Mortgage and refinance rates today, Jan. 13, 2023

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates fell by a worthwhile amount yesterday. They are now at their lowest level since last September.

Earlier this morning it was looking as if mortgage rates today might rise. However, as always, that could change as the hours pass.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.216% 6.251% -0.15%
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.679% 5.731% +0.31%
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.891% 5.944% -0.17%
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.556% 5.656% +0.04%
30 year fixed FHA 6.331% 7.161% +0.32%
15 year fixed FHA 5.389% 5.875% -0.13%
30 year fixed VA 6.404% 6.647% +0.21%
15 year fixed VA 5.936% 6.293% -0.13%
Conventional 5 year ARM 6.37% 6.777% -0.1%
5/1 ARM FHA 6.37% 7.03% -0.1%
5/1 ARM VA 6.37% 7.03% -0.1%
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?

Don’t lock on a day when mortgage rates look set to fall. My recommendations (below) are intended to give longer-term suggestions about the overall direction of those rates. So, they don’t change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.

I will review my personal rate lock recommendations (below) after we’ve had a chance to see how the Federal Reserve reacts to yesterday’s inflation report. Let’s hope there will be some green “float” ones next week.

And, for now, those 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 dropped to 3.44% from 3.53%. (Good for mortgage rates.) However, they were rising this morning, which is bad. More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were lower soon after opening. (Sometimes good for mortgage rates.) When investors buy shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes those prices down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices increased to $78.94 from $78.05 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices Climbed to $1,910 from $1,885 an ounce. (Good for mortgage rates*.) It is generally better for rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy.
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index — nudged up to 60 from 58 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 often better than higher ones

*A movement of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a change of 1% or less. 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 look likely to rise. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change speed or direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

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 broader 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 will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Yesterday’s consumer price index (CPI) showed that prices actually dropped in December. It was the first time that had happened in more than two years.

That was terrific news. No wonder mortgage rates fell. Both markets and the Federal Reserve must have been delighted.

The Fed is likely to see the CPI as showing that its painful anti-inflation measures are beginning to work. However, markets look to me to be too optimistic about how the Fed will respond in practical terms. They seem to believe that the central bank will very quickly stop its rate hikes.

In reality, the Fed will be recalling a painful lesson it learned in the early 1980s. Back then, it fought inflation with massive rate increases, which caused an unusually harsh recession. Sure enough, prices fell. But the Fed let up too soon and inflation rose again, requiring a second recession.

I believe that the Fed is determined not to repeat that mistake. So, markets may not get the low interest rates they hope for as quickly as they wish. And, if they are disappointed in that way, mortgage rates might well rise sharply.

According to Freddie Mac’s archives, the weekly all-time low for mortgage rates was set on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

Freddie’s Jan. 12 report put that same weekly average at 6.33%, down from the previous week’s 6.48%.

In November, Freddie stopped including discount points in its forecasts. It has also delayed until later in the day the time at which it publishes its Thursday reports. And, from now on, we’ll be updating this section on Fridays.

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 rate forecasts for the current quarter (Q4/22) and the first three quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23 and Q3/24).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s and the MBA’s forecasts appeared on Dec. 19 and Freddie’s on Oct. 21. Freddie now publishes its forecasts quarterly and its figures can quickly become stale.

Forecaster Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23 Q3/23
Fannie Mae 6.7% 6.5%  6.4% 6.2%
Freddie Mac 6.8% 6.6%  6.5% 6.4%
MBA 6.6% 6.2%  5.6% 5.4%

Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. And their past record for accuracy hasn’t been wildly impressive.

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.”

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.

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