A handful of principal mortgage rates sank today. Fifteen-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both sank. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also trended down.

Mortgage rates have been increasing 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

For a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 6.81%, which is a decline of 3 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a greater interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage — but also a lower monthly payment. 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 6.16%, which is a decrease of 6 basis points from the same time last week. You’ll definitely have a higher 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. You’ll usually 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 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 5.51%, a fall of 3 basis points compared to last week. For the first five years, you’ll usually get a lower interest rate with a 5/1 ARM compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, since the rate changes with the market rate, you may end up paying more after that time, as described 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, shifts in the market means your interest rate could be a good deal higher once the rate adjusts.

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 0.75 percentage points in an attempt to curb record-high inflation. The Fed has raised rates a total of six 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 in 2022, keep in mind that the Fed has signaled it will continue to raise rates, and mortgage rates could increase as the year goes on. Whether rates follow their upward projection or begin to level out hinges on if inflation actually slows.

We use data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the US:

Today’s mortgage interest rates

Loan term Today’s Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 6.81% 6.84% -0.03
15-year fixed rate 6.16% 6.22% -0.06
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 6.81% 6.79% +0.02
30-year mortgage refinance rate 6.80% 6.83% -0.03

Rates accurate as of Nov. 24, 2022.

How to find the best mortgage rates

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. Make sure to think about 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 higher 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. You should shop around with multiple lenders — such as 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’s the best loan term?

When picking a mortgage, you should consider 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. The interest rates in a fixed-rate mortgage are fixed for the duration of the loan. For adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for a certain number of years (typically five, seven or 10 years), then the rate fluctuates annually based on the current interest rate in the market.

When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should take into consideration the length of time you plan to live in your home. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on living in a home for quite some time. While adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront, fixed-rate mortgages are more stable in the long term. If you don’t plan to keep your new home for more than three to 10 years, however, an adjustable-rate mortgage could give you a better deal. The best loan term all depends on an individual’s situation and goals, so be sure to consider what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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