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Today, a handful of principal mortgage rates slid downward. Both 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates moved down. The most common type of variable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, advanced.
Interest rates for mortgages change constantly. Yet rates are an incredible deal compared to almost any other time in history. If you’re looking for a mortgage, now it can be a good time to get a guaranteed low rate for the life of the loan. Yet shopping around is still an important step in the process.
Today’s 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages
The median interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 2.97%, which is a decrease of 9 basis points from last week.
You can use NextAdvisor’s home loan calculator to work out what your monthly payments would be and see how much you’ll save if you make extra payments. 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 2.48%, which is a decrease of 14 basis points from the same time last week.
A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment will be much bigger. So finding room in your budget for a 30-year loan’s monthly payment would be more simple. 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 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.04%, an increase of 1 basis point compared to a week ago.
An adjustable-rate mortgage is ideal for individuals 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, 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 headed 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 nationwide:
|Loan type||Interest rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed rate||2.97%||3.06%||-0.09|
|15-year fixed rate||2.48%||2.62%||-0.14|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||3.00%||2.98%||+0.02|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.10%||3.07%||+0.03|
Updated on November 13, 2020.
When Should I Lock my Rate?
When you lock a rate it freezes the interest rate for a set amount of time. If your lender offers a rate lock, be sure to ask about fees. There may be a fee to lock your rate, but it’s typically not very large or it can be added into the cost of your loan. In general, the longer the interest rate lock period, the more expensive it will be. You may even run into a lender that will lock a rate for a shorter period of time because it wants to avoid the risk of a big jump in rates.
If mortgage rates rise, a rate lock will guarantee your original rate. 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.
Don’t forget 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.
Why do Mortgage Rates Fluctuate?
There isn’t a single factor that causes mortgage rates to move, but rather there are many. Chief among them are things like inflation and even the unemployment rate. When you see inflation increasing that usually means mortgage rates are about to climb higher. On the other hand, lower inflation typically accompanies lower mortgage rates. With higher inflation, the dollar becomes less valuable. This scenario pushes buyers away from mortgage-backed securities, which leads to price decreases and the need for increasing yields. And higher yields require borrowers to pay higher interest rates.
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. The economy will play a big factor, and so will how well the coronavirus can be contained. A vaccine could help boost the economy and lead to an increase in mortgage rates. Conversely, mortgage rates are likely to stay low if the coronavirus continues to cause economic hardship.
Current Mortgage Rate Bearings
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
When the real estate market is hot, extremely cheap mortgage rates can be good and bad in different ways for homebuyers. One good thing is that low-cost interest rates give borrowers the capacity to afford a home they might not have been able to in the past. 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 take a look at how lower mortgage rates and rising prices can impact a homebuyer. A $350,000 home purchase with a 4% interest rate would have a monthly payment of $1,336 with a 30-year loan. At 20% down that’s a $70,000 down payment.
If the price jumps to $380,000 with a reduced rate of 3% the numbers change a bit. A monthly mortgage and interest payment on a 30-year loan climbs to $1,451. But, your down payment would cost you $6,000 more if you wanted to keep the same 20% down.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?
Whether or not you buy a home is a highly personal choice. Your financial situation will play a big role in your decision. Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a secure source of income, enough saved for closing costs, and a high credit score.
However, the pandemic has led to an even greater shortage of homes. That’s caused a bidding war 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.