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Mortgage rates remain significantly lower today than they were two weeks ago, which is good news for borrowers.
As inflation continues to slow, mortgage rates should come down as well. But the job market is one area of the economy that’s showed continued strength in spite of the Federal Reserve’s hikes to the federal funds rate.
Last week, jobless claims fell, according to the Department of Labor. The most recent jobs report, released earlier this month, showed that the US economy gained more jobs than expected in October.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank is watching the labor market as a key indicator of whether the economy is effectively cooling in response to its rate hikes. In his press conference following the Fed’s November meeting, Powell noted that the labor market is “out of balance.”
“Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth and some softening of labor market conditions,” Powell said.
So far, markets expect a 50-basis-point hike from the Fed at its December meeting, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. But if economic data continues to show a still-heated job market and inflation doesn’t come down further, the Fed could opt for a larger hike. This would likely push mortgage rates back up.
Mortgage rates today
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Mortgage refinance rates today
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Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s mortgage rates would impact your monthly payments. By plugging in different rates and term lengths, you’ll also understand how much you’ll pay over the entire length of your mortgage.
Your estimated monthly payment
- Paying a 25% higher down payment would save you $8,916.08 on interest charges
- Lowering the interest rate by 1% would save you $51,562.03
- Paying an additional $500 each month would reduce the loan length by 146 months
Click “More details” for tips on how to save money on your mortgage in the long run.
30-year fixed mortgage rates
The current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.61%, according to Freddie Mac. This is a nearly 50-basis-point decrease from the previous week.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of home loan. With this type of mortgage, you’ll pay back what you borrowed over 30 years, and your interest rate won’t change for the life of the loan.
The long 30-year term allows you to spread out your payments over a long period of time, meaning you can keep your monthly payments lower and more manageable. The trade-off is that you’ll have a higher rate than you would with shorter terms or adjustable rates.
15-year fixed mortgage rates
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.98%, a decrease from the prior week, according to Freddie Mac data.
If you want the predictability that comes with a fixed rate but are looking to spend less on interest over the life of your loan, a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage might be a good fit for you. Because these terms are shorter and have lower rates than 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars in interest. However, you’ll have a higher monthly payment than you would with a longer term.
Are mortgage rates going up?
Mortgage rates started ticking up from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and have increased significantly so far in 2022. But mortgage rates dropped recently, and they may not trend back up again this year.
In the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index rose by 7.7%. The Federal Reserve has been working to get inflation under control, and is expected to increase the federal funds rate once more this year, following increases at its previous six meetings.
Inflation remains elevated, but has started to slow, which is a good sign for mortgage rates and the broader economy.
How do Fed rate hikes affect mortgages?
The Fed has been increasing the federal funds rate this year to try to slow economic growth and get inflation under control.
Mortgage rates aren’t directly impacted by changes to the federal funds rate, but they often trend up or down ahead of Fed policy moves. This is because mortgage rates change based on investor demand for mortgage-backed securities, and this demand is often impacted by how investors expect Fed hikes to affect the broader economy.
As inflation starts to come down, mortgage rates should, too. But the Fed has indicated that it’s watching for sustained signs of slowing inflation, and it’s not going to stop hiking rates any time soon — though it may start opting for smaller hikes at its next few meetings.
Are HELOCs a good idea right now?
Many homeowners gained a lot of equity over that past couple of years as home prices increased at an unprecedented rate. But because rates are so high now, tapping into that equity can be expensive.
For homeowners looking to leverage their home’s value to cover a big purchase — such as a home renovation — a home equity line of credit (HELOC) may still be a good option.
A HELOC is a line of credit that lets you borrow against the equity in your home. It works similarly to a credit card in that you borrow what you need rather than getting the full amount you’re borrowing in a lump sum.
Depending on your finances and the type of HELOC you get, you may be able to get a better rate with a HELOC than you would with a home equity loan or a cash-out refinance. Just keep in mind that HELOC rates are variable, so if rates start to trend up further, yours will likely increase, as well.