Mortgage interest rates on the 15-year and 30-year mortgages are down from last week, Freddie Mac reported.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased again this week, with declines totaling almost a quarter of a percent in two weeks’ time,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said.

For 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the average interest rate was 6.74% this week, a decent drop from last week when rates averaged 6.88%. Rates aren’t down quite as much as last year when they were 6.6%, on average.

Additionally, 15-year mortgages averaged 6.16%, down slightly from last week when they averaged 6.22%. These mortgages also aren’t as low as last year when they averaged 5.9%.

“Despite the recent dip, mortgage rates remain high as the market contends with the pressure of sticky inflation,” Khater said. “In this environment, there is a good possibility that rates will stay higher for a longer period of time.”

If you want to take advantage of lowering interest rates, consider using Credible to help you easily compare interest rates from multiple lenders in minutes.


Spring likely to bring higher home prices

Warmer weather tends to bring a booming housing market as more homebuyers start looking for homes and inventory grows.

Sellers who list their homes in the spring and summer months often make more money when their home sells because the market is more competitive. A Zillow study found that June was the most profitable month for sellers. Homes listed in the first half of June sold for 2.3% more, on average, putting about $7,700 more in the pocket of sellers.

Location matters when it comes to selling power. In San Francisco, the best time to list is the second half of February, but the first half of July is the best time to sell in New York and Philadelphia.

Certain locations also boast even higher profits during warmer months. During the hottest time of the year, homes in San Jose sold for 5.5% more, boosting profits by $88,000 on an average home, according to Zillow. However, homes in San Antonio sold for just 1.9% more during the same time frame.

“Most sellers don’t have the luxury of timing the market,” Zillow Chief Economist Skylar Olsen said. “The best time to list is when it makes the most sense for their lives.” 

“Regardless of the month, sellers who list their home for sale this spring can expect plenty of interest if their home is marketed and priced right.,” she contined. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to hire a real estate agent with the experience to localize your strategy when comparable sales might be further afield.”

If you’re looking to compete with other buyers this spring, you can explore your mortgage options by visiting Credible to compare rates and lenders and get a mortgage preapproval letter in minutes.


To afford homes, buyers need higher incomes than they did a few years ago

Buyers are facing a tougher market than they did a few years ago. To comfortably afford a home, buyers need to make more than $106,000 annually, another Zillow study showed. This income requirement is 80% higher than in 2020.

Monthly mortgage payments are higher than ever and have doubled since 2020. Payments average $2,188, assuming the buyer puts 10% down. With such high prices, affordability has become a major issue. In 2020, households earning $59,000 annually could afford the median-priced home without spending more than 30% of their income.

The $106,000 income needed today is well above the average household income in the U.S. The average household earns about $81,000.

Some areas are more affordable than others and require a much lower income to afford the average-priced home. Pittsburgh buyers need to earn just $58,232 to afford the average home. Memphis residents need $69,976 and Cleveland residents need $70,810.

Costlier cities like San Jose and San Francisco require much more in annual income to afford a home. San Jose requires an average annual income of $454,296 while San Francisco requires $339,864, according to Zillow.

To see if you qualify for a mortgage based on your current credit score and salary, consider using Credible, where you can compare multiple mortgage lenders at once.


Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.


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Data experts on the mortgage team at NerdWallet dig into NerdWallet’s survey research, as well as public datasets, to identify trends and provide insights on the ever-changing U.S. housing market. On this page, you’ll find some of NerdWallet’s most-read research and commentaries on home buyers and sellers, mortgage interest rates and homeownership.

For NerdWallet statistics and data on additional topics, including credit cards, banking and student loans, head to our studies and data analysis hub.

Have questions or want to speak with a NerdWallet expert? Reach out to [email protected].

Mortgage interest rates

Daily mortgage interest rates

Mortgage interest rates this week

Mortgage interest rates this month

NerdWallet home and mortgages expert Holden Lewis writes a monthly column covering the near-term forecast for mortgage rates.

Annual home buyer report

Every winter, NerdWallet collaborates with The Harris Poll to survey U.S. adults 18 years and older. The results provide a nationally representative snapshot of how Americans perceive the housing market.

  • 2024 Home Buyer Report: Pessimism reigns as home buyers struggle and the goal of homeownership loses some of its luster.

