If you’re shopping for a home, here’s what to consider when comparing mortgage lenders and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate.
THE LATEST MORTGAGE RATE & HOUSING NEWS
What’s Going On With Rising Mortgage Rates?
Mortgage rates have been on the rise since the start of the year and haven’t stopped yet. A big reason behind the increase is that inflation has remained at its highest level in 40 years. The Consumer Price Index was up 8.2% year-over-year in September – lower than August but still well above what markets and the Federal Reserve are comfortable with.
The Fed’s approach to high inflation has been to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate, a strategy that aims to make borrowing more expensive and encourage saving, driving down demand for goods and services and reducing prices. Today, the Fed raised its federal funds rate by 75 basis points, the fourth consecutive time it’s done so in 2022.
The economic situation has mortgage rates jumping up and down on a daily basis.
“The market just can’t really decide which way it wants to go in terms of the direction of rates,” says Melissa Cohn, regional vice president of William Raveis Mortgage in New York.
Don’t expect mortgage rates to plummet until economic conditions change, experts say.
“Until we get some sustained evidence that inflation is beginning to recede, the upward pressure on mortgage rates will remain,” Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American Financial Corporation, told us.
What Can Homebuyers Do About Rising Mortgage Rates?
The current housing environment is particularly tough for first-time homebuyers, but it might still make sense to buy. “It’s always a good time to buy a home, if that’s what is important to you. It’s just about doing your research and making good informed decisions,” Eileen Derks, head of mortgage at Laurel Road, told us.
Rising mortgage rates have made affordability increasingly difficult for homebuyers, despite some drops in home prices. If you’re considering a mortgage, experts say it’s more important than ever to shop around with different lenders, as rates can vary dramatically from day to day and from lender to lender.
“Until you’re ready to lock, you need to keep your eye on more than one ball,” Cohn says.
What’s Happening With Home Prices?
The big surge in mortgage rates has started to bring down home prices. The median existing home sold for $389,500, up 7.7% from a year earlier but down from figures of more than $400,000 seen earlier in the summer, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
How quickly the housing market is turning around depends on where you are. In some cities, prices are seeing month-to-month price drops of nearly 3%, while others are still riding a wave of increases. “It’s very market-dependent at the moment,” says Robert Heck, vice president of mortgage at Morty, an online mortgage broker.
Home sales figures are dropping significantly – down 0.4% from July to August and nearly 20% from August 2021 – in part because homeowners who have favorable mortgage rates are unwilling to sell and get a loan at a much higher rate.
Homebuyers facing a difficult environment can find creative ways to save money on a home purchase. One is to consider an adjustable-rate mortgage, Cohn says. They tend to offer periods of several years with a fixed rate – and it should be significantly lower than a 30-year fixed rate would be – before the rate starts to adjust with the market. That should give you a few years to refinance if the market improves.
History of the 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate
This chart, which uses data from a survey by Freddie Mac that differs slightly but generally tracks with the Bankrate survey used by NextAdvisor, offers a glimpse at how today’s rates compare with the past two decades. According to the chart, mortgage rates are up from the historically low years of 2020 and 2021, but they still aren’t high if you zoom out more than a few years.
Keep today’s rates in perspective. Rates below 5% were pretty rare before 2011, and rates between 4% and 5% were fairly common before the pandemic, Paul Thomas, vice president of capital markets for mortgages at Zillow Group, told us. “As a homebuyer, it’s important to keep in mind that while mortgage rates have gone up this year, they’re still at historic lows.”
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Whether you are looking to refinance or purchase, you can compare lender offers here using this Home Loan Comparison Calculator. You can enter in the loan amount, rate, fees, and term for each offer and see a true side-by-side comparison.
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The Pros and Cons: When to Consider a 30-year Fixed Mortgage
There are a handful of advantages to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that make it the right choice in many cases. But choosing a mortgage is a highly personal decision and there are certain situations where a 30-year fixed mortgage isn’t the best fit.
Lowest mortgage and interest payment of any loan repayment term
Interest rate never changes, the only way your monthly payments can increase is if your property taxes or homeowners insurance go up
Increases your buying power because you’re spreading the cost out over a longer timeframe
Shorter-term loans typically have lower interest rates
By paying the loan over a longer period of time, you will pay more in total interest
Refinancing to a new 30-year loan could have years or decades onto your mortgage
What Are Today’s 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates?
On Thursday, December 08, 2022 according to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.520% with an APR of 6.530%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 6.530% with an APR of 6.540%.
