While 15-year fixed mortgage rates moved downward a bit today, interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages crept slightly higher. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage went up.
Though mortgage rates have been rather consistently going up since the start of this year, they’ve been more varied in the last couple weeks. What happens next depends on whether inflation continues to climb or begins to retreat. Interest rates are dynamic and unpredictable — at least on a daily or weekly basis — and they respond to a wide variety of economic factors. Right now, they’re particularly sensitive to inflation and the prospect of a US recession. With so much uncertainty in the market, if you’re looking to buy a home, trying to time the market may not play to your favor. If inflation rises and rates climb, this could translate to higher interest rates and steeper monthly mortgage payments. For this reason, you may have better luck locking in a lower mortgage interest rate sooner rather than later. No matter when you decide to shop for a home, it’s always a good idea to seek out multiple lenders to compare rates and fees to find the best mortgage for your specific situation.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 5.41%, which is an increase of 1 basis point above what it was a week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a greater interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. 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.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 4.70%, which is a decrease of 1 basis point from seven days ago. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a larger monthly payment. However, as long as you’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. 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.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 4.20%, an addition of 9 basis points from the same time last week. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. But shifts in the market could cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an ARM could be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. If not, changes in the market might significantly increase your interest rate.
Mortgage rate trends
Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been rising somewhat steadily since then. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of four times this year, but inflation still remains high. As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.
Though the Fed does not directly set mortgage rates, the central bank’s policy actions influence how much you pay to finance your home loan. If you’re looking to buy a house in 2022, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates, and mortgage rates could increase as the year goes on. Whether rates follow their upward projection or begin to level out hinges on if inflation actually slows.
We use information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Today’s mortgage interest rates
Rates accurate as of Aug. 5, 2022.
How to find personalized mortgage rates
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to take into account your current finances and your goals when looking for a mortgage. Things that affect what mortgage interest rate you might get include: your credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income ratio. Having a good credit score, a higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home — be sure to also consider other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure you talk to multiple lenders — including local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.
What is a good loan term?
One important consideration when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are fixed for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (most frequently five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One important factor to take into consideration when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on staying in your house. If you plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. However you might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only plan to keep your home for a couple years. There is no best loan term as a rule of thumb; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It’s important to do your research and understand your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.