Some key mortgage rates saw an increase over the last seven days. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates crept higher. We also saw an upward trend in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.
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 last year, 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
For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 7.74%, which is a growth of 10 basis points from seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but typically a higher interest rate. 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 6.90%, which is an increase of 4 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll definitely have a larger monthly payment with a 15-year fixed mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, even if the interest rate and loan amount are the same. 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 6.65%, an uptick of 4 basis points compared to a week ago. With an ARM mortgage, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But you could end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate shifts with the market rate. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good option. Otherwise, changes in the market mean your interest rate might 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 information collected by Bankrate to track changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.76%||7.65%||+0.11|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||7.95%||7.83%||+0.12|
Rates as of Oct. 2, 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. When researching home mortgage rates, consider your goals and current finances.
A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a higher down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate.
Besides the mortgage rate, factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also affect the cost of your home. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders — for example, credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage that’s the right fit for you.
What is a good loan term?
One important factor to consider 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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are fixed for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (most frequently five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market interest rate.
When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about the length of time you plan to live in your house. If you plan on living long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. However, you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your home for a couple years. The best loan term is entirely dependent on an individual’s situation and goals, so be sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.