Today’s Mortgage Rates & Trends – September 22, 2022: Rates ease

Investing News

After three days of increases that took the already elevated 30-year mortgage average to its highest level since October 2008, 30-year rates finally tapped the brakes Wednesday. That’s despite the Federal Reserve raising the federal funds rate another 0.75 percent yesterday, again illustrating that the Fed’s rate moves are not directly linked to mortgage rates.

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

Mortgage rates finally took a step back Wednesday, after climbing repeatedly to rise almost a half percentage point over a little more than a week. The 30-year average declined 14 basis points Wednesday, resting at 6.52%. Still, the average sits in a range higher than the mid-June run-up.

Though close to steady, the 15-year average’s one-point gain Wednesday takes it to a new 14-year high of 5.93%.

Jumbo 30-year rates meanwhile held steady for a third day Wednesday, but that was after spiking an eighth of a percentage point Friday. The current average of 5.64% is the highest level seen since February 2011.

Refinancing rates were flatter Wednesday than new purchase rates, with the 30-year and 15-year refi averages each subtracting two basis points, and the Jumbo 30-year refi average again marking time. The cost to refinance with a fixed-rate loan is currently one to 22 points more expensive than new purchase loans.

After a major rate dip last summer, mortgage rates skyrocketed in the first half of 2022, with the 30-year average peaking in mid-June almost 3.5 percentage points above its August 2021 low of 2.89%. But September has seen a new spike, with the current 30-year average sitting 14 basis points above June’s high-water mark.

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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