Bernadette Gatsby/Unsplash

Bernadette Gatsby/Unsplash

Multiple key mortgage rates sunk lower today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both tapered off. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, also ticked downward.

Rates for mortgages are constantly changing, but overall, they are very low by historical standards. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it could make sense to go ahead and lock if you see a rate you like. Just be sure to shop around.

See mortgage rates for a variety of rate terms.

30-year fixed mortgages

The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.52 percent, down 6 basis points from a week ago. Last month on the 1st, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was unchanged, at 3.52 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $450.16 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s lower by $3.36 than it would have been last week.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage payment calculator to figure out your monthly payments and see the effect of adding extra payments. It will also help you determinehow much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

15-year fixed mortgages

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.84 percent, down 4 basis points over the last week.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $683 per $100,000 borrowed. Yes, that payment is much bigger than it would be on a 30-year mortgage, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.

5/1 ARMs

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.25 percent, ticking down 6 basis points over the last 7 days.

These types of loans are best for those 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 3.25 percent would cost about $435 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 mortgage rate projections.

Want to see where rates are at this moment? Lenders nationwide respond to Bankrate’s 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:

Today’s mortgage interest rates
Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 3.52% 3.58% -0.06
15-year mortgage rate 2.84% 2.88% -0.04
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.63% 3.72% -0.09
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.62% 3.65% -0.03

Rates accurate as of June 1, 2020.

When to lock your mortgage rate

A rate lock guarantees your interest rate for a specified period of time. It’s common for lenders to offer 30-day rate locks for a fee or to include the price of the rate lock into your loan. Some lenders will lock rates for longer periods, even exceeding 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. You may be able to find a lender that offers a floating rate lock. A floating rate lock lets you get a lower rate if interest rates decline before closing your loan. It could be worth the cost in a declining rate environment. 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.

Keep in mind that 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, with refinancing taking at least a month.

Why do mortgage rates move up and down?

A number of economic factors influence mortgage rates. Among them are inflation and unemployment. Higher inflation typically leads to higher mortgage rates. The opposite is also true; when inflation is low, mortgage rates typically are as well. As inflation increases, the dollar loses value. That drives investors away from mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which causes the prices to decrease and yields to increase. When yields move higher, rates become 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 environment

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 “Understanding Bankrate’s Rate Averages.”

Shopping for a mortgage lender? Check out Bankrate’s mortgage lender reviews.

Learn more about specific loan type rates
Loan Type Purchase Rates Refinance Rates
The table above links out to loan-specific pages to help our readers learn more about rates by loan type.
30-Year Loan 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates 30-Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Loan Current 20 Year Mortgage Rates Current 20-Year Refinance Rates
15-Year Loan Today’s 15-Year Mortgage Rates Current 15-Year Refinance Rates
10-Year Loan 10-Year Mortgage Rates 10-Year Refi Interest Rates
FHA Loan Current FHA Mortgage Rates FHA Mortgage Refi Rates
VA Loan Current VA Mortgage Rates VA Refinance Loan Rates
ARM Loan ARM Mortgage Rates ARM Refinance Interest Rates
Jumbo Loan Current Jumbo Mortgage Rates Jumbo Refinance Rates