Some closely followed mortgage rates dropped off today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both slumped. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also ticked downward.
Mortgage rates have been slowly rising since the start of this year, and are expected to increase throughout 2022. Rates are now closer to 2018 levels than the historic lows seen during the height of the pandemic. Interest rates are dynamic — they rise and fall on a daily basis depending on economic factors. In general, now is a good time for prospective homebuyers to lock in a lower rate rather than later this year. Speaking with multiple lenders will help you find the best rate available for your financial situation.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages
For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 5.39%, which is a decrease of 15 basis points as seven days ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) Thirty-year fixed mortgages are the most frequently used loan term. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a higher 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 4.72%, which is a decrease of 3 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’re able to afford the monthly payments, there are several benefits to a 15-year loan. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate, and you’ll pay less interest in total because you’re paying off your mortgage much quicker.
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages
A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 5.34%, a fall of 17 basis points compared to last week. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage in the first five years of the mortgage. However, changes in the market may cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an ARM could be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. But if that’s not the case, you could be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates shift.
Mortgage rate trends
Although 2022 kicked off with low mortgage rates, there has been a steady rise in recent months, and rates will likely continue increasing throughout 2022. Home loan rates are influenced by various economic factors. A major one is government policy set by the Fed, which raised rates by half a percentage point in May 2022, the highest increase in 22 years, in response to record-high inflation. This was the second rate increase by the Fed and several more are expected throughout the year. So, if you’re looking to buy a house in 2022, expect mortgage rates to keep rising.
We use rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, 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
|30-year mortgage refinance rate
Rates as of May 16, 2022.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
To find a personalized mortgage rate, speak to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. When shopping around for home mortgage rates, consider your goals and current financial situation. A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect your mortgage interest rate. Generally, you want a higher credit score, a larger 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 other costs such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. You should comparison shop with multiple lenders — for example, credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage that works best for you.
What’s the best loan term?
When picking a mortgage, it’s important to consider the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are fixed for the duration of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only stable for a certain amount of time (usually five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate adjusts annually based on the market interest rate.
One thing to take into consideration when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on staying in your home. For people who plan on staying long-term in a new house, fixed-rate mortgages may be the better option. While adjustable-rate mortgages might have lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. However you might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only plan to keep your home for a few years. 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 think about your own priorities when choosing a mortgage.