A few major mortgage rates increased over the last seven days. The average interest rates for both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates trended upward. At the same time, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also were boosted.
In March 2022, the Federal Reserve stepped in to combat surging inflation by hiking its key interest rate. Mortgage rates, which are not set by the central bank but are indirectly influenced by rate hikes, increased alongside.
After hiking interest rates 11 times since March 2022, the Federal Reserve opted to skip another increase during its September meeting. However, the Fed hasn't ruled out the possibility of additional increases if inflation doesn't continue to moderate.
About these rates: Like CNET, Bankrate is owned by Red Ventures. This tool features partner rates from lenders that you can use when comparing multiple mortgage rates.
While inflation has dropped from its record highs, it's still above target. That means the Fed could continue to raise rates as it sees fit to increase the cost of borrowing and slow down the economy.
Progress on inflation and other key economic indicators may ease some of the upward pressure on mortgage rates. But if future inflation data comes in hotter than expected and the Fed chooses to hike rates further, mortgage rates could keep going up in 2023.
Fluctuations in the mortgage and housing markets are always going to happen. That's why experts say it's a good idea for homebuyers to focus on what they can control: getting the best rate for their financial situation.
To increase your odds of qualifying for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score and save for a down payment. Also, be sure to look at the annual percentage rate, or APR, which reflects the mortgage interest rate plus other borrowing charges. By looking at the total cost of borrowing from multiple lenders, you can make a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.88%, which is a jump of 10 basis points from seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will typically have a greater 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 7.04%, which is an increase of 15 basis points from the same time last week. You'll definitely have a bigger 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. However, if you can afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. These include typically 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 6.70%, a climb of 5 basis points compared to last week. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you'll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, you could end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate shifts with the market rate. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an ARM could make sense for you. If not, shifts in the market may significantly increase your interest rate.
Mortgage rate trends
Mortgage rates were historically low throughout most of 2020 and 2021 but increased steadily throughout 2022 as the Federal Reserve began aggressively hiking interest rates. The top question is what the rest of 2023 has in store for prospective homebuyers.
"Today's high mortgage rates are not the only challenge we have in the current market," said Erin Sykes, chief economist at Nest Seekers International. "The combination of high interest rates plus sustained property prices and persistent inflation are making day-to-day life more expensive."
While experts say mortgage rates are unlikely to return to the rock-bottom levels in the early pandemic, there's a good chance we could see mortgage rates dip before the end of the year.
In order for that to happen, though, Sykes says we need to see inflation pull back on a consistent basis for at least four to six readings. If the federal funds rate remains steady, that should also help stabilize mortgage rates going into 2024.
Fannie Mae calls for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to close out the year at 7.1%.
We use information collected by Bankrate to track rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Current average mortgage interest rates
|Loan type||Interest rate||A week ago||Change|
|30-year fixed rate||7.88%||7.78%||+0.10|
|15-year fixed rate||7.04%||6.89%||+0.15|
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.92%||7.81%||+0.11|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate ||8.06%||7.92%||+0.14|
Rates as of Oct. 4, 2023.
How to find personalized mortgage rates
When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can reach out to a local mortgage broker or search online. When researching home mortgage rates, think about your goals and current finances.
Specific mortgage 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 larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate.
Apart from the interest rate, other factors including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also affect the cost of your home. You should speak with several different lenders -- such as local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best loan for you.
What is a good loan term?
When picking a mortgage, it's important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. 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 fluctuates annually based on the market rate.
When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should think about the length of time you plan to stay in your house. If you plan on living long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes 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 might 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.