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Some notable mortgage rates have inched up. If you’re in the market for a home loan, see how the Fed’s interest rate hikes could affect you.
A couple of important mortgage rates crept upward over the last seven days. The average 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both were higher. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also trended upward.
As inflation surged in 2022, so too did mortgage rates. To rein in price growth, the Federal Reserve began bumping up its federal funds rate — a short term interest rate that determines what banks charge each other to borrow money. By making it more expensive to borrow, the central bank’s goal is to reduce prices by curtailing consumer spending.
During its July 26 meeting, the Fed initiated a hike of 25 basis points (or 0.25%) to its federal funds rate, marking its 11th increase in the current rate hiking cycle. The most recent increase could have an impact on mortgage rates, but experts say the markets may have already factored it into rates.
Mortgage rates change every day. Experts recommend shopping around to make sure you’re getting the lowest rate. By entering your information below, you can get a custom quote from one of CNET’s partner lenders.
About these rates: Like CNET, Bankrate is owned by Red Ventures. This tool features partner rates from lenders that you can use when comparing multiple mortgage rates.
„Mortgage rates will continue to ebb and flow week to week, but ultimately, I think rates will stick to that 6% to 7% range we’re seeing now,” said Jacob Channel, senior economist at loan marketplace LendingTree.
The Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates directly, but it does play an influential role. Mortgage rates move around on a daily basis in response to a range of economic factors, including inflation, employment and the broader outlook for the economy. A lower inflation rate is good news for mortgage rates, but the potential for additional hikes from the central bank this year will keep upward pressure on already high rates.
Rather than worrying about mortgage rates, though, homebuyers should focus on what they can control: getting the best rate they can for their financial situation.
To increase your odds at qualifying for the lowest rate available, take the steps necessary to improve your credit score and to save for a down payment. Also, be sure to compare the rates and fees from multiple lenders to get the best deal. Looking at the annual percentage rate, or APR, will show you the total cost of borrowing and help you make an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders.
The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.53%, which is a growth of 15 basis points from seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but often a higher interest rate. 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.
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.71%, which is an increase of 8 basis points from the same time last week. You’ll definitely have a higher 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’re able to afford the monthly payments. These include typically being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 6.40%, an uptick of 4 basis points from seven days ago. With an ARM mortgage, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But you may end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. Because of this, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. Otherwise, shifts in the market mean your interest rate could be much higher once the rate adjusts.
Mortgage rates were historically low throughout most of 2020 and 2021, but increased steadily throughout 2022 as the Federal Reserve began aggressively hiking interest rates. Now, mortgage rates are well above where they were a year ago. What does this mean for homebuyers this year?
„Mortgage rates have hovered in the 6% to 7% range for the past 10 months. Though home prices have softened slightly nationally, the still-high cost of borrowing means hopeful home buyers have felt little relief,” said Hannah Jones, economic research analyst at Realtor.com.
However, if inflation continues to decline and the Fed is able to hold rates where they are and eventually cut them, mortgage rates are likely to decrease slightly in 2023. However, they’re highly unlikely to return to the rock-bottom levels of just a few years ago.
The most recent housing forecast from Fannie Mae calls for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to close out the year at around 6.6%.
„Mortgage rates have been volatile for some time now and while they could eventually start trending down over the next six months to a year as inflation growth continues to cool, their path is probably going to be bumpy,” Channel said.
We use information collected by Bankrate to track changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Rates as of Aug. 14, 2023.
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to think about your current finances and your goals when looking for a mortgage.
Specific mortgage interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate.
Apart from the interest rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your home. 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 right for you.
One important thing you should consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The loan terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are stable for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only stable for a certain amount of time (typically five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate changes annually based on the market interest rate.
When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should take into consideration the length of time you plan to stay in your house. For those who plan on living long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don’t have plans to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, though, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. There is no best loan term as a general rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It’s important to do your research and think about your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.
Today's Mortgage Rates for Aug. 14, 2023: Rates Increased – CNET
Your guide to a better future