A handful of closely followed mortgage rates climbed up over the last seven days. The average 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both moved higher. At the same time, average rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also increased.
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 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 7.55%, which is an increase of 18 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will usually have a greater 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 6.79%, which is an increase of 14 basis points from seven days 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. However, if 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 6.45%, a rise of 5 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. But shifts in the market may 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. Otherwise, changes in the market mean your interest rate could 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 rates collected by Bankrate to track rate changes over time. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Today’s mortgage interest rates
|30-year mortgage rate
|15-year fixed rate
|30-year jumbo mortgage rate
|30-year mortgage refinance rate
Rates as of August 16, 2023.
How to shop for the best mortgage rate
When you are ready to apply for a loan, you can connect with a local mortgage broker or search online. When researching home mortgage rates, think about your goals and current financial situation.
Specific interest rates will vary based on factors including credit score, down payment, debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio. Having a good 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. Make sure to 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 loan that works best for you.
What is a good loan term?
One important thing to consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The most common loan terms are 15 years and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for the life of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are set for a certain number of years (usually five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.
One factor to take into consideration 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 those who plan on staying in a home for a while. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower interest rates upfront. However, you may get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you’re only planning to keep your house for a couple years. The best loan term depends on your specific situation and goals, so make sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.