  • 2023 Home Buyer Report: Higher mortgage interest rates and apprehensions about the economy have Americans unsure about their ability to purchase homes.

  • 2021 Home Buyer Report: Pent-up demand from would-be home buyers clashes with a limited supply of homes for sale.

  • 2020 Home Buyer Report: Buying a home is a top priority, especially for younger generations, but some feel locked out of homeownership.

  • 2019 Home Buyer Report: Recent buyers have had to get competitive to close their deals, and many feel stretched by the costs of homeownership.

  • 2018 Home Buyer Report: Homeownership is a widely shared goal, but concerns about costs keep some buyers sidelined.

Quarterly first-time home buyer affordability report

Each quarter, NerdWallet data analyst Elizabeth Renter analyzes information from sources including the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Association of Realtors to better understand the challenges facing first-time home buyers.

  • Q4 2023: A slight bump in inventory isn’t enough to ease affordability challenges.

  • Q3 2023: Higher mortgage rates outpace slight price declines seen in some metros.

  • Q2 2023: Seasonality appears to be returning to home prices.

  • Q1 2023: Banks’ tighter lending standards add to the difficult climate for first-time buyers.

  • Q4 2022: Higher mortgage interest rates deter buyers, easing inventory woes. 

  • Q3 2022: Price increases slow, but rising mortgage rates eat into potential savings.

  • Q2 2022: Falling wages and price growth intensify affordability struggles.

  • Q1 2022: Two years’ worth of data highlights housing market challenges.

  • Q4 2021: High prices and low inventory are a double whammy in some markets.

  • Q3 2021: Moderate improvements may be blips, not trends.

  • Q2 2021: Notable year-over-year decline in affordability. 

  • Q4 2020: Typical winter shifts in the housing market may help home buyers.

  • Q3 2020: Competition is hot for the limited supply of homes on the market.

  • Q2 2020: Real estate booms as the country comes out of quarantine.

  • Q1 2020: Home prices rise, even as the effects of the pandemic are unclear.

Holden Lewis, senior writer and spokesperson

Elevated mortgage rates took a bite out of new home sales in February, as they declined slightly from the previous month. Builders continue to respond to affordability concerns; half of the homes sold in February cost under $400,000, compared with 45% in January.

March 25, 2024

Latest housing market columns from Holden Lewis

Additional studies and data analysis

Home buyers

Home improvement

  • 2022 study: After a boom in renovations and DIY projects, homeowners may dial back home improvement plans (Nov. 2022).

  • 2020 study: Homeowners prioritize DIY and paying for projects with cash (Oct. 2020).

Home sellers

  • 2023 data analysis: Why homeowners may want to sell despite higher interest rates (March 2023).

  • 2021 study: What to expect listing a home in a seller’s market (April 2021).

  • 2019 study: What sellers should know before listing (May 2019) .

Housing market

Mortgage denials

  • 2022 data analysis: Higher home prices and debt contribute to home loan denials (Nov. 2023).

  • 2021 data analysis: Competition and lack of collateral drive mortgage denials (Oct. 2022).

  • 2020 data analysis: Tighter lending standards make some home loans harder to obtain (Nov. 2021).

  • 2019 data analysis: Debt-to-income ratio most-cited reason for mortgage denials (Oct. 2020).


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Servicing, Non-QM DSCR, RON Products; Freddie and Fannie News; Rate Cut Outlook

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Tue, Apr 9 2024, 11:37 AM

Here in the Hill Country near Austin, Texas, there’s an active market of sellers and buyers of real estate. It is a safe bet that most use agents; around 90 percent of buyers use them, and Clever released data on average real estate commission rates in the U.S. as they stand now. Clever found that on the median-priced home of $431,000, the average U.S. home seller pays real estate commission fees of about $23,662. In a survey of 630 partner agents, the average real estate commission rate in the U.S. is 5.49 percent, divided between the listing agent (2.83 percent) and the buyer’s agent (2.66 percent). The average commission rate rose from 5.37 percent in 2023. Most real estate agents typically work within a range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. Several key factors influence this, such as property value, client relationship & circumstances, sale complexity, services provided, and market conditions. Hawaii is home to the lowest average real estate commission rate (4.78 percent), while West Virginia has the highest (6.67 percent). (Found here after 8:30AM ET, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by PHH Mortgage. From subservicing to correspondent lending, MSR/co-issue transactions, portfolio retention, reverse mortgages, and commercial servicing, PHH has solutions for the entire mortgage lifecycle. Hear an interview with Cross Country Mortgage’s Nicole Perrone on ways lenders are expanding production and capturing market share.)

