Mortgage And Refinance Rates Today, Feb. 9| Rates falling

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates edged higher yet again yesterday. Unlike those we saw last week, this week’s increases have so far been negligible. Read on to discover why that might change tomorrow.

So far this morning, the news from key markets seems encouraging. And mortgage rates today might fall modestly. But there are no guarantees amid so much volatility.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Feb 14th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 4.007% 4.026% +0.03%
Conventional 15 year fixed 3.169% 3.198% +0.05%
Conventional 20 year fixed 3.715% 3.747% +0.02%
Conventional 10 year fixed 3.23% 3.299% +0.02%
30 year fixed FHA 4.076% 4.882% +0.03%
15 year fixed FHA 3.322% 3.929% +0.08%
30 year fixed VA 3.882% 4.082% -0.03%
15 year fixed VA 3.125% 3.454% +0.13%
5/1 ARM VA 4.75% 3.74% +0.05%
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

If mortgage rates do indeed decrease today, it could be the start of a more sustained series of falls. But it’s at least as likely to be followed by more rises. Read on to discover why tomorrow could be pivotal for mortgage rates.

Being cautious, I wouldn’t take a chance on tomorrow making things better for mortgage rates. But it’s not a wild gamble, providing you recognize the risks and can afford the stakes. Just understand that the odds are probably against you.

So my personal rate lock recommendations remain:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • LOCK if closing in 45 days
  • LOCK if closing in 60 days

>Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate

Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates

Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes nudged down to 1.94% from 1.97%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were higher. (Bad for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices eased lower to $89.65 from $89.67 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices edged up to $1,829 from $1,823 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is better for rates when gold rises, and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index – climbed to 39 from 35 out of 100. (Bad for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones

*A change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Caveats about markets and rates

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won’t achieve its former high levels until things settle down.

So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, mortgage rates today might fall just a bit. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Feb 14th, 2022)

Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

Here are some things you need to know:

  1. Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  2. Only “top–tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  3. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements – though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
  4. When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  5. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases.

A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Today

The market that determines mortgage rates is jittery. Recent rises have been a result of good employment data last week. Those figures increased the likelihood of the Federal Reserve acting more aggressively to tackle inflation.

If tomorrow’s consumer price index (CPI) for January shows that inflation is slowing on its own, that could relieve some of the pressure on the Fed to hike its own rates and to push up mortgage rates by starting to sell its huge store of mortgage–backed securities.

Those MBSs largely determine mortgage rates. And selling trillions of dollars of them will push those rates higher – just as buying the bonds over the last couple of years pushed them lower.

With bonds, higher prices inevitably mean lower yields and rates – and vice versa. In other words, prices and yields always move inversely to each other. It’s a mathematical certainty.

Of course, the Fed will try to moderate the damage. It will turn on the faucet gradually rather than flooding the market with MBSs. But don’t underestimate the damage such sales will likely do to mortgage rates.

Tomorrow

We already know that the Fed will act within months both on hiking its own rates and starting to sell MBSs. But how quickly and aggressively it does those things could be affected by tomorrow’s inflation data.

As of this morning, economists polled by MarketWatch were forecasting January’s month–to–month CPI coming in at 0.4% compared to December’s 0.5%. That’s good. But both the Fed and markets have already baked that forecast into their expectations.

So it would probably have to be better than that to send mortgage rates lower. And those rates might rise if it’s worse.

How likely is an unexpectedly good inflation reading? Not very, though it’s far from out of the question. The producer price index, which reads inflation earlier in the supply chain, eased to 231.12 in December from 232.25 in November, according to Moody’s Analytics. So things might be heading in the right direction.

But that producer price index improvement will be one of the reasons economists are forecasting a lower CPI this month. The question is: Will it be even lower than expected? We’ll know tomorrow morning.

For a more detailed look at what’s happening to mortgage rates, read the latest weekend edition of this report.

Recently

Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all–time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30–year fixed–rate mortgages.

Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, since last September, the rises have grown more pronounced, though not consistently so.

Freddie’s Feb. 3 report puts that weekly average for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages at 3.55% (with 0.8 fees and points), unchanged from the previous week. But expect to see a rise tomorrow when the new weekly numbers are released.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts

Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rate forecasts for the four quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22).

The numbers in the table below are for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on Jan. 19 and Freddie’s and the MBA’s on Jan. 21.

Forecaster Q1/22 Q2/22 Q3/22 Q4/22
Fannie Mae 3.2% 3.3%  3.3% 3.4%
Freddie Mac 3.5% 3.6%  3.7% 3.7%
MBA 3.3% 3.5%  3.7% 4.0%

Personally, I was surprised that Fannie Mae only slightly increased its rate forecasts in January. It believes that rates for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages will average 3.2% over the current quarter. But, on the day its figures were published, we reported those for conventional loans were already up to 3.87%.

Do Fannie’s economists expect those rates to plummet later this month or in February or March and remain lower in the following quarters? If so, they know something that I don’t. And that their peers in Freddie and the MBA’s teams don’t, either, though I’m less optimistic than any of them.

Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.

Find your lowest rate today

You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

“Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”

Show me today’s rates (Feb 14th, 2022)

Mortgage rate methodology

The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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