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Mortgage rates had no specific trajectory today. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was static, however 15-year fixed-rate mortgages saw average rates make gains. We also saw a shrinking in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.
Mortgage interest rates change constantly. However, for months they’ve hovered near historic lows. If you’re looking for a mortgage, now might be an excellent time to secure a fixed rate. Just keep in mind you still need to compare offers from different lenders.
30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 2.87%, which is the same from seven days ago.
You can use NextAdvisor’s mortgage calculator to get an idea of what your monthly payments will be and understand how adding extra payments will impact your loan. The mortgage calculator can also show you how much interest you’ll owe over the life of the loan
15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages
The median rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.35%, which is an increase of 1 basis point from seven days ago.
A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment is, undeniably, a much bigger monthly payment than what you’d get with a 30-year mortgage offering the same interest rate. However, 15-year loans have some considerable benefits: You’ll pay thousands less in interest and pay off your loan much faster.
5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 2.95%, a decrease of 4 basis points from seven days ago.
An adjustable-rate mortgage is ideal for households that will refinance or sell before the rate changes. If that’s not the case, their interest rates could end up being remarkably 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, your payment could end up being hundreds of dollars higher after a rate adjustment, depending on the terms of your loan.
Where Rates Are Moving
To see where mortgage rates are moving we rely on information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as NextAdvisor. This table has current average rates based on information provide to Bankrate by lenders from across the country:
|Loan type||Interest rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed rate||2.87%||2.87%||N/C|
|15-year fixed rate||2.35%||2.34%||-0.01|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.92%||2.89%||+0.03|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||2.94%||2.90%||+0.04|
Updated on January 11, 2021.
Is a Rate Lock Important?
When you lock a rate it freezes the interest rate for a set amount of time. It’s not unheard of for lenders to offer rate locks for a fee, which could be included in the price of the loan. In general, the longer the interest rate lock period, the more pricey it will be. You may even run into a lender that will lock a rate for a shorter period of time so it can minimize the risk of a big jump in rates.
If mortgage rates rise, the rate lock kicks in to protect you. You may even come across what is known as a floating-rate lock. This enables you to take advantage of lower rates if they drop before closing. If interest rates are declining, a floating-rate lock could be a great option to consider. Mortgage rates can be extremely unpredictable, so no one knows how they will change from day-to-day. That’s why it’s usually the right move to lock in a low rate, rather than betting on mortgage rates taking a tumble.
It’s important to know that during the pandemic, mortgage professionals have been extremely busy and it’s taking longer to close on a home. In some cases, it can take up to 60 days to close a mortgage loan — and you should also expect a refinance to take longer than normal.
What Influences Mortgage Rates?
A number of factors can influence mortgage rates, including everything from inflation to unemployment. In general, inflation leads to higher interest rates and vice versa. The dollar loses value with increased inflation, and this causes mortgage-backed securities to become less enticing for investors, which leads to falling prices and higher yields. And if yields increase, interest rates become more expensive for borrowers.
A strong economy has historically increased demand for homes. When more homes are sold, the demand for mortgages also increases, which can cause rates to go up. But the flip side is also true: A drop in demand for mortgages could signal a coming downturn in mortgage rates.
Where Are Mortgage Rates Going?
In recent months, mortgage rates fell to new all-time lows. But what the future holds isn’t easy to predict. Where rates go is largely dependent on what happens with the economy. In addition, how well the coronavirus pandemic is contained will also play a role. A vaccine could help boost the economy and lead to an increase in mortgage rates. However, if the economic recovery continues to be slow and the pandemic drags on, it’s likely we’ll see low rates for the foreseeable future.
Current Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates were a bit unstable thanks to the pandemic and shutdown, but overall they have been remarkably low. In fact, mortgage rates set a record low, dipping under 3% for the first time. The problem for some people is you need excellent credit to qualify for these exceptionally-low rates. Not only that, but mortgage lenders are becoming more risk averse and requiring more sizable down payments while also closely scrutinizing borrowers’ employment.
Mortgage Rates’ Impact on Borrowers
The rock-bottom mortgage rates we’ve seen have distinct advantages and disadvantages for homebuyers. For starters, buyers have the ability to borrow larger amounts now than when rates were higher. For example, a 30-year, $350,000 loan with a 4% interest rate would have a monthly mortgage and interest payment of $1,670. A payment on the exact same loan would drop to $1,475 if the mortgage rate was reduced to 3%.
One drawback to slumping mortgage rates is that buyers may find increased competition for that dream home, which can drive home prices up.
Let’s say you were going to purchase a home for $350,000 with a 4% mortgage rate. A 20% down payment would cost you $70,000, and with a 30-year loan term the monthly payment would be $1,336.
Suppose the price of the same property jumps to $380,000, while the mortgage rate drops to 3%. If you can still manage a down payment of 20% the monthly payment on a 30-year loan would be $1,451, an increase of only $115 a month. But the down payment goes up by another $6,000, and some of your closing costs are also likely to rise.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?
There’s no “right time” to buy a house — the decision is a highly personal one. Keep in mind, when you purchase a home the monthly payment won’t be your only cost. You’ll also need enough money saved up for upfront closing costs and a down payment. And you’ll get a better deal if you have a higher credit score and lower debt-to-income ratio.
However, the pandemic has exacerbated a shortage of homes, leading to bidding wars and rising prices. Those trends mean it can be a frustrating market for buyers.
How We Got These Rates
The rates we have included are averages provided by Bankrate.com Site Averages and are calculated after the close of the previous business day. The lenders that the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables include are not the same every day.
National lenders provide this mortgage rate information to Bankrate.com. It is possible the mortgage rates we reference has changed since this was published.