Today's best mortgage and refinance rates, March 17th, 2023 - Rates down
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Average mortgage rates were down on all loan terms from a week ago, according to data compiled by Bankrate. Rates for 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARMs and jumbo loans all moved lower.
Mortgage rates have been on a wild ride of late, with the 30-year fixed now flirting with the once-unthinkable threshold of 7 percent as the Federal Reserve continues to crack down on inflation.
“The speed with which mortgage rates have increased in recent months has been whiplash-inducing and the cumulative effect — from near 3 percent at the beginning of 2021 to near 7 percent now — would’ve seemed laughably unlikely a year ago,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Inflation running at 40-year highs will do that.”
The central bank is expected to raise rates again at its March 22 meeting — but by how much is a toss-up. While Fed officials had been telegraphing an increase of 0.5 percentage point, or 50 basis points, that changed with a sudden banking crisis. Over the March 10 weekend, both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed in rapid succession, marking the second- and third-largest bank collapses in U.S. history. Now, it’s possible that the Fed could raise rates by a more modest 0.25 percentage point, or 25 basis points. Mortgage rates tumbled in the aftermath of the bank failures, and it’s possible that a new round of financial uncertainty will be favorable for borrowers.
|30-year fixed jumbo||7.02%||7.09%||-0.07|
Rates as of March 17, 2023.
These rates are marketplace averages based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates listed within the site may vary. This story has been reviewed by Suzanne De Vita. All rate data accurate as of Friday, March 17th, 2023 at 7:30 a.m.
>>View historical mortgage interest rate trends
You can save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage by getting multiple offers.
"All too often, some homeowners take the path of least resistance when seeking a mortgage, in part because the process of buying a home can be stressful, complicated and time-consuming," says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate senior economic analyst. "But when we’re talking about the potential of saving a lot of money, seeking the best deal on a mortgage has an excellent return on investment. Why leave that money on the table when all it takes is a bit more effort to shop around for the best rate, or lowest cost, on a mortgage?"
30-year mortgage moves down, -0.05%
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.00 percent, a decrease of 5 basis points over the last seven days. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 6.83 percent.
At the current average rate, you'll pay a combined $665.30 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.
Learn more about 30-year mortgage rates, and compare to a variety of other loan types.
15-year fixed mortgage moves lower,-0.11%
The average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 6.22 percent, down 11 basis points since the same time last week.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost $856 per $100k borrowed. That's clearly much higher than the monthly payment would be on a 30-year mortgage at that rate, 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 more quickly.
5/1 adjustable rate mortgage moves lower, -0.10%
The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is 5.77 percent, down 10 basis points over the last week.
Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, are mortgage loans that come with a floating interest rate. To put it another way, the interest rate can change periodically throughout the life of the loan, unlike fixed-rate loans. These loan types are best for people who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be materially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.
While borrowers shunned ARMs during the pandemic days of super-low rates, this type of loan has made a comeback as mortgage rates have risen.
Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 5.77 percent would cost about $585 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could ratchet higher by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan's terms.
Jumbo mortgage declines, -0.07%
The average rate for a 30-year jumbo mortgage is 7.02 percent, down 7 basis points since the same time last week. This time a month ago, the average rate was lesser, at 6.84 percent.
At the current average rate, you'll pay principal and interest of $666.65 for every $100,000 you borrow. That represents a decline of $4.71 over what it would have been last week.
In summary: How mortgage interest rates have moved over the past week
- 30-year fixed mortgage rate: 7.00%, down from 7.05% last week, -0.05
- 15-year fixed mortgage rate: 6.22%, down from 6.33% last week, -0.11
- 5/1 ARM mortgage rate: 5.77%, down from 5.87% last week, -0.10
- Jumbo mortgage rate: 7.02%, down from 7.09% last week, -0.07
30-year mortgage refinance falls, --0.12%
The average 30-year fixed-refinance rate is 6.97 percent, down 12 basis points compared with a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed refinance was lower, at 6.92 percent.
At the current average rate, you'll pay $663.29 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That represents a decline of $8.07 over what it would have been last week.
Where mortgage rates are headed
The days of sub-3 percent mortgage interest on the 30-year fixed are behind us, and rates have so far risen beyond 7 percent in 2022.
"Low interest rates were the medicine for economic recovery following the financial crisis, but it was a slow recovery so rates never went up very far," says McBride. "The rebound in the economy, and especially inflation, in the late pandemic stages has been very pronounced, and we now have a backdrop of mortgage rates rising at the fastest pace in decades."
Comparing mortgage options
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular loan for homeowners. This mortgage has a number of advantages. Among them:
- Lower monthly payment: Compared to a shorter term, such as 15 years, the 30-year mortgage offers lower payments spread over time.
- Stability: With a 30-year mortgage, you lock in a consistent principal and interest payment. Because of the predictability, you can plan your housing expenses for the long term. Remember: Your monthly housing payment can change if your homeowners insurance and property taxes go up or, less likely, down.
- Buying power: With lower payments, you can qualify for a larger loan amount and a more expensive home.
- Flexibility: Lower monthly payments can free up some of your monthly budget for other goals, like saving for emergencies, retirement, college tuition or home repairs and maintenance.
- Strategic use of debt: Some argue that Americans focus too much on paying down their mortgages rather than adding to their retirement accounts. A 30-year fixed mortgage with a smaller monthly payment can allow you to save more for retirement.
That said, shorter-term loans have gained popularity as rates have been historically low. Although they have higher monthly payments compared to 30-year mortgages, there are some big benefits if you can afford the upfront costs. Shorter-term loans can help you achieve:
- Greatly reduced interest costs: Because you pay off the loan faster, you’ll be able to pay less interest overall.
- Lower interest rate: On top of less time for that interest to compound, most lenders price shorter-term mortgages with lower rates.
- Build equity faster: The faster you pay off your mortgage, the faster you’ll own value in your home outright. That’s especially handy if you want to borrow against your property to fund other spending.
- Debt-free sooner: A shorter-term mortgage means you’ll own your house free and clear sooner than you would with a longer-term loan.
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 currently? 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.
What comes next:
- How to buy a house in 2021
- First-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid
- What's the point of a cash out refinance?
- The difference between APR and interest rate
- How to get the best mortgage rate
- Calculator: How much house can I afford?
- Best mortgage lenders