Mortgage Rates on Nov. 17, 2022: Rates Cool Off

Some important mortgage rates slid lower this week, though rates have overall been rising this year. If you're shopping for a mortgage, see how the Fed's interest rate hikes could affect you.

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A variety of important mortgage rates sank over the last seven days. The impressive drop in 30-year fixed mortgage rates is notable, but don't forget about fixed 15-year rates, which also declined. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also declined.

Mortgage rates have been increasing consistently since the start of 2022, following in the wake of a series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates are dynamic and unpredictable -- at least on a daily or weekly basis -- and they respond to a wide variety of economic factors. But the Fed's actions, designed to mitigate the high rate of inflation, are having an unmistakable impact on mortgage rates.

If you're looking to buy a home, trying to time the market may not play to your favor. If inflation continues to increase and rates continue to climb, it will likely translate to higher interest rates -- and steeper monthly mortgage payments. As such, you may have better luck locking in a lower mortgage interest rate sooner rather than later. No matter when you decide to shop for a home, it's always a good idea to seek out multiple lenders to compare rates and fees to find the best mortgage for your specific situation.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you'll pay is 6.84%, which is a decrease of 40 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often 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 6.22%, which is a decrease of 24 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. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you're able to 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 ARM has an average rate of 5.54%, a downtick of 8 basis points compared to last week. With an ARM mortgage, you'll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But since the rate adjusts with the market rate, you might end up paying more after that time, as described in the terms of your loan. For borrowers who plan to sell or refinance their house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good option. But if that's not the case, you may be on the hook for a much higher interest rate if the market rates shift.

Mortgage rate trends

Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been rising steadily since. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of six times this year, but inflation still remains high. As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.

Though the Fed does not directly set mortgage rates, the central bank's policy actions influence how much you pay to finance your home loan. If you're looking to buy a house in 2022, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates, and mortgage rates could increase as the year goes on. Whether rates follow their upward projection or begin to level out hinges on if inflation actually slows.

We use data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:

Today's mortgage interest rates

Loan termToday's RateLast weekChange
30-year mortgage rate6.84%7.24%-0.40
15-year fixed rate6.22%6.46%-0.24
30-year jumbo mortgage rate6.79%7.20%-0.41
30-year mortgage refinance rate 6.83%7.24%-0.41

Rates accurate as of Nov. 17, 2022.

How to find the best mortgage rates

To find a personalized mortgage rate, meet with your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. When looking into home mortgage rates, think about your goals and current finances.

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 higher 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 additional factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Make sure to shop around with multiple lenders -- such as credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks -- in order to get a loan that's best for you.

What is a good loan term?

When picking a mortgage, it's important to consider 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. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable for a certain number of years (most frequently five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.

When deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to live in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for people who plan on living in a home for quite some time. While adjustable-rate mortgages might have lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. 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. The best loan term is entirely dependent on your personal situation and goals, so be sure to think about what's important to you when choosing a mortgage.