Current 30-Year Mortgage Rates
|30-Year Fixed Rate||6.530%||6.540%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||5.900%||6.790%|
|30-Year VA Rate||6.030%||6.240%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.510%||6.520%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||6.400%||6.420%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||5.910%||5.950%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||5.890%||5.910%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||5.990%||6.020%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||5.230%||7.230%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||5.200%||7.010%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||6.060%||6.790%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||6.280%||6.490%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||6.270%||6.800%|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||6.520%||6.530%|
|30-Year FHA Rate||5.950%||6.820%|
|30-Year VA Rate||6.040%||6.170%|
|30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||6.500%||6.510%|
|20-Year Fixed Rate||6.440%||6.460%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||5.910%||5.940%|
|15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate||5.900%||5.920%|
|10-Year Fixed Rate||5.990%||6.030%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||5.450%||7.450%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||5.260%||7.440%|
|7/1 ARM Rate||6.070%||6.890%|
|7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate||6.290%||6.510%|
|10/1 ARM Rate||6.230%||6.890%|
Rates as of Thursday, December 08, 2022
ABOUT THESE RATES
These rate averages are based on weekday mortgage rate information provided by national lenders to Bankrate.com, which like NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures. These averages provide borrowers a broad view of average rates that can inform borrowers when comparing lender offers. We feature both the interest rate and the annual percentage rate (APR), which includes additional lender fees, so you can get a better idea of the overall cost of the loan. The actual interest rate you can qualify for may be different from the average rates quoted in our rate table. But these rates are useful for giving you a benchmark to use when comparing loan offers by giving you a sense of how the type of mortgage and the length of the repayment term impacts your interest rate and APR.
Is a 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Right for Me?
Whether or not a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is right for you depends on your personal situation. Everything from your income to where you want to live can impact the decision.
A 30-year fixed mortgage can be ideal for a first-time homebuyer because of the lower monthly payment. But as your income increases, you may want to refinance to a shorter-term loan to reduce the interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
There are even circumstances where adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) can make sense. If you know you will be moving before the interest rate adjusts, an ARM may be cheaper than a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for those first few years. Although, in today’s low rate environment, an ARM loan makes less sense for homebuyers than it usually would.
How Do I Refinance a 30-Year Mortgage?
Refinancing is when you replace your existing mortgage with a new home loan. When 30-year refinance rates are significantly lower than your existing mortgage rate, you may be able to save money with a refinance. Keep in mind that the potential savings will need to outweigh the upfront closing costs you’ll pay to refinance, which are typically 3% to 6% of the loan balance.
Another factor to consider when you refinance is, how many years have you been paying off your current mortgage? If you’re 10 years into a 30-year loan, taking out a new 30-year mortgage adds those 10 years back onto your repayment term. Even though you may be lowering your monthly payment and rate in that scenario, you could end up paying more interest over the long term even if you have a lower rate.
For more information on how to refinance a mortgage, see NextAdvisor’s refinance page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
How do I find a personalized 30-year mortgage rate?
To find personalized 30-year mortgage rates you’ll have to share a bit about your finances with potential mortgage lenders. They will need information, like your income, credit history, and other debts.
You can usually get a ballpark estimate from lenders by sharing this information with them over the phone. However, to get preapproved for a mortgage you will need to verify everything with documentation and a credit check. Being preapproved for a mortgage will give you an idea of what mortgage rate you qualify for, but the rate won’t be locked in until after you submit an application and are approved for the loan. Even then, you’ll want to confirm with the lender that your rate is locked and how long the rate lock will be valid for.
When you’re shopping for rates, it will benefit you to reach out to at least two or three lenders. Every mortgage lender will evaluate your finances differently, and the fees and interest rate you are quoted will differ from one lender to the next.
What is a good 30-year fixed mortgage rate?
During the pandemic, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell below 3% for the first time since the Federal Reserve began tracking mortgage rates. Since then, rates have climbed back above 5% to where they sit today.
Certain mortgages typically have higher rates, like loans for investment properties, jumbo loans, and cash-out refinance mortgages. So a slightly higher rate for one of these types of loans can still be a great deal.
How do I compare current 30-year fixed mortgage rates?
Comparing 30-year fixed mortgage rates isn’t as straightforward as looking at the mortgage interest rates you qualify for with different lenders. This is because a mortgage interest rate doesn’t account for mortgage fees. To get an understanding of the overall cost of your home loan, you need to also compare annual percentage rates (APR), which factor in other costs like loan origination fees and discount points.
After you apply for a mortgage you’ll get what is known as a Loan Estimate from the lender. Learning how to read a Loan Estimate is important because it shows an estimate of every fee the lender is charging you. Since every Loan Estimate form is the same, it’s a vital tool for comparing mortgage lenders and for keeping your closing costs low.