A variety of mortgage rates surged today to the highest they’ve been since early 2020, including 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates. We also saw a rise in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. Mortgage rates have been quite low over the last period, making it a good time for prospective homebuyers to lock in a fixed rate. But rates are dynamic and are projected to continue to rise. Before you buy a house, remember to consider your personal needs and financial situation, and speak with multiple lenders to find the best one for you.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 4.25%, which is a growth of 6 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most common loan term. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage will usually have a lower monthly payment than a 15-year one — but usually a higher interest rate. Although you’ll pay more interest over time — you’re paying off your loan over a longer timeframe — if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 3.47%, which is an increase of 3 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll definitely have a higher monthly payment with a 15-year fixed mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, even if the interest rate and loan amount are the same. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, as long as you can afford the monthly payments. These include usually being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 4.26%, an addition of 7 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage in the first five years of the mortgage. But you could end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate adjusts 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. Otherwise, changes in the market means your interest rate may be much higher once the rate adjusts.
Mortgage rate trends
While 2022 kicked off with low mortgage rates, they have seen an uptick recently. There are two major factors at play here: increasing inflation rates and a growing economy. That said, rates can always rise and fall for a variety of reasons. The spread of omicron, for instance, kept rates relatively low throughout December and the start of the new year. Overall, rates are expected to go up in 2022, particularly with the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates.
We use data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rates changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||2.94%||2.93%||+0.01|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||4.21%||4.17%||+0.04|
Rates as of Feb. 28, 2022.
How to find the best mortgage rates
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by reaching out to your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to take into accountyour current finances and your goals when searching for a mortgage. Specific interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Generally, you want a good credit score, a higher down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate. The interest rate isn’t the only factor that affects the cost of your home — be sure to also consider other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure you speak with a variety of lenders — like local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders — and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.
What is a good loan term?
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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are the same for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only set for a certain amount of time (commonly five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market rate.
When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider how long you plan to live in your home. For those who plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. If you don’t have plans to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage may give you a better deal. There is no best loan term as an overarching rule; it all depends on your goals and your current financial situation. It’s important to do your research and understand your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.
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