Several key mortgage rates decreased 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, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, also receded.
Current average mortgage interest rates
Loan type Interest rate A week ago Change
30-year fixed rate 2.92% 2.96% -0.04
15-year fixed rate 2.41% 2.47% -0.06
30-year fixed jumbo rate 2.97% 2.94% +0.03
30-year fixed refinance rate 3.05% 3.03% +0.02
Rates last updated on November 26, 2020. These rates are averages based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates on-site may vary.
Mortgage rates are constantly changing, but, overall, they are very low by historical standards. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could be a great time to lock in a rate. Just make sure you’ve looked around for the best rate first.
Compare mortgage rates in your area now.
The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.92 percent, down 4 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 3.01 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $417.30 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared with last week, that’s $2.15 lower.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage rate calculator to figure out your monthly payments and find out how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year fixed mortgages
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.41 percent, down 6 basis points from a week ago.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $663 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 come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more rapidly.
The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgageis 3.02 percent, sliding 1 basis point over the last 7 days.
These types of loans are best for people 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 3.02 percent would cost about $423 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase 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 at this moment? Lenders nationwide respond to Bankrate.com’s 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:
Lock your mortgage rate now or wait?
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 of time, even exceeding 60 days, but those locks can be expensive. 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. 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.
What causes mortgage rates to move
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.
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.
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. Much depends on the direction of the economy, and how well public health officials can contain the coronavirus pandemic. 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.
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.
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 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 “Understanding Bankrate’s average rates.”
Current mortgage refinance rates
30 year mortgage rates today
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Compare mortgage rates for various loan types
LOAN TYPE PURCHASE RATES REFINANCE RATES
The table above links out to loan-specific pages to help our readers learn more about rates by mortgage type.
30-Year Loan Today’s 30-Year Mortgage Rates Current 30 Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Loan 20-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 20-Year Refinance Rates
15-Year Loan Current 15 Year Mortgage Rates 15-Year Mortgage Refinance Rates
10-Year Loan 10-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Current 10-Year Refinance Rates
FHA Loan Current FHA Mortgage Rates FHA Refinance Rates
VA Loan Current VA Mortgage Rates VA Refi Interest Rates
ARM Loan ARM Loan Rates ARM Refinance Rates
Jumbo Loan Current Jumbo Mortgage Rates Jumbo Refi Interest 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.