Today’s Mortgage Rates & Trends – October 19, 2022: Rates inch lower

Investing

After outdoing its recent peaks with a new spike to 7.55% last Thursday, the 30-year mortgage average has retreated almost a third of a percentage point.

National averages of the lowest rates offered by more than 200 of the country’s top lenders, with a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80%, an applicant with a FICO credit score of 700–760, and no mortgage points.

Today’s National Mortgage Rate Averages

Thirty-year mortgage rates came down another five basis points Tuesday, lowering the 30-year average to 7.22%. The flagship average had recorded a new 20-year peak of 7.55% as recently as Thursday, but then dramatically dropped the following day.

Rates on 15-year loans meanwhile inched up, with the 15-year average adding two basis points. Now at 6.79%, the average is sitting a tenth of a percentage point under its 14-year high of 6.89%.

For their part, Jumbo 30-year rates keep seesawing by an eighth of a point in either direction. Tuesday saw the Jumbo 30-year average decline 13 basis points to 6.02%, after Monday’s average once again hit 6.15%, the highest average since 2010.

Refinancing rates moved fairly similarly Tuesday to new purchase rates. The 30-year refi average gave up four basis points, the 15-year average just a single point, and the Jumbo 30-year average about an eighth of a percentage point. Tuesday’s cost to refinance with a fixed-rate loan was up to 37 points higher than new purchase rates.

After a major rate dip last summer, mortgage rates skyrocketed in the first half of 2022, with the 30-year average hitting a mid-June peak almost 3.5 percentage points above its August 2021 floor of 2.89%. But September’s 16-day surge dramatically outdid the summer high, with the 30-year average spiking 1.27 percentage points to reach 1.04 percentage points above June’s peak.

The rates you see here generally won’t compare directly with teaser rates you see advertised online, since those rates are cherry-picked as the most attractive. They may involve paying points in advance, or they may be selected based on a hypothetical borrower with an ultra-high credit score or taking a smaller-than-typical loan given the value of the home.

Calculate monthly payments for different loan scenarios with our Mortgage Calculator.

Lowest Mortgage Rates by State

The lowest mortgage rates available vary depending on the state where originations occur. Mortgage rates can be influenced by state-level variations in credit score, average mortgage loan term, and size, in addition to individual lenders’ varying risk management strategies.

What Causes Mortgage Rates to Rise or Fall?

Mortgage rates are determined by a complex interaction of macroeconomic and industry factors, such as the level and direction of the bond market, including 10-year Treasury yields; the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy, especially as it relates to funding government-backed mortgages; and competition between lenders and across loan types. Because fluctuations can be caused by any number of these at once, it’s generally difficult to attribute the change to any one factor.

Macroeconomic factors have kept the mortgage market relatively low for much of this year. In particular, the Federal Reserve has been buying billions of dollars of bonds in response to the pandemic’s economic pressures, and it continues to do so. This bond-buying policy (and not the more publicized federal funds rate) is a major influencer on mortgage rates.

Since June, the Fed has been reducing its balance sheet. Identical sizable reductions occurred monthly through the summer and are being accelerated in September. This is on top of its plan to reduce new bond purchases by an increment every month, the so-called taper, which began in November.

The Fed’s rate and policy committee, called the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), meets every six to eight weeks. Their next scheduled meeting takes place November 1-2.

Methodology

The national averages cited above were calculated based on the lowest rate offered by more than 200 of the country’s top lenders, assuming a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80% and an applicant with a FICO credit score in the 700–760 range. The resulting rates are representative of what customers should expect to see when receiving actual quotes from lenders based on their qualifications, which may vary from advertised teaser rates.

For our map of the best state rates, the lowest rate currently offered by a surveyed lender in that state is listed, assuming the same parameters of an 80% LTV and a credit score between 700–760.

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