Lender and Broker Products, Software, and Services

ICE Mortgage Technology® customers are experiencing exciting benefits from the integration between Simplifile® and The Closing Exchange, a leading provider of notary services and order management technology. This integration supports settlement agents and lenders who wish to conduct remote online notary (RON) transactions but may not have the necessary staff or infrastructure in place to facilitate such closings. By leveraging The Closing Exchange’s extensive network of notaries, and their expertise in performing signings, customers can now drive a better borrower closing experience by seamlessly leveraging a RON notary who is already set up in Simplifile® eSign Events™. Click here to learn more.

Long-term Rental or Vacation Rental? Visio Lending is the nation’s leader in Non-QM Investor DSCR loans for buy and hold SFR rentals with nearly a decade of experience and over $2.7 billion in originations. No-DTI, 30-year terms, rate buy downs, free 45-day rate locks; I/O and Sub-1 DSCR options available. Now choose your own title company (including on refinances). Through our top-notch Broker Program, brokers are able to earn up to 2 points YSP, and 5 points total. Visio Brokers can count on a designated Account Executive and in-house processing.

Understanding what you’re up against in this economy is paramount for every originator. You need to find opportunity, and we want to help you do just that. Join us Thursday, April 25 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a roundtable discussion featuring MAXEX President, COO and Co-founder Bill Decker, South Street Securities Managing Director Buck Thompson and AmeriVet Securities Head of U.S. Rates Greg Faranello. We’ll dive into the current headwinds, where customers are finding success and how you can break away from the traditional business as usual to build a more resilient foundation for the future. Register today to join the discussion.

Servicing Products

How does Servbank maintain such low delinquency rates? Because Servbank identifies and addresses delinquency risk before it has a chance to grow. They utilize their leading-edge technology to drive precise customer outreach and combine it with caring specialists, who work in partnership with customers to achieve positive resolutions. Together, this combination of people and tech, allows Servbank to stay ahead of the DQ curve, not to mention the rest of the market. And when delinquencies are kept low, everybody wins: It’s good for homeowners, the communities they live in, and you, the lender, by reducing your servicing advances, resulting in more monthly cash flow for you. Servbank blends the best of human – and tech-powered service to create excellence with superior performance. Learn more here.

DOWN TO THE ROOTS OF DARA CLAIMS. Dara by Sagent is a unified platform that includes a complete suite of tools for default servicing, and this is where Dara Claims makes a positive impact. It’s the first-of-its-kind tool designed to improve recoverability while reducing risk and cost. Integrating automation and real-time data to simplify the claims process helps reduce manual data entry for servicers, opening up the opportunity to focus on nurturing stronger relationships with homeowners. For a deep dive into all things Dara Claims, read our blog here.

Fannie and Freddie Updates

Given that the lion’s share of mortgages is underwritten to Freddie & Fannie’s guidelines, or are processed to their guidelines, or are sold to them either directly or via a correspondent investor, the changes they make are closely followed.

Fannie Mae posted the March Appraiser Quality Monitoring (AQM) list.

Fannie Mae is taking a phased approach to Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) Phase 5 implementation to allow lenders time to begin providing new and updated values prior to the July 28, 2025, mandate. Refer to its new implementation guide for important transition information.

Freddie Mac Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2024-4 announced updates pertaining to Manufactured Home certification requirements as well as other updates that can impact your business and our borrowers.

On April 5, Fannie Mae updated its Selling & Servicing Guide pages to improve the user experience, with enhancements to content navigation and search functionality. These enhancements do not impact the Selling & Servicing Guide content or layout. While the Guide URLs and redirects will remain active until January 2025, bookmarks should be updated as soon as possible after April 5. View Fannie Mae’s Enhancements to Your Selling & Servicing Guide Experience.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) announced the timeline and scope for the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) v2.0 Specification updates, and postponed UCD critical edits Phase 4 and 3B requirements.

