s official employment situation report wasn’t as good as most analysts had expected. And mortgage rates fell on its release.
But, as the day wore on, investors reflected on its contents and decided it wasn’t as bad as the headline nonfarm payroll figure suggested. So those rates rose again to end the day unchanged.
Had Friday’s jobs figures beaten expectations by a significant amount, that report might have triggered the rising mortgage rates that many experts have been predicting for a while. But they didn’t. And we may have a bit more breathing space.
Recovery still on track
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be such a trigger soon. Because the recovery still appears to be on track. In its weekly economic e-newsletter on Friday afternoon, Comerica Bank observed, “U.S. economic indicators from this week were strong, consistent with surging demand but supply-chain constrained production.” But it went on:
We expect the Federal Reserve to maintain its stance of “patient accommodation” through the summer. We also expect to hear more discussion of the wind down of special programs and asset purchases. We look for a reduction in asset purchases before the end of the year.
If Comerica is correct, that would mean the Fed will be forced to end its asset purchases earlier than it now says. And regular readers will know what that means.
The Fed is currently keeping mortgage rates artificially low by buying about $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (mortgage bonds) each month. And, when it last said, in 2013, that it would wind down its then-existing program, mortgage rates shot up.
Worse, that’s an additional risk. Most observers expect mortgage rates to rise — though more gently — simply in response to the economic recovery. So homebuyers and those refinancing are in danger of experiencing a double whammy later in the year — and possibly not that much later.
Of course, there’s always a risk of a cataclysmic event undermining the recovery. And, if such an event were truly terrible, it might even cause mortgage rates to tumble again.
But, for now, we look to be on course for the double whammy. And that seems much more probable than alternative scenarios.
For more background, read our latest weekend edition, which has more space for in-depth analyses.
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 last year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But then the trend reversed and rates rose.
However, those rises were mostly replaced by falls in April, though those moderated during the second half of that month. Meanwhile, May saw falls very slightly outweighing rises. Freddie’s June 3 report puts that weekly average at 2.99% (with 0.6 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 2.95%.
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 rates forecasts for the remaining quarters of 2021 (Q2/21, Q3/21, Q4/21) and the first quarter of 2022 (Q1/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were updated on May 19 and the MBA’s on May 21. Freddie’s forecast is dated April 14. But it now updates only quarterly. So expect its numbers to begin to look stale soon.
However, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual.
Find your lowest rate today
Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.
But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash-out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.
But, of course, you should be comparison shopping 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.