Investing News

Though mortgage rates have pulled back somewhat from the sharp gains triggered by the Fed’s mid-September meeting, fixed-rate averages are inching back up. The 30-year rate average is now back to within six points of the three-month high set a week ago.

Today’s National Mortgage Rate Averages

Mortgage rates climbed modestly Tuesday, wth the major averages gaining one to three basis points. The 30-year fixed-rate average rose two basis points to 3.16%, down from the 3.22% level it saw last week. It now sits more than a quarter of a percentage point higher than the five-month low of 2.89% set on August 3.

The 15-year fixed-rate average added two points to 2.42%, while the Jumbo 30-year average edged up just a point to 3.30%. Those averages are registering roughly two-tenths to a quarter of a percentage point above their August lows.

Refinance rates similarly ascended, with the 30-year refinancing average rising three basis points, and the 15-year and Jumbo 30-year refinance averages climbing a single point each. Refinance rates are currently priced 9 to 16 basis points more expensive than new purchase rates.


The rates you see here generally won’t compare directly with teaser rates you see advertised online, since those rates are cherry-picked as the most attractive. They may involve paying points in advance, or may be selected based on a hypothetical borrower with an ultra-high credit score or taking a smaller-than-typical loan given the value of the home.

Lowest Mortgage Rates by State

The lowest mortgage rates available vary depending on the state where originations occur. Mortgage rates can be influenced by state-level variations in credit score, average mortgage loan term, and size, as well as individual lenders’ varying risk management strategies.

These rates are surveyed directly from over 200 top lenders.

What Causes Mortgage Rates to Rise or Fall?

Mortgage rates are determined by a complex interaction of macroeconomic and industry factors, such as the level and direction of the bond market, including 10-year Treasury yields; the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy, especially as it relates to funding government-backed mortgages; and competition between lenders and across loan types. Because fluctuations can be caused by any number of these at once, it’s generally difficult to attribute the change to any one factor.

Macroeconomic factors have kept the mortgage market relatively low for the last several months. In particular, the Federal Reserve has been buying billions of dollars of bonds and continues to do so. This bond-buying policy (and not the more publicized federal funds rate) is a major influencer on mortgage rates.

But Fed policy could soon change. The Fed’s rate and policy committee, called the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), meets every 6-8 weeks, and concluded their latest meeting September 22. Though they did not yet announce a change to their bond-buying plans, a majority of Fed members indicated they favor beginning to taper the stimulus by the end of 2021.

The next scheduled FOMC event will be the October 13 release of detailed minutes from the September 22 meeting.


The national averages cited above were calculated based on the lowest rate offered by more than 200 of the country’s top lenders, assuming a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80% and an applicant with a FICO credit score in the 700-760 range. The resulting rates are representative of what customers should expect to see when receiving actual quotes from lenders based on their qualifications, which may vary from advertised teaser rates.

For our map of the best state rates, the lowest rate currently offered by a surveyed lender in that state is listed, assuming the same parameters of an 80% LTV and a credit score between 700-760.