Capital Markets

Bond yields hit 2024 highs to open the week with inflation in focus as investors continue to walk back interest rate cut expectations in the wake of Friday’s robust March NFP data. As a reminder, March’s jobs report was yet another this year that exceeded economists’ expectations and saw the prior two months of data revised upward. Monthly job gains in the first quarter of 2024 averaged 276,333 compared to last year’s 251,083 monthly average. The continued strength in the labor markets means policy makers at the Federal Reserve have little incentive to lower the target for the fed funds rate.

The robust March payrolls report continues to weigh on bond markets as it means that any change to Fed policy will be likely pushed back to later in the year. The front-end of the yield curve was more reactive to changing rate cut expectations yesterday than the long-end, though rate cut expectations will be a moving target the next couple of days with the release of the March Consumer Price Index on Wednesday and March Producer Price Index on Thursday. CPI will be the most closely watched, and the headline number is expected to tick slightly higher to a 3.4 percent annualized rate compared to the previous report’s 3.2 percent. This would be the highest rate of inflation since December. The core is expected to come in at a 3.7 percent clip, down from 3.8 percent in February.

“Fed speak” lately has been hawkish, and the sentiment for rate cuts seems to be fading fast. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari last week raised the possibility of rate hikes if inflation doesn’t continue to work its way lower, while Fed Governor Bowman declaring that progress on inflation “has stalled,” and Dallas president Logan added to the malaise when she declared it “much too soon” to think about rate cuts. Gasoline prices rose again in March as OPEC+ producers extended supply cuts, the Middle East conflict threatened to broaden, Ukraine attacked Russian refineries, and U.S. crude production leveled off near a record high. Nothing here points to a near-term rate cut, and investors have decreased their forecasts of Fed rate cuts this year to two as the most likely outcome, their most pessimistic outlook since late October. June fed funds futures now see slightly less than a 50-50 chance of a cut.

Today’s calendar began before the open with the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for March. Later today brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending April 6, and Treasury auctions that will be headlined by $59 billion 3-year notes. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by about .125 and the 10-year yielding 4.39 after closing yesterday at 4.42 percent; the yield curve inversion continues with the 2-year at 4.77.


Be The Key at Movement! Movement Mortgage’s new Be the Key program empowers loan officers and realtors to serve the Black community. Collectively we are unlocking the doors to homeownership, equity, and generational wealth across the country. Be the Key is part of Movement’s over-arching Grab the Key program, which also includes Grab the Key, Jr. These programs offer consumers and young students educational classes, community events and practical mortgage resources. For more information on these programs and how Movement’s diversity lending initiatives equip loan officers in a unique way, contact Montell Watson or visit Be a part of the change. Be the key.

Banner Bank, a top performing and globally recognized financial institution, has a unique opportunity for a VP, Mortgage Servicing Director in Southeast Washington. This part of the country offers breathtaking views of the panoramic wine country, a temperate climate, and some of the best outdoor opportunities in the West. Banner is seeking a visionary expert in Mortgage Loan Servicing with superior knowledge of the technical landscape and outstanding leadership experience. The role is relocation approved. To apply visit, Banner Careers. Resumes should be submitted there, but any questions should be directed to Ken Larsen, EVP & Mortgage Banking Director.

Canopy Mortgage is making waves nationally, with a rapid influx of high-performing loan officers, averaging one every other day. What’s the draw? It’s their streamlined corporate structure, integrated proprietary technology, unique profit and loss model, and empowering ethos highlighted by Forbes. This growth is fueled by strong relationships and referrals, establishing Canopy as a leader in mortgage lending innovation. Haven’t heard of Canopy yet? Ask around or reach out to Josh Neumarker at 888-696-9076 for a Tech Demo or consultation.

NAN (Nationwide Appraisal Network) is pleased to announce the appointment of William “Bill” Waltenbaugh, SRA, AI-RRS, as its new Chief Appraiser. With a distinguished career spanning over three decades in the property valuation industry, Bill brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to his new role. Bill is eager to collaborate with the NAN team and like-minded professionals to drive innovation and elevate industry standards. His leadership will be invaluable as NAN continues to enhance their services and drive growth. Bill will leverage his extensive experience and deep industry knowledge to advance NAN’s commitment to technology, communication, and accountability. He is deeply passionate about the evolution of the valuation industry, with a keen focus on product development and modernization. His appointment as Chief Appraiser underscores NAN’s commitment to excellence and innovation in the property valuation industry. NAN looks forward to continued success and growth under his leadership.

