Following the Federal Reserve’s September meeting, a few major mortgage rates inched higher. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both saw an increase. Meanwhile, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages fell a bit.
In March 2022, the Fed stepped in to combat surging inflation by hiking its key interest rate. Mortgage rates, which are not set by the central bank but are indirectly influenced by rate hikes, increased alongside.
After hiking interest rates 11 times since March 2022, the Federal Reserve opted to skip another increase during its September meeting. However, the Fed hasn’t ruled out the possibility of additional increases if inflation doesn’t continue to moderate.
About these rates: Like CNET, Bankrate is owned by Red Ventures. This tool features partner rates from lenders that you can use when comparing multiple mortgage rates.
While inflation has dropped from its record highs, it’s still above target. That means the Fed could continue to raise rates as it sees fit to increase the cost of borrowing and slow down the economy.
Progress on inflation and other key economic indicators may ease some of the upward pressure on mortgage rates. But, if future inflation data comes in hotter than expected and the Fed chooses to hike rates further, mortgage rates could. keep going up in 2023.
Fluctuations in the mortgage and housing markets are always going to happen. That’s why experts say it’s a good idea for homebuyers to focus on what they can control: getting the best rate for their financial situation.
To increase your odds of qualifying for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score and save for a down payment. Also, be sure to look at the annual percentage rate, or APR, which reflects the mortgage interest rate plus other borrowing charges. By looking at the total cost of borrowing from multiple lenders, you can make a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 7.59%, which is an increase of 10 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will typically have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. You won’t be able to pay off your house as quickly and you’ll pay more interest over time, but a 30-year fixed mortgage is a good option if you’re looking to minimize your monthly payment.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.82%, which is an increase of 3 basis points compared to a week ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a bigger monthly payment. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include usually being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 6.51%, a fall of 4 basis points compared to a week ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But you may end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. Because of this, an adjustable-rate mortgage could be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. Otherwise, shifts in the market mean your interest rate may be significantly higher once the rate adjusts.
Mortgage rate trends
Mortgage rates were historically low throughout most of 2020 and 2021 but increased steadily throughout 2022 as the Federal Reserve began aggressively hiking interest rates. The top question is what the rest of 2023 has in store for prospective homebuyers.
“Today’s high mortgage rates are not the only challenge we have in the current market,” said Erin Sykes, chief economist at Nest Seekers International. “The combination of high interest rates plus sustained property prices and persistent inflation are making day-to-day life more expensive.”
While experts say mortgage rates are unlikely to return to the rock-bottom levels in the early pandemic, there’s a good chance we could see mortgage rates dip before the end of the year.
In order for that to happen, though, Sykes says we need to see inflation pull back on a consistent basis for at least four to six readings. If the federal funds rate remains steady, that should also help stabilize mortgage rates going into 2024.
Fannie Mae calls for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to close out the year at 7.1%.
We use rates collected by Bankrate to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.62%||7.50%||+0.12|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||7.78%||7.68%||+0.10|
Rates as of Sept. 21, 2023.
How to find the best mortgage rates
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to consider your current finances and your goals when looking for a mortgage.
A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect your mortgage interest rate. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate.
The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home. Be sure to also consider additional factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Be sure to comparison shop with multiple lenders — including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage that’s right for you.
What is a good loan term?
When picking a mortgage, it’s important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are set for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only set for a certain amount of time (commonly five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market interest rate.
When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to live in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on living in a home for quite some time. While adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. However, you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only have plans to keep your home for a couple years. There is no best loan term as a rule of thumb; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Be sure to do your research and think about what’s most important to you when choosing a mortgage.