A handful of important mortgage rates crept upward over the last seven days. The average 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both inched upward. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also climbed higher.
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 7.40%, which is an increase of 8 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 often a higher interest rate. Although you’ll pay more interest over time — you’re paying off your loan over a longer timeframe — if you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages
The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.64%, which is an increase of 2 basis points compared to a week ago. You’ll definitely have a larger 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, 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 ARM has an average rate of 6.40%, a rise of 6 basis points compared to a week ago. With an ARM mortgage, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. However, since the rate adjusts with the market rate, you could 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 may be a good option. Otherwise, shifts in the market mean your interest rate might be much higher once the rate adjusts.
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 daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the country:
Current average mortgage interest rates
|A week ago
|30-year fixed rate
|15-year fixed rate
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate
|30-year mortgage refinance rate
Rates as of Aug. 10, 2023.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can reach out to a local mortgage broker or search online. Make sure to consider your current financial situation and your goals when trying to find 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. Generally, you want a good 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 additional factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. Be sure to shop around with multiple lenders — including credit unions and online lenders in addition to local and national banks — in order to get a mortgage loan that’s right for you.
What’s the best loan term?
When picking a mortgage, remember 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. Another important distinction is between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are stable 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 adjusts annually based on the market rate.
One important factor to take into consideration when choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is how long you plan on staying in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on staying in a home for a while. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. If you aren’t planning to keep your new house for more than three to 10 years, though, an adjustable-rate mortgage may give you a better deal. The best loan term is entirely dependent on an individual’s situation and goals, so be sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.