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for Rob Chrisman’s Commentary.


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Editor’s Note: Parts of this story were auto-populated using data from Curinos, a mortgage research firm that collects data from more than 250 lenders. For more details on how we compile daily mortgage data, check out our methodology here.

Mortgage rates have largely held steady after a stronger-than-forecasted jobs report on Friday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 7.24% APR today, down -0.02 percentage points from last week, according to data from Curinos analyzed by MarketWatch Guides. 

In its monthly report on job growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced an employment gain of 303,000 new jobs for March with the unemployment rate decreasing slightly from 3.9% to 3.8%. These “eye-popping” numbers could mean the Federal Reserve will hold off even longer on lowering interest rates, said Steve Wyett, chief investment strategist at BOK Financial in an email sent to MarketWatch. 

While positive for the overall economy, this does not seem to be welcome news for the housing market. Joel Kan, the Mortgage Banker Association’s deputy chief economist, said in a report on Wednesday that today’s relatively high mortgage rates have continued to slow down home buying. Refinance rates are also 5% lower than last year.

Here are today’s average mortgage rates:

  • 30-year fixed mortgage rate: 7.24%
  • 15-year fixed mortgage rate: 6.58%
  • 5/6 ARM mortgage rate: 7.03%
  • Jumbo mortgage rate: 7.20%

Current Mortgage Rates

Product Rate Last Week Change
30-Year Fixed Rate 7.24% 7.26% -0.02
15-Year Fixed Rate 6.58% 6.52% +0.06
5/6 ARM 7.03% 7.01% +0.02
7/6 ARM 7.24% 7.18% +0.06
10/6 ARM 7.28% 7.22% +0.06
30-Year Fixed Rate Jumbo 7.20% 7.14% +0.06
30-Year Fixed Rate FHA 6.91% 6.97% -0.06
30-Year Fixed Rate VA 6.96% 7.03% -0.07

Disclaimer: The rates above are based on data from Curinos, LLC. All rate data is accurate as of Monday, April 08, 2024. Actual rates may vary.

>> View historical mortgage rate trends

Mortgage Rates for Home Purchase

30-year fixed-rate mortgages are down, -0.02

The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 7.24%. Since the same time last week, the rate is down, changing -0.02 percentage points.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay $681.50 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. You’re paying less compared to last week when the average rate was 7.26%.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages are up, +0.06

The average rate you’ll pay for a 15-year fixed-mortgage is 6.58%, an increase of +0.06 percentage points compared to last week.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed-mortgage at a rate of 6.58% will cost approximately $875.51 per $100,000 borrowed. With the rate of 6.52% last week, you would’ve paid $872.21 per month.

5/6 adjustable-rate mortgages are up, +0.02

The average rate on a 5/6 adjustable rate mortgage is 7.03%, an increase of +0.02 percentage points over the last seven days.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, commonly referred to as ARMs, are mortgages with a fixed interest rate for a set period of time followed by a rate that adjusts on a regular basis. With a 5/6 ARM, the rate is fixed for the first 5 years and then adjusts every six months over the next 25 years.

Monthly payments on a 5/6 ARM at a rate of 7.03% will cost approximately $667.32 per $100,000 borrowed over the first 5 years of the loan.

Jumbo loan interest rates are up, +0.06

The average jumbo mortgage rate today is 7.20%, an increase of +0.06 percentage points over the past week.

Jumbo loans are mortgages that exceed loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and funding criteria of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. This generally means that the amount of money borrowed is higher than $726,200.

Product Monthly P&I per $100,000 Last Week Change
30-Year Fixed Rate $681.50 $682.85 -$1.35
15-Year Fixed Rate $875.51 $872.21 +$3.30
5/6 ARM $667.32 $665.97 +$1.35
7/6 ARM $681.50 $677.43 +$4.07
10/6 ARM $684.21 $680.14 +$4.07
30-Year Fixed Rate Jumbo $678.79 $674.73 +$4.06
30-Year Fixed Rate FHA $659.27 $663.29 -$4.02
30-Year Fixed Rate VA $662.62 $667.32 -$4.70

Note: Monthly payments on adjustable-rate mortgages are shown for the first five, seven and 10 years of the loan, respectively.

