Over the past seven days, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage decreased, while the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage increased. We also saw a hike in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.
As inflation surged in 2022, so too did mortgage rates. To rein in price growth, the Federal Reserve began bumping up its federal funds rate -- a short term interest rate that determines what banks charge each other to borrow money. By making it more expensive to borrow, the central bank's goal is to reduce prices by curtailing consumer spending.
During its July 26 meeting, the Fed initiated a 25-basis point (or 0.25%) hike to its federal funds rate, marking its 11th increase in the current rate hiking cycle. The most recent increase could have an impact on mortgage rates, but experts say the markets may have already factored it into rates.
Current mortgage rates for August 2023
Mortgage rates change every day. Experts recommend shopping around to make sure you're getting the lowest rate. By entering your information below, you can get a custom quote from one of CNET's partner lenders.
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.
"Mortgage rates will continue to ebb and flow week to week, but ultimately, I think rates will stick to that 6% to 7% range we're seeing now," said Jacob Channel, senior economist at loan marketplace LendingTree.
The Fed doesn't set mortgage rates directly, but it does play an influential role. Mortgage rates move around on a daily basis in response to a range of economic factors, including inflation, employment and the broader outlook for the economy. A lower inflation rate is good news for mortgage rates, but the potential for additional hikes from the central bank this year will keep upward pressure on already high rates.
Rather than worrying about mortgage rates, though, homebuyers should focus on what they can control: getting the best rate they can for their financial situation.
To increase your odds at qualifying for the lowest rate available, take the steps necessary to improve your credit score and to save for a down payment. Also, be sure to compare the rates and fees from multiple lenders to get the best deal. Looking at the annual percentage rate, or APR, will show you the total cost of borrowing and help you make an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 7.53%, which is down 5 basis points from 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 smaller monthly payment than a 15-year one -- but typically a higher interest rate. 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 6.83%, which is an increase of 4 basis points from the same time last week. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a higher monthly payment. However, as long as 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 6.50%, an addition of 5 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 shifts in the market could cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. If you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes, an adjustable-rate mortgage could make sense for you. If not, changes in the market might 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. Now, mortgage rates are well above where they were a year ago. What does this mean for homebuyers this year?
"Mortgage rates have hovered in the 6% to 7% range for the past 10 months. Though home prices have softened slightly nationally, the still-high cost of borrowing means hopeful home buyers have felt little relief," said Hannah Jones, economic research analyst at Realtor.com.
However, if inflation continues to decline and the Fed is able to hold rates where they are and eventually cut them, mortgage rates are likely to decrease slightly in 2023. However, they're highly unlikely to return to the rock-bottom levels of just a few years ago.
The most recent housing forecast from Fannie Mae calls for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to close out the year at around 6.6%.
"Mortgage rates have been volatile for some time now and while they could eventually start trending down over the next six months to a year as inflation growth continues to cool, their path is probably going to be bumpy," Channel said.
We use data collected by Bankrate to track changes in these daily rates. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:
Average mortgage interest rates
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate||7.54%||7.64%||-0.10|
|30-year mortgage refinance rate||7.80%||7.74%||+0.06|
Rates as of Aug. 24, 2023.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to think about your current financial situation and your goals when searching for a mortgage.
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 higher credit score, a larger down payment, a lower DTI and a lower LTV to get a lower interest rate.
Beyond the mortgage rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also impact the cost of your house. Make sure you talk to several different lenders -- including local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best mortgage loan for you.
What is a good loan term?
When picking a mortgage, remember to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common mortgage terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. 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. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (commonly five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to consider when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on living in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for people who plan on staying in a home for quite some time. While adjustable-rate mortgages might have lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable over time. However, you might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your house for a few years. The best loan term depends on your personal situation and goals, so make sure to consider what's important to you when choosing a mortgage.