A few major mortgage rates declined today. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages dropped. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, rose.
Mortgage rates have been increasing consistently since the start of 2022, following in the wake of a series of interest hikes by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates are dynamic and unpredictable — at least on a daily or weekly basis — and they respond to a wide variety of economic factors. But the Fed’s actions, designed to mitigate the high rate of inflation, are having an unmistakeable impact on mortgage rates.
If you’re looking to buy a home, trying to time the market may not play to your favor. If inflation continues to increase and rates continue to climb, it will likely translate to higher interest rates — and steeper monthly mortgage payments. As such, you may have better luck locking in a lower mortgage interest rate sooner rather than later. No matter when you decide to shop for a home, it’s always a good idea to seek out multiple lenders to compare rates and fees to find the best mortgage for your specific situation.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 7.14%, which is a decline of 10 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed mortgage will usually have a greater interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. 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 6.39%, which is a decrease of 5 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll definitely have a bigger 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. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you can afford the monthly payments. You’ll usually 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 ARM has an average rate of 5.52%, a rise of 4 basis points compared to a week ago. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, 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. Because of this, an ARM could be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. 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
Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been rising steadily since. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of five times this year, but inflation still remains high. As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.
Though the Fed does not directly set mortgage rates, the central bank’s policy actions influence how much you pay to finance your home loan. If you’re looking to buy a house in 2022, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates, and mortgage rates could increase as the year goes on. Whether rates follow their upward projection or begin to level out hinges on if inflation actually slows.
We use rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.12%||7.24%||-0.12|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||7.14%||7.24%||-0.10|
Rates as of Oct. 31, 2022.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. When shopping around for home mortgage rates, consider your goals and current finances.
Specific interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a good credit score, a higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you 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. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders — including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage that’s best for you.
How does the loan term impact my mortgage?
When picking a mortgage, remember to consider 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. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate changes annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to take into consideration when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on staying in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit if you plan on staying in a home for a while. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront. However you might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your house for a few years. The best loan term is entirely dependent on your specific situation and goals, so be sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.