Several benchmark mortgage rates tapered off today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both receded. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, cruised higher.
Average mortgage interest rates
Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed 2.96% 3.06% -0.10
15-year fixed 2.48% 2.62% -0.14
30-year fixed jumbo 2.96% 3.01% -0.05
30-year fixed refinance 3.06% 3.07% -0.01
Rates as of November 16, 2020.
Mortgage rates change daily, but they remain much lower overall than they were before the Great Recession. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could make sense to go ahead and lock if you see a rate you like. Just don’t do so without shopping around first.
Compare mortgage rates in your area now.
The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.96 percent, a decrease of 10 basis points since the same time last week. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.04 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $419.45 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s a decline of $5.40 from last week.
You can use Bankrate’s home loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you determinehow much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.48 percent, down 14 basis points since the same time last week.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $666 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little more difficult to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.
The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.04 percent, up 1 basis point over the last 7 days.
These types of loans are best for those who expect to sell or refinance 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 climb hundreds of dollars higher 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 rate predictions for this week.
Want to see where rates are currently? 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 lenders will lock rates for longer periods, sometimes for more than 60 days, but those locks can be costly. In today’s volatile market, some lenders will lock an interest rate for only two weeks because they don’t want to take on unnecessary risk.
With a rate lock, if interest rates rise, you’re locked into the guaranteed rate. Some lenders have a floating-rate lock option, which allows you to get a lower rate if interest rates fall before you close your loan. In a falling rate environment, a float-down lock could be worth the cost. Because mortgage rates are not predictable, there’s no guarantee that rates will stay where they are from week to week or even day to day. So, if you can lock in a low rate, then you should do so rather than gamble on interest rates falling even lower.
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.
Why mortgage rates change
A number of economic factors influence mortgage rates. Among them are inflation and unemployment. Higher inflation typically leads to higher mortgage rates. The opposite is also true; when inflation is low, mortgage rates typically are as well. As inflation increases, the dollar loses value. That drives investors away from mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which causes the prices to decrease and yields to increase. When yields move higher, rates become more expensive for borrowers.
Generally speaking, when the economy is strong, more people buy homes. That drives demand for mortgages. Increased demand for mortgages can cause rates to increase. The opposite is also true; less demand can lead to lower rates.
Mortgage rate snapshot
The current mortgage rate environment has been unstable because of the coronavirus pandemic, but generally 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. The general consensus: If the economy continues to bounce back, and if drugmakers are successful in developing a vaccine, rates will rise. However, if the economy suffers pandemic-related setbacks, rates will stay low or even fall 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.
One downside, however, is that a significant decline in mortgage rates can help push up home prices. Indeed, home values have increased in recent months.
Here’s an example to show how soaring home prices and plunging mortgage rates can have offsetting effects. Let’s say you chose not to buy a $300,000 home a year ago, when the 30-year mortgage rate was around 3.75 percent. Your 20 percent down payment would’ve been $60,000 and your monthly payment would’ve been $1,111.
The price of the same house has jumped to $335,000 today. However, you can get a 30-year mortgage 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?
There’s never a straightforward answer to this question. It always depends. Do you have a reliable income, a good credit score and money saved for a down payment and repairs? If you can answer all of those questions affirmatively, you’re ready to buy.
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.
To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Bankrate’s Rate Averages Methodology.”
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Mortgage refinance rates today
30-Year interest rates
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PRODUCT PURCHASE RATES REFINANCE RATES
The index above links out to loan-specific pages to help you learn more about rates by product type.
30-Year Loan 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 30-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
20-Year Loan 20-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 20-Year Refinance Interest Rates
15-Year Loan 15 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 15-Year Refi Interest Rates
10-Year Loan Current 10 Year Mortgage Rates 10-Year Refi Interest Rates
FHA Loan FHA Mortgage Interest Rates FHA Mortgage Refi Rates
VA Loan Current VA Mortgage Rates VA Refi Interest Rates
ARM Loan Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rates ARM Refi Mortage Rates
Jumbo Loan Jumbo Loan Interest Rates Jumbo Mortgage Refinance Rates
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.