A couple of principal mortgage rates crept higher over the last seven days. The average 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both inched up. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also floated higher.
In March 2022, the Federal Reserve 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 average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.77%, which is an increase of 2 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a smaller monthly payment than a 15-year one — but typically a higher interest rate. Although you’ll pay more interest over time — you’re paying off your loan over a longer timeframe — if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.91%, which is an increase of 6 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 larger monthly payment. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you can afford the monthly payments. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate, and you’ll pay less interest in total because you’re paying off your mortgage much quicker.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 6.64%, a climb of 10 basis points compared to last week. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. However, changes in the market could cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an ARM could make sense for you. But if that’s not the case, you might be on the hook for a much higher interest rate if the market rates shift.
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 changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Today’s mortgage interest rates
|Loan term||Today’s Rate||Last week||Change|
|30-year mortgage rate||7.77%||7.75%||+0.02|
|15-year fixed rate||6.91%||6.85%||+0.06|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.78%||7.79%||-0.01|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||7.97%||7.86%||+0.11|
Rates as of Sept. 29, 2023.
How to find personalized mortgage rates
When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can reach out to a local mortgage broker or search online. In order to find the best home mortgage, you’ll need to consider your goals and overall financial situation.
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 higher 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 other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure you speak with several different lenders — such as local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.
How does the loan term affect my mortgage?
One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common mortgage 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. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for the life 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 (usually five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market interest rate.
One important factor to think about when choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on staying in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on living in a home for quite some time. While adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. If you don’t plan to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, though, an adjustable-rate mortgage may give you a better deal. The best loan term is entirely dependent on an individual’s situation and goals, so make sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.