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Mortgage rates are down! It may be a good time to refinance, or learn the income you need to buy a median-priced home in the top 50 metro areas!

Mortgage rates are down! It may be a good time to refinance, or learn the income you need to buy a median-priced home in the top 50 metro areas!

Today's Mortgage Rates

A slight softening was seen in mortgage rates this week, with a small decline keeping the average 30-year FRM at about a three-year low.

Freddie Mac reported this week that the average offered rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined by five basis points (0.05%) to land at 3.55 percent. Meanwhile, the average offered rate for a conforming 15-year FRM eased by four basis points to drift to 3.03%, offering homeowners looking to refinance an opportunity to shorten the term of their loan at a fantastic price. Although out of favor at the moment, the initial rate for a hybrid 5/1 ARM managed a decline of three one-hundredths of a percentage point, closing the survey week at an average 3.32%.

Minutes from the last Fed meeting this week revealed that the central bank didn't seem to expect to be slashing rates more frequently or more deeply anytime soon, and the economic data of late continues to be quite solid. As such, mortgage rates seem to be firming a bit, and odds favor a slight rise for them in the days ahead.

We'll of course cover the Fed's minutes and the current economic climate and what it all means for mortgage rates in the next weekly MarketTrends newsletter.

How compelling is today's refinancing opportunity? A borrower who took out a $200,000 30-year mortgage at the recent peak in October 2018 (4.90%), a refinance to the average rate today (3.55%) would see their monthly payment plummet from $1,061.45 to just $891.26 (about a 16% reduction) and their total interest cost over the life of the loan decline by nearly $60,000. Worthwhile!

Week30-year-Fixed15-year-Fixed5-year-ARM
08/22 3.550% 3.030% 3.320%
08/15 3.600% 3.070% 3.350%
08/08 3.600% 3.050% 3.360%
08/01 3.750% 3.200% 3.460%
07/25 3.750% 3.180% 3.470%
07/11 3.750% 3.220% 3.460%
06/27 3.730% 3.160% 3.390%
06/20 3.840% 3.250% 3.480%
06/13 3.820% 3.260% 3.510%
06/06 3.820% 3.280% 3.520%
05/30 3.990% 3.460% 3.600%
05/23 4.060% 3.510% 3.680%
Personalize your quotes and see mortgage rates just for you.
Displaying Today's Mortgage Rates for a $150000 Refinance loan in CA.
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Updated: 8/23/2019
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15 year fixed mortgage rates today from 4.250%

Updated: 8/23/2019
15 Yr. Fixed
15 Yr. Fixed
Rate as low as
4.405%
APR
Rate as low as
4.250%
Rate
$ 1,155
Monthly Payment
Show Details
Updated: 8/23/2019
15 Yr. Fixed
15 Yr. Fixed
Rate as low as
3.095%
APR
Rate as low as
2.750%
Rate
$ 1,018
Monthly Payment
Show Details
Updated: 8/23/2019
AimLoan.com
  • Internet direct lender since 1998. View rates & fees, apply/lock online 24/7

Mortgage Choices at a Glance

Loan type/termsFixed 30 yearsFixed 15 years/
20 Years
Hybrid ARMTraditional ARMBalloon Mortgage
Rate changes
  • Never; Fully fixed for entire term
  • Never; Fully fixed for entire term
  • Usually after fixed period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years
  • After that, annual change typical
  • Fully variable
  • Typically changing at one-year intervals
  • Some have shorter change intervals
  • Never; Fully fixed for entire term
Benefits
  • Low, stable payment
  • Usually easiest qualification
  • Stable payments
  • Builds equity faster
  • Lower total interest costs than 30-year term
  • Lower rates than fully fixed-rate mortgage
  • Can sometimes borrow larger loan amount for same income
  • Can have lowest interest rates
  • Qualification may not depend upon today's interest rate
  • Often has lower interest rate/monthly payment over balloon period than fixed rate
  • Similar to hybrid ARM
Drawbacks/Risks
  • Can have highest total interest cost over time
  • User may "buy" more rate stability than actually needed, increasing cost
  • Requires higher income to qualify
  • Less affordable monthly payment
  • Funds commited to payment cannot be used elsewhere
  • Stable payment for a number of years, then unpredictable
  • Rates can jump by as much as 6 percentage points at first adjustment
  • Payments fluctuate at each rate change
  • Unpredictable, rates can change as much as 2 percentage points at each adjustment
  • Loan fully due and payable when balloon period ends
  • Must be paid off or refinanced in unknown market conditions
Alternative strategy
  • Consider Hybrid ARM with appropriate fixed period
  • Consider 30-year term and prepaying loan to preserve cash-flow flexibility
  • Consider Fixed rate mortgage or longest possible fixed period, if loan hold period not known
  • Consider Hybrid ARM to ameliorate rate and payment risks for a given period
  • Consider Hybrid ARM to ensure continued loan availability
These may be useful for...
  • Purchasing a home
  • First-time homebuyers
  • Refinancing to improve cash flow/lower payment
  • Refinancing to lower total interest cost
  • Retiring mortgage more quickly
  • Building or rebuilding equity more quickly
  • Purchasing or refinancing when time horizon is seven years or shorter, and where borrower can handle increase in monthly payments
  • Purchasing or refinancing when interest rates are near top of cycle, and are likely to fall, or sale or refinance is anticipated within three years
  • Purchasing or refinancing when time horizon is three years or longer and home will be sold prior to end of balloon period
Consider if
  • Buying or refinancing a home and planning on owning for longer than 10 years
  • Buying second home
  • Refinancing to build equity
  • Paying off mortgage before life event (retirement, etc)
  • Buying a home and expect to move before fixed period ends, or know income will rise to offset payment risk, even in worst-case scenario
  • Buying or refinancing when income can handle frequent payment changes and worst-case scenario for rates over a four-year period
  • Buying a home and expect to move before balloon period ends, or have resources to pay off mortgage if refinance not available
When shopping, ask about
  • "Full cost" vs. "No cost" refinances, prepaying loan to shorten term if desired
  • If 20-year term makes payment too high, whether 25-year term is available
  • Interest rate caps, for first and subsequent adjustments, worst-case scenario
  • A history of the Index the loan is keyed off, margin and caps
  • Whether or not there is any built-in refinancing option when the balloon period ends
Useful tools & resources

Latest Mortgage Rate Analysis

HSH's longer-range outlook for mortgage rates, where we review our last forecast,discuss current market influences and provide our expectations for mortgage rates over the next nine weeks.

Mortgage Rates

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