Factors That Affect Your Mortgage Rate

Mortgage rates change frequently based on the economic environment. Inflation, the federal funds rate, housing market conditions and other factors all play into how rates move from week-to-week and month-to-month.

But outside of macroeconomic trends, several other factors specific to the borrower will affect the mortgage interest rate. They include:

  • Financial situation: Mortgage lenders use past financial decisions of borrowers as a way to evaluate the risk of loaning money.
  • Loan amount and structure: The amount of money that bank or mortgage lender loans and its structure (including both the term and whether its a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate).
  • Location: Mortgage rates vary by where you are buying a home. Areas with more lenders, and thus more competition, may have lower rates. Foreclosure laws can also impact a lender’s risk, affecting rates.
  • Whether borrowers are first-time homebuyers: Oftentimes first-time homebuyer programs will offer new homeowners lower rates.
  • Lenders: Banks, credit unions and online lenders all may offer slightly different rates depending on their internal determination.

How To Shop for the Best Mortgage Rate

Comparison shopping for a mortgage can be overwhelming, but it’s shown to be worth the effort. Homeowners may be able to save between $600 and $1,200 annually by shopping around for the best rate, researchers found in a recent study by Freddie Mac. That’s why we put together steps on how to shop for the best mortgage rate.

1. Check credit scores and credit reports

A borrower’s credit situation will likely determine the type of mortgage they can pursue, as well as their rate. Conventional loans are typically only offered to borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher, while FHA loans may be the best option for borrowers with a FICO score between 500 and 619. Additionally, individuals with higher credit scores are more likely to be offered a lower mortgage interest rate. 

Mortgage lenders often review scores from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. By viewing your scores ahead of lenders considering you for a loan, you can check for errors and even work to improve your score by paying down balances and limiting new credit cards and loans. 

2. Know the options

There are four standard mortgage programs: conventional, FHA, VA and USDA. To get the best mortgage rate and increase your odds of approval, it’s important for potential borrowers to do their research and apply for the mortgage program that best fits their financial situation. 

The table below describes each program, highlighting minimum credit score and down payment requirements. 

Though conventional mortgages are most common, borrowers will also need to consider their repayment plan and term. Rates can be either fixed or adjustable and terms can range from 10 to 30 years, though most homeowners opt for a 15- or 30-year mortgage. 

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3. Compare quotes across multiple lenders

Shopping around for a mortgage goes beyond comparing rates online. We recommend reaching out to lenders directly to see the “real” rate as figures listed online may not be representative of a borrower’s particular situation. While most experts recommend getting quotes from three to five lenders, there is no limit on the number of mortgage companies you can apply with. In many cases, lenders will allow borrowers to prequalify for a mortgage and receive a tentative loan offer with no impact to their credit score.

After gathering your loan documents – including proof of income, assets and credit – borrowers may also apply for pre-approval. Pre-approval will let them know where they stand with lenders and may also improve  negotiating power with home sellers. 

4. Review loan estimates

To fully understand which lender is offering the cheapest loan overall, take a look at the loan estimate provided by each lender. A loan estimate will list not only the mortgage rate, but also a borrower’s annual percentage rate (APR), which includes the interest rate and other lender fees such as closing costs and discount points. 

By comparing loan estimates across lenders, borrowers can see the full breakdown of their possible costs. One lender may offer lower interest rates, but higher fees and vice versa. Looking at the loan’s APR can give you a good apples-to-apples comparison between lenders that takes into account both rates and fees.

5. Consider negotiating with lenders on rates

Mortgage lenders want to do business. This means that borrowers may use competing offers as leverage to adjust fees and interest rates. Many lenders may not lower their offered rate by much, but even a few basis points may save borrowers more than they might think in the long run. For instance, the difference between 6.8% and 7.0% on a 30-year, fixed-rate $100,000 mortgage is roughly $5,000 over the life of the loan.

