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The average 30-year fixed rate decreased to 6.49% last week, according to Freddie Mac. This is the lowest this rate has been in more than two months. The average 15-year fixed rate dropped to 5.76%.
“Even as rates decrease and house prices soften, economic uncertainty continues to limit homebuyer demand as we enter the last month of the year,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a press release.
The Federal Reserve is meeting next week to consider another hike to the federal funds rate. The Fed has been raising rates to slow the economy and tame inflation, and there are signs that its efforts are paying off. Last month’s Consumer Price Index report showed that price growth had slowed more than expected in October.
But November’s jobs report, which was released on Friday, showed that the labor market remains hot. The Fed is still expected to opt for a smaller, 50-basis-point hike next week, but more hotter-than-expected economic data could push the central bank to hike rates higher.
Current mortgage rates
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Current refinance rates
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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
- Payment 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 6.49%, according to Freddie Mac. This is a nearly 10 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 lengthy 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 5.76%, 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.
Should I get a HELOC? Pros and cons
If you’re looking to tap into your home’s equity, a HELOC might be the best way to do so right now — especially considering how much home prices have increased over the past couple of years. Unlike a cash-out refinance, you won’t have to get a whole new mortgage with a new interest rate, and you’ll likely get a better rate than you would with a home equity loan.
But HELOCs don’t always make sense. It’s important to consider the pros and cons.
- Only pay interest on what you borrow
- Typically have lower rates than alternatives, including home equity loans, personal loans, and credit cards
- If you have a lot of equity, you could potentially borrow more than you could get with a personal loan
- Rates are variable, meaning your monthly payments could go up
- Taking equity out of your home can be risky if property values decline or you default on the loan
- Minimum withdrawal amount may be more than you want to borrow
When will mortgage rates go down?
Mortgage rates started ticking up from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and have increased over three percentage points since January 2022. But rates have recently trended down, and they’ll likely decrease further in 2023 and 2024.
However, rates aren’t likely to drop dramatically any time soon. As inflation starts to come down, mortgage rates will recede somewhat as well. If we experience a recession, rates may drop a little faster. But average 30-year fixed rates will likely remain somewhere in the 5% to 6% range throughout 2023.
How do Fed rate hikes affect mortgages?
The Federal Reserve has been increasing the federal funds rate this year to try to slow economic growth and get inflation under control. So far, inflation has slowed somewhat, but it’s still well above the Fed’s 2% target rate.
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.