Today’s California Mortgage Rates: What to Know Before Making a California Home Purchase

A photo to accompany a story about mortgage rates in California Getty Images
We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Advertised & Editorial Rates: This table includes two types of listings: ads that we may be paid for (“advertiser listing”); and listings that we research and publish to provide a more holistic view of market rates (“editorial listings”). Here’s how to tell the difference: if you see a clickable button, such as a green “Next” button, that is an advertiser listing, and if you do not see a clickable button, it’s an editorial listing. For more information, see our Advertising Disclosure

Accuracy of Advertised Terms: Each advertiser is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its ad offer details. However, we attempt to verify those details through our quality control program. For more information, see our Quality Control Program.

Editorial Content: We include editorial content below the rate table to educate consumers about financial products and services. Some of that content may also contain ads, including links to advertisers’ sites, and we may be paid on those ads or links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates in California?

For Monday, September 27, 2021, here are the current mortgage rates in California. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.000%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage refinance rate is 2.970%. Today, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 2.230%.

Looking at variable rate loans, the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate is 3.060%. 

This information is from Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

Current Mortgage Rates in California

Loan TypeRate
30-year Fixed3.000%
15-year Fixed2.230%
5/1 ARM3.060%
30-Year Refi2.970%

First-Time Homebuyer Programs in California

California has first-time homebuyer programs that are available statewide, in addition to many more that serve specific localities.

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has a variety of loan programs for purchasing a home in California, so if you’re taking out a mortgage through one of these programs and are a first-time home buyer (or haven’t owned a home in the last three years) then you can also qualify for down payment assistance through the MyHome Assistance Program.

If you meet the requirements for the MyHome Assistance Program, then you’re eligible for a deferred loan for the down payment or closing costs which doesn’t need to be repaid until you sell the home. The maximum benefits amount varies depending on the type of CalHFA mortgage you get:

  • CalHFA FHA or CalPLUS FHA loan – The lesser of: $11,000 or 3.5% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less
  • CalHFA Conventional, CalPLUS Conventional or CalHFA USDA loan – The lesser of: $11,000 or 3% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less
  • CalHFA VA loan – 3% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is less

Most borrowers who qualify for this program can receive a maximum benefit of $11,000. However, school employees and fire department employees are not subject to the $11,000 cap.

California Mortgage Taxes

California may have higher state income taxes, but property tax rates are reasonable with the average effective property tax rate for owner-occupied homes in California being 0.70%, according to the Tax Foundation. California also has rules restricting how much the assessed value of your home can increase, to only 2% annually.

You may be able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal and state income taxes in California. But this applies to you only if you itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. There are also other restrictions to consider. Federal law limits the mortgage interest deduction to loans of up to $750,000 and for California the loan limit for mortgage interest deductions is $1,000,000. 

California Mortgage Refinancing

Now’s an ideal time to refinance because refinance rates are exceptionally low. And refinancing a mortgage in California works the same as in other states, so the considerations are the same.

Every lender will quote you with a different interest rate and charge varying fees. Getting offers from a few different lenders will allow you to compare and ensure you’re getting the best deal you can qualify for. A general rule of thumb is to refinance your mortgage when you can reduce the interest rate by 1% or more. But the decision is more complex because you need to pay attention to other factors, such as the length of your loan, which impacts your rate and your monthly payment. And a low refinance rate may not be a good deal if you are paying excessive upfront fees.

Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County

In order for a home loan to be classified as “conforming” it needs to meet the guidelines set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Housing in certain areas of California is much more expensive than the national average. In these counties, the conforming loan limits are higher to account for the increased home prices.

Here are the conforming loan limits for each California county as outlined by the FHFA:


ALAMEDA $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
ALPINE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
AMADOR $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
BUTTE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
CALAVERAS $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
COLUSA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
CONTRA COSTA $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
DEL NORTE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
EL DORADO $598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
FRESNO $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
GLENN $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
HUMBOLDT $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
IMPERIAL $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
INYO $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
KERN $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
KINGS $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
LAKE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
LASSEN $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
LOS ANGELES $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
MADERA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MARIN $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
MARIPOSA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MENDOCINO $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MERCED $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MODOC $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MONO $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
MONTEREY $739,450$946,650$1,144,250$1,422,050
NAPA $816,500$1,045,250$1,263,500$1,570,200
NEVADA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
ORANGE $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
PLACER $598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
PLUMAS $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
RIVERSIDE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SACRAMENTO $598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
SAN BENITO $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SAN BERNARDINO $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SAN DIEGO $753,250$964,300$1,165,600$1,448,600
SAN FRANCISCO $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SAN JOAQUIN $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SAN LUIS OBISPO $701,500$898,050$1,085,550$1,349,050
SAN MATEO $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SANTA BARBARA $660,100$845,050$1,021,450$1,269,450
SANTA CLARA $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SANTA CRUZ $822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SHASTA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SIERRA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SISKIYOU $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SOLANO $550,850$705,200$852,400$1,059,350
SONOMA $707,250$905,400$1,094,450$1,360,100
STANISLAUS $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
SUTTER $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
TEHAMA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
TRINITY $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
TULARE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
TUOLUMNE $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500
VENTURA $739,450$946,650$1,144,250$1,422,050
YOLO $598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
YUBA $548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500

Other types of mortgages follow different sets of rules. For loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the maximum loan size can be different than what it is for conforming loans.

Here are the FHA loan limits for each county in California:


CONTRA COSTA$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
DEL NORTE$356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400
EL DORADO$598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
LOS ANGELES$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SAN BENITO$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SAN BERNARDINO$477,250$610,950$738,500$917,800
SAN DIEGO$753,250$964,300$1,165,600$1,448,600
SAN FRANCISCO$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SAN JOAQUIN$483,000$618,300$747,400$928,850
SAN LUIS OBISPO$701,500$898,050$1,085,550$1,349,050
SAN MATEO$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SANTA BARBARA$660,100$845,050$1,021,450$1,269,450
SANTA CLARA$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SANTA CRUZ$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750
SUTTER $373,750$478,450$578,350$718,750
TEHAMA $356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400
TRINITY $356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400
TULARE $356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400
TUOLUMNE $356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400
VENTURA $739,450$946,650$1,144,250$1,422,050
YOLO $598,000$765,550$925,350$1,150,000
YUBA $373,750$478,450$578,350$718,750