Mortgage rates diverged today. The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed dropped. On the variable-mortgage side, the average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages climbed.
Rates for mortgages change daily, but they have remained in a historically low range for quite some time. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could make sense to lock if you see a rate you like. Just don’t do so without shopping around first.
30-year fixed mortgages
The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.52 percent, unchanged since the same time last week. Last month on the 22nd, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.55 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $450.16 for every $100,000 you borrow.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage loan calculator to figure out your monthly payments and see how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year fixed mortgages
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.87 percent, down 7 basis points from a week ago.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $684 per $100,000 borrowed. That may put more pressure on your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more quickly.
The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgageis 3.32 percent, rising 1 basis point from a week ago.
These types of loans are best for people who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be much higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.
Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.32 percent would cost about $439 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could climb hundreds of dollars higher afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.
Where rates are headed
To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our rate trends page.
Want to see where rates are at this moment? Lenders across the nation respond to our weekday mortgage rates survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a wide variety of purchase loans:
|Loan term||Today’s Rate||Last week||Change|
|30-year mortgage rate||3.52%||3.52%||N/C|
|15-year mortgage rate||2.87%||2.94%||-0.07|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||3.64%||3.62%||+0.02|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||3.59%||3.58%||+0.01|
Rates accurate as of May 22, 2020.
When to lock your mortgage rate
A rate lock guarantees your interest rate for a specified period of time. Lenders often offer 30-day rate locks for a nominal fee or roll the price of the lock into your loan. Some lenders will lock rates for longer periods, sometimes for more than 60 days, but those locks can be pricey. In today’s volatile market, some lenders will lock an interest rate for only two weeks because they don’t want to take on unnecessary risk.
The benefit of a rate lock is that if interest rates rise, you’re locked into the guaranteed rate. Some lenders have a floating-rate lock option, which allows you to get a lower rate if interest rates fall before you close your loan. In a falling rate environment, a float-down lock could be worth the cost. Because mortgage rates are not predictable, there’s no guarantee that rates will stay where they are from week to week or even day to day. So, if you can lock in a low rate, then you should do so rather than gamble on interest rates falling even lower.
It’s important to keep in mind: During the pandemic, all aspects of real estate and mortgage closings are taking much longer than usual. Expect the closing on a new mortgage to take at least 60 days, and expect refinancing to take at least a month..
What causes mortgage rates to move
Mortgage rates are influenced by a range of economic factors, from inflation to unemployment numbers. Typically, higher inflation means higher interest rates and vice versa. As inflation rises, the dollar loses value, which in turn drives off investors for mortgage-backed securities, causing the prices to fall and yields to climb. When yields climb, rates get more expensive for borrowers.
Generally speaking, when the economy is strong, more people buy homes. That drives demand for mortgages. Increased demand for mortgages can cause rates to increase. The opposite is also true; less demand can lead to lower rates.
Current mortgage rate landscape
Mortgage rates have been volatile because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, though, rates have been low. For a while, some lenders were increasing rates because they were struggling to deal with the demand. In general, however, rates are consistently below 4 percent and even dipping into the mid to low 3s. This is an especially good time for people with good to excellent credit to lock in a low rate for a purchase loan. However, lenders are also raising credit standards for borrowers and demanding higher down payments as they try to dampen their risks.
Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.
To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Bankrate’s Rate Averages Methodology.”
Searching for the right lender? Check out Bankrate’s lender reviews here.
|Product||Purchase Rates||Refinance Rates|
|The index above links out to loan-specific pages to help you learn more about rates by mortgage type.|
|30-Year Loan||Current 30 Year Mortgage Rates||Current 30 Year Refinance Rates|
|20-Year Loan||Current 20 Year Mortgage Rates||20-Year Refinance Interest Rates|
|15-Year Loan||Today’s 15-Year Mortgage Rates||15-Year Refinance Rates|
|10-Year Loan||Current 10 Year Mortgage Rates||Current 10-Year Refinance Rates|
|FHA Loan||FHA Mortgage Rates||FHA Mortgage Refi Rates|
|VA Loan||VA Mortgage Interest Rates||VA Refinance Loan Rates|
|ARM Loan||Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rates||Current ARM Refinance Rates|
|Jumbo Loan||Current Jumbo Mortgage Rates||Jumbo Loan Refinance Rates|