A handful of important mortgage rates are now higher today. The average 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both increased. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also ticked up.
Mortgage rates have increased fairly 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
The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 6.66%, which is an increase of 10 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 mortgage will typically 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 5.98%, which is an increase of 11 basis points compared to a week ago. 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. You’ll most likely 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 5.50%, an addition of 8 basis points compared to a week ago. For the first five years, you’ll typically get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. But shifts in the market could cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an ARM might 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 might be on the hook for a significantly higher interest rate if the market rates change.
Mortgage rate trends
Though mortgage rates were historically low at the beginning of 2022, they have been increasing steadily since. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by another 0.50 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of seven 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, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates into 2023, which would likely continue to drive mortgage rates upward.
We use information 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 nationwide:
Today’s mortgage interest rates
Rates accurate as of Jan. 2, 2023.
How to find personalized mortgage rates
To find a personalized mortgage rate, speak to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. Make sure to take into account your current financial situation and your goals when searching for a mortgage.
A range of factors — including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio — will all affect your mortgage rate. Having a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you 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. Be sure to talk to several different lenders — for example, 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, you should 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 set for the duration 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 (most frequently five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to think about when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on living in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for people who plan on living in a home for a while. While adjustable-rate mortgages may offer 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’re only planning to keep your house for a few years. The best loan term is entirely dependent on your own situation and goals, so be sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.