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Today's mortgage rates

A gentle upward trend for fixed mortgage rates continued this week.

Freddie Mac reports that the average offered rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moved five basis points (0.05%) higher to 4.17%, edging a little closer to the middle of a 2019 range. Conforming 15-year FRMs moved just two basis points (0.02%) higher, landing at 3.62% for the week, but still affording folks looking to refinance the lowest rate in more than a year. After a sizable bump last week, the initial rate for a 5/1 hybrid ARM settled back a little, easing by two one-hundredths of a percentage point (0.02%) to 3.78%.

Unlike what was reported into early-mid March, the economic news that drives interest rates has been generally brighter in recent weeks. An improving economic climate tends to bring firmer interest rates, and at the moment, there is still some modest upward pressure on mortgage rates. We expect to see this firmness continue in the days ahead.

Each week, we review influences on mortgage rates in our MarketTrends newsletter.

30 Year Fixed
15 Year Fixed
5/1 Year ARM
Source: Freddie Mac

Current Mortgage Rates

Week01/3102/0702/1402/2102/2803/0703/1403/2103/2804/0404/1104/18
30-year-Fixed 4.460% 4.410% 4.370% 4.350% 4.350% 4.410% 4.310% 4.280% 4.060% 4.080% 4.120% 4.170%
15-year-Fixed 3.890% 3.840% 3.810% 3.780% 3.770% 3.830% 3.760% 3.710% 3.570% 3.560% 3.600% 3.620%
5-year-ARM 3.960% 3.910% 3.880% 3.840% 3.840% 3.870% 3.840% 3.840% 3.750% 3.660% 3.800% 3.780%
Source: Freddie Mac
Updated 04/18/2019
Summary

Here are Today's Mortgage Rates

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    • Compare rates from up to 5 lenders
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    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

    Current Interest Rates Analysis

    Mortgage calculators
     

    HSH.com’s mortgage amortization calculation allows you to calculate your monthly payment as well as your long-term mortgage costs.

     

    Plug in your numbers and find out the best way to pay for your refinance – find out how to save the most money.

     

    Qualify yourself for a mortgage amount and maximum home price just like the professionals do.

     

    Wish you refinanced at the very bottom for mortgage rates? Pick the rate you want and prepay your mortgage to the same savings!

    Mortgage rates and more
     

    Our annual outlook and mid-year review of mortgage rates, housing and real estate markets and more.

     

    HSH.com has surveyed lenders and produced mortgage statistics for over 30 years.

     

    The latest available index values for Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs). These values are used by lenders and mortgage servicers to calculate the new ARM interest rate.

     

    After each FOMC meeting, HSH.com details the latest changes to Fed policy and how it will impact mortgage borrowers.

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