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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 are expected to fall as well. But the job market is one area of the economy that has shown continued strength despite Federal Funds rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Last week, jobless claims fell, according to the Labor Department. The most recent jobs report, released earlier this month, showed the US economy gained more jobs than expected in October.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank is watching the labor market as a key indicator that the economy is indeed cooling in response to its rate hikes. In his press conference following the November Fed meeting, Powell noted that the job market is “unbalanced.”
“Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth and some weakening in labor market conditions,” Powell said.
So far, markets are expecting 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 warm labor market and inflation doesn’t fall further, the Fed could opt for a bigger hike. This would likely drive up mortgage rates.
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 affect your monthly payments. By linking rates and different terms, you’ll also understand how much you’ll be paying over the entire term of your mortgage.
Your estimated monthly payment
- Paying a 25% a higher down payment would save you $8,916.08 on interest expenses
- Lower the interest rate by 1% it would save you $51,562.03
- Paying a supplement $500 each month would shorten the loan term by 146 months
Click “Learn More” for tips on how to save on your long-term mortgage.
Thirty-year fixed rate mortgage
The current 30-year average fixed mortgage rate is 6.61%, according to Freddie Mac. That’s a drop of nearly 50 basis points 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 in 30 years, and your interest rate won’t change for the life of the loan.
The long 30-year term lets you spread your payments over a long period of time, which means you can keep your monthly payments lower and more manageable. The trade-off is that you will get a higher rate than you would with shorter terms or adjustable rates.
15 year fixed rate mortgage
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.98%, down from the previous week, according to data from Freddie Mac.
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 may 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 will have a higher monthly payment than you would with a longer term.
Are mortgage rates going up?
Mortgage rates started to rise from record lows in the second half of 2021 and have increased significantly so far in 2022. But mortgage rates have fallen recently and may not rise again this year.
In the last 12 months, the consumer price index increased by 7.7%. The Federal Reserve has been working to keep inflation in check and is expected to raise the federal funds rate once again this year, following hikes in the previous six meetings.
Inflation remains high, but has started to slow down, which is a good sign for mortgage rates and the broader economy.
How are Fed rate hikes affecting mortgages?
The Fed raised the federal funds rate this year to try to slow economic growth and keep inflation in check.
Mortgage rates are not directly affected by changes to the federal funds rate, but often trend up or down before Fed policy moves. This is because mortgage rates change based on investor demand for mortgage-backed securities, and this demand is often influenced by how investors expect Fed hikes to affect the broader economy.
When inflation starts to fall, mortgage rates should too. But the Fed has indicated it is seeing sustained signs of slowing inflation and won’t stop raising rates anytime soon, although it may start opting for smaller hikes at upcoming meetings.
Are HELOCs a good idea right now?
Many homeowners have gained a lot of equity over the past couple of years as home prices have risen at an unprecedented rate. But because rates are so high now, tapping into that equity can be costly.
For homeowners looking to leverage the value of their home to cover a large 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 allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. It works similar to a credit card in that you borrow what you need rather than getting the entire amount you’re borrowing in one go.
Depending on your finances and the type of HELOC you get, you may be able to get a better rate with a HELOC than with a home equity loan or cash refinance. Keep in mind that HELOC rates are variable, so if rates start to go up any further, yours will likely go up as well.