A variety of notable mortgage rates edged higher over the past week. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgages both inched up. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also ticked up.
Mortgage rates have been increasing consistently since the start of 2022, following in the wake of a series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates are dynamic and unpredictable — at least on a daily or weekly basis — and they respond to a wide variety of economic factors. But the Fed’s actions, designed to mitigate the high rate of inflation, are having an unmistakable impact on mortgage rates.
If you’re looking to buy a home, trying to time the market may not play to your favor. If inflation continues to increase and rates continue to climb, it will likely translate to higher interest rates — and steeper monthly mortgage payments. As such, 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 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 7.22%, which is an increase of 6 basis points as of seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will usually have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. You won’t be able to pay off your house as quickly and you’ll pay more interest over time, but a 30-year fixed mortgage is a good option if you’re looking to minimize your monthly payment.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.44%, which is an increase of 7 basis points compared to a week 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. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, as long as you can afford the monthly payments. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate, and you’ll pay less interest in total because you’re paying off your mortgage much quicker.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 5.53%, a rise of 9 basis points compared to last week. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, 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. If not, changes in the market may significantly increase your interest rate.
Mortgage rate trends
Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been increasing steadily since. 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 five 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 rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Average mortgage interest rates
Rates as of Oct. 26, 2022.
How to find the best mortgage rates
To find a personalized mortgage rate, meet with your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to take into account your current finances and your goals when searching for a mortgage.
Things that affect what the interest rate you might get on your mortgage include: your credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio and your debt-to-income 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.
Aside from the mortgage rate, other factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your home. Make sure you talk to several different lenders — including local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison-shop to find the best mortgage for you.
How does the loan term impact my mortgage?
One important factor to 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. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate adjusts annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to take into consideration when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on staying in your home. For those who plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. However you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re only planning to keep your home for a few years. There is no best loan term as a rule of thumb; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. Make sure to do your research and think about your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.
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