Several key mortgage rates receded today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both trended down. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, ticked up.
Today’s mortgage interest rates
Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 2.97% 3.06% -0.09
15-year mortgage 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
Rates accurate as of November 13, 2020.
Mortgage rates are constantly changing, but they remain low by historical standards. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could make sense to lock if you see a rate you like. Just be sure to shop around.
Compare mortgage interest rates from lenders nationally.
The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 2.97 percent, a decrease of 9 basis points from a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.02 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $419.99 for every $100,000 you borrow. That represents a decline of $4.86 over what it would have been last week.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage rate calculator to figure out your monthly payments and see what the effects of making extra payments would be. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year mortgage rates
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.48 percent, down 14 basis points over the last seven days.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $666 per $100,000 borrowed. That may squeeze your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.
The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgageis 3.04 percent, up 1 basis point over the last 7 days.
These loan types are best for people who expect to refinance or sell before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be much higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.
Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.04 percent would cost about $424 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could ratchet higher by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.
Where rates are headed
To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our mortgage interest rates forecast.
Want to see where rates are right now? Lenders nationwide respond to our weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a wide variety of purchase loans:
Should you lock a mortgage rate?
A rate lock guarantees your mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Lenders often offer 30-day rate locks for a nominal fee or roll the price of the lock into your loan. Some mortgage lenders will lock rates for longer periods of time, sometimes for more than 60 days, but those locks can be pricey. In today’s volatile market, some lenders will lock an interest rate for only two weeks to avoid unnecessary risk.
The benefit of a rate lock is that if interest rates rise, you’re locked into the guaranteed rate. You may be able to find a lender that offers a floating rate lock. A floating rate lock lets you get a lower rate if interest rates decline before closing your loan. It could be worth the cost in a declining rate environment. Because there is no guarantee of where mortgage rates will head in the future, it may be smart to lock in a low rate instead of holding out on rates for potentially decline further.
It’s important to keep in mind: During the pandemic, all aspects of real estate and mortgage closings are taking much longer than usual. Expect the closing on a new mortgage to take at least 60 days, with refinancing taking at least a month.
Factors that influence mortgage rates
Mortgage rates are influenced by a range of economic factors, from inflation to unemployment numbers. Typically, higher inflation means higher interest rates and vice versa. As inflation rises, the dollar loses value, which in turn drives off investors for mortgage-backed securities, causing the prices to fall and yields to climb. When yields climb, rates get more expensive for borrowers.
A strong economy usually means more people buying homes, which drives demand for mortgages. This increased demand can push rates higher. The opposite is also true; less demand can trigger a drop in rates.
Current mortgage rate landscape
Mortgage rates have been volatile because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, though, rates have been low. For a while, some lenders were increasing rates because they were struggling to deal with the demand. In general, however, rates are consistently below 4 percent and even dipping into the mid to low 3s. This is an especially good time for people with good to excellent credit to lock in a low rate for a purchase loan. However, lenders are also raising credit standards for borrowers and demanding higher down payments as they try to dampen their risks.
Are mortgage rates rising or falling?
Mortgage rates have fallen to record lows in recent months. Where they’ll go from here is nearly impossible to predict. The direction of rates depends largely on the direction of the economy. It also depends on how well the coronavirus pandemic is contained. Most experts predict that if the economy continues to bounce back and drugmakers develop a successful vaccine, mortgage rates will increase. On the other hand, if the economy struggles because of coronavirus-related setbacks, mortgage rates will remain at record lows or fall even further.
How do mortgage rates affect homebuyers?
In a housing boom, low mortgage rates can present pros and cons for borrowers. One pro: Low rates give borrowers more buying power. A $300,000 loan at 4 percent equates to a monthly payment of $1,432. If rates fall to 3 percent, the payment plunges to $1,265.
However, that sort of decline also can help push up home prices — and values indeed have jumped in recent months.
Here’s one way to see the offsetting effects of soaring home prices and plunging mortgage rates. Say you decided not to buy a $300,000 home a year ago, when the 30-year mortgage rate was at about 3.75 percent. Your down payment at 20 percent would have been $60,000, and your monthly payment would have been $1,111.
Today, the price of the same home has jumped to $335,000, but you can land a 30-year loan at 3 percent. As a result, your monthly payment rises only slightly, to $1,130. However, you’ll have to come up with an extra $7,000 to make a 20 percent down payment.
Is now a good time to buy a house?
The answer to “is now a good time to buy a house?” is never straightforward, regardless of the housing and mortgage rate environment. It always depends. Do you have a steady income, good credit and money saved for a down payment and repairs? If the answer to all of those is yes, you’re ready to buy.
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.
To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s Rate Averages.”
Read about other loan terms:
Current mortgage refinance rates
Current 30-year interest rates
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Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.