Current Mortgage Rates and Related News

Keep up with current rates and news at HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center. Rates are updated twice weekly based on data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).

MBA 2/24/2021

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.08% from 2.98%.

Mortgage rates have increased in six of the last eight weeks, with the benchmark 30-year fixed rate last week climbing above 3% to its highest level since September 2020.

PMMS 2/18/2021

After three weeks of unchanged rates, the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan jumped 8 basis points to 2.81%, reaching its highest point since mid-November.

modest rise in rates may just be what the market needs to cool down rampant price growth, according to HousingWire Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami.

Read More Content

“For 2021, we need to root for a repeat of what happened in 2013-2014 and 2018-2019,” said Mohtashami. “Home prices have caught up to per capita income, just like what we saw in 2002. However, mortgage rates are lower today, and demographics better.”

MBA 2/17/2021

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 2.98% from 2.96%. As mortgage rates come off of their historic lows, mortgage applications dropped for the second week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Expectations of faster economic growth and inflation continue to push Treasury yields and mortgage rates higher. Since hitting a survey low in December, the 30-year fixed rate has slowly risen, and last week climbed to its highest level since November 2020,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

PMMS 2/11/2021

For the third week in a row, the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan remained unchanged at 2.73%. Even though rates remained at their record low levels, mortgage applications dipped, with some economists pointing to overheated home prices and lack of supply for applications seesawing.

“The residential real estate market remains solid given healthy purchase demand while implied real-time home price growth is high, due to the inventory shortage that is plaguing the housing market,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said.

MBA 2/10/2021

Mortgage rates have increased in four of the six weeks of 2021, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, which could be causing the dip in applications.

“Jumbo rates [were] the only loan type that saw a decline last week,” Kan said. “Despite some weekly volatility, Treasury rates have been driven higher by expectations of faster economic growth as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues.”

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 2.96% – a high not seen since November 2020, Kan said. This has led to an uptick in refinancing, he said, as borrowers race to lock in a rate below 3%.

“Government refinance applications did buck the trend and increase, and overall activity was still 46% higher than a year ago,” he said. “Demand for refinances is still very strong this winter. Homebuyers are still very active.”

PMMS 2/4/2021

The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan remained unchanged last week from the week prior at 2.73%. With mortgage rates hovering below 3% for over six months now, Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said this may be a sign of an economy still struggling.

“This rate environment is advantageous for those who are looking to refinance in order to strengthen their financial position,” Khater said. “While many have already refinanced, the evidence suggests that upper-income homeowners have taken advantage of the opportunity more so than lower-income homeowners who could stand to benefit the most by lowering their monthly mortgage payment.”

MBA 2/3/2021

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate saw a slight drop, down to 2.92% after hitting a three-month high last week of 2.95%. Historically low mortgage rates became the norm in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. As rates begin to creep up closer to 3% in recent weeks, the number mortgage applications had begun to slip before last week’s jump.

Still, rates are low enough to appeal to homebuyers, noted Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

“The one-week reversal in the recent upswing in rates drove an increase in both conventional and government refinance activity, as borrowers continue to lock in these historically low rates,” Kan said. “Average purchase loan amounts in early 2021 continue to rise across all loan types, driven by a strong pace of home sales, tight housing inventory and high home- price growth.”

PMMS 1/28/2021

The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan fell four basis points last week to 2.73%. This is the second week mortgage rates have ticked downwards since Jan. 14’s sudden jump. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate also shifted downward to 2.2 from 2.21 the week prior.

With last week’s data now in, mortgage rates have hovered below 3% for six months, and housing affordability is feeling the strain. Home prices in November rose 9.5% nationally over the same time last year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, is concerned about rising home prices.

“Even as house prices increase at the fastest rate we’ve seen in years, competition to buy is strong given the low inventory that exists across the country. The fact that there are not enough homes to meet demand is going to be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future,” Khater said.

While construction plays catch-up, the Fed showed no indication of increasing interest rates after the Federal Open Market Committee left future economic policies virtually unchanged at its Wednesday meeting, indicating that short-term mortgage rates will stay low for years to come.

Despite record low mortgage rates putting upwards pressure on home prices, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said it is a “passing phenomenon.”

“There was a lot of pent-up demand. It’s a one-time thing happening with people who are spending all of their time in their house and thinking, ‘I need a bigger house or I need another house.’ But this is a one-time shift in demand that we think will get satisfied, and supply will be called forward so price increases are unlikely to be sustained,” Powell said.

MBA 1/27/2021

For the second week in a row, mortgage applications decreased – this time, down 4.1% for the week ending Jan. 22. The 30-year-fixed rate rose to 2.95%, its highest level since November 2020, according to Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. All other mortgage rates in the survey posted a decline.

“In a sign that borrowers are increasingly more sensitive to higher rates, large declines in government purchase applications and refinance applications pulled overall activity lower,” Kan said. “Purchase applications also decreased last week, but the impressive trend of year-over-year growth since the second half of 2020 has continued in early 2021.”

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please