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California Mortgage and Refinance Rates

On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage APR is 7.20%. The national average 30-year fixed refinance APR is 7.21%, according ... to Bankrate's latest survey of the nation's largest mortgage lenders.

Current mortgage interest rates in California

As of Wednesday, February 28, 2024, current interest rates in California are 6.84% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.08% for a 15-year fixed mortgage.

Elevated mortgage rates continue to make housing affordability a challenge for California homebuyers, and refinances far less desirable for homeowners. While mortgage rates are difficult to predict, many economists expect them to remain well above their historical lows for the foreseeable future.

California mortgage rate trends

Mortgage rates hit record lows in 2021, but they have risen sharply since then. As of September 2023, mortgage rates nationally and in California were at their highest levels since 2000, according to Bankrate’s national survey of lenders.

National mortgage rates by loan type

Product Interest Rate APR
30-Year Fixed Rate 7.15% 7.20%
15-Year Fixed Rate 6.71% 6.78%
5-1 ARM 6.48% 7.82%
30-Year Fixed Rate FHA 6.67% 6.72%
30-Year Fixed Rate VA 6.79% 6.84%
30-Year Fixed Rate Jumbo 7.13% 7.18%

Rates as of Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 6:30 AM

 

 

Mortgage statistics for California

With beaches, mountains and a vibrant economy, California is home to some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. Affordability is a real challenge here, but over the decades, California homeowners have been rewarded with outsized appreciation. Here are some statistics about mortgages and the housing market in The Golden State:

  • Average home value (as of Sept. 2023): $744,280 (Zillow)
  • Homeownership rate (as of Dec. 2022): 55.3% (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Average mortgage loan size in 2022: $612,010 (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act)

Mortgage options in California

There are plenty of mortgage options in California. The most common types of loans include:

  • California conventional mortgages: Rates and requirements will vary depending on the area you want to live in and your financial situation. You can compare mortgage rates to find the option that’s right for you.
  • CalHFA: The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) offers state residents access to mortgages, as well as smaller loans designed to help with down payment or closing costs. To get started, borrowers can contact a CalHFA-approved lender or preferred loan officer.
  • California FHA loans: Home loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are offered throughout the U.S. While the FHA doesn’t offer loans directly, you can find one through an FHA-approved lender in California. They are offered to first-time homebuyers, defined as those that have not purchased a home in the past two years, as well as repeat buyers. FHA loans are generally designed for low- to moderate-income borrowers with lower credit scores.
  • California VA loans: Guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are offered to eligible veterans and active-duty service members. While the VA doesn’t offer loans directly, you can find one through a VA-approved lender in California. They require no down payment and typically have lower interest rates than conventional mortgages.

First-time homebuyer programs in California

Buying a house in California is a pricey proposition, but first-time homebuyers might qualify for grants or other forms of help. Learn more about California first-time homebuyer programs:

  • CalHFA down payment assistance programs: Low- to moderate-income borrowers can apply for small down payment and closing costs assistance loans through CalHFA. One option is the MyHome Assistance program, which allows you to borrow a deferred loan worth up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price or appraised value to help you cover closing costs and the down payment.
  • CalHFA and CalPLUS Conventional Loan Programs: With the CalHFA Conventional Loan Program, you can get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on the conventional market. This means you’ll have access to competitively low interest rates, but you’ll also need to meet qualification requirements. The CalPLUS Conventional Loan Program is similar, but with a slightly higher interest rate that can be combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program to help pay closing costs.

How to find the best mortgage rate in California for you

  • Step 1: Strengthen your credit score - Long before you start looking for a mortgage lender or applying for a loan, give your finances a checkup, and improve your credit score if needed.
  • Step 2: Determine your budget - To find the right mortgage, you’ll need a good handle on how much house you can afford.
  • Step 3: Know your mortgage options - There are a few different types of mortgages.
  • Step 4: Compare rates and terms from several lenders - Rate-shop with at least three different banks or mortgage companies.
  • Step 5: Get preapproved for a mortgage - Getting a mortgage preapproval is the only way to get accurate loan pricing for your specific situation.

Learn more about how to get a mortgage.

Lender compare

Compare mortgage lenders side by side

Mortgage rates and fees can vary widely across lenders. To help you find the right one for your needs, use this tool to compare lenders based on a variety of factors. Bankrate has reviewed and partners with these lenders, and the two lenders shown first have the highest combined Bankrate Score and customer ratings. You can use the drop downs to explore beyond these lenders and find the best option for you.

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Garden State Home Loans

NMLS: 473163

State License: MB-473163

3.6

Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
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Rating: 4.98 stars out of 5

5.0

562reviews

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Homefinity

NMLS: 2289

State License: 4965

4.5

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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Rating: 4.94 stars out of 5

4.9

1059reviews

Additional California mortgage resources