Expert Forecasts for Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have cooled significantly over the past several months. After the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 8% last October, it ended 2023 closer to 7%. In fact, the average for Q4 2023 was 7.3%.

Analysts with Fannie Mae and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) both project that rates will fall going into 2024 and throughout next year.

Fannie Mae economists expect rates to drop more quickly, falling below 6% by Q4 2024. Meanwhile, the MBA’s forecast for Q4 2024 is 6.1% and 5.9% for Q1 2025.

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More Mortgage Resources


Every weekday, MarketWatch Guides provides readers with the latest rates on 11 different types of mortgages. Data for these daily averages comes from Curinos, LLC, a leading provider of mortgage research that collects data from more than 250 lenders. For more details on how we compile daily mortgage data, check out our comprehensive methodology here. Editor’s Note: Before making significant financial decisions, consider reviewing your options with someone you trust, such as a financial adviser, credit counselor or financial professional, since every person’s situation and needs are different.


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Weekly housing inventory data

Active inventory still needs to be faster for my taste. My model has active inventory growing at least 11,000-17,000 every week with higher rates. This model was based on rates over 7.25%, but even when mortgage rates headed toward 8% last year, we didn’t see that kind of growth in inventory. This week, inventory fell week to week, but that’s the Easter bunny’s fault.

  • Weekly inventory change (March 29-April 5): Inventory fell from  517,355 to 512,930
  • The same week last year (March 30-April 7): Inventory rose from 410,734 to 411,577
  • The all-time inventory bottom was in 2022 at 240,194
  • The inventory peak for 2023 was 569,898
  • For some context, active listings for this week in 2015 were 1,021,567

New listings data

While the number of new listings isn’t growing as fast as I thought it would this year, it’s still growing, which means we have more sellers looking to buy a home once they sell. This variable can change when we experience a recession or job loss. However, for now, this is a plus for the U.S. housing market, and we should ignore the decline last week.

Number of new listings last week, by year:

  • 2024: 54,769 
  • 2023: 55,008
  • 2022: 63,374

Price-cut percentage

In an average year, one-third of all homes take a price cut; this is standard housing activity. When mortgage rates go higher and demand falls, the price-cut percentage grows; when rates drop, and demand gets better, the percentage falls.

It’s also critical to consider the year-over-year data with this line. Last year, when mortgage rates were heading toward 8%, the year-over-year price-cut percentage was continuously declining, which makes sense when you consider 2022 was a very abnormal year with the most significant home sales crash ever. As inventory is growing and demand isn’t booming on the mortgage side of things, the price-cut percentage is increasing year over year.

It’s critical to keep track of this data line as it shows price growth cooling down. That’s always what the doctor ordered because we have had massive housing inflation post-COVID-19. Having accurate weekly data gives us a big advantage to see what’s coming next.

Here’s the price-cut percentage for last week over the last several years:

  • 2024: 32%
  • 2023: 29.9%
  • 2022: 17.6%

10-year yield and mortgage rates

We had some good and bad news last week with mortgage rates.

First, the bad news” The 10-year yield broke a critical support level on Friday, and if we get more bond market selling, that will pressure mortgage rates higher.

But the good news is that the spread between the 10-year yield and mortgage rates is getting much better, sooner than I thought it would this year. We didn’t see much reaction on Friday with mortgage rates because the spreads were good. This is a huge plus because if and when the 10-year yield falls and if the spreads get even better, this means we could quickly get sub-6% mortgage rates with the 10-year yield at 3.37% — without it even breaking my “Gandalf line in the sand.”

I wrote a detailed article on Friday analyzing the jobs report, and showing how the latest labor data gives the Federal Reserve a pathway to land the plane if they want. See here for more details and charts.

As you can see below, even though the growth rate of inflation has fallen a lot, CPI inflation has gone from over 9% year over year to 3.2%; the 10-year yield is still elevated. As always, the labor data is more important than inflation data for now.

Purchase application data

Purchase application data didn’t move much last week, making it back-to-back weeks with flat weekly data. It was flat on a week-to-week basis and down 13% year over year. Since November 2023, after making holiday adjustments, we have had 10 positive and six negative purchase application prints and two flat prints. Year to date, we have had four positive prints, six negative prints and two flat prints.

The data tells me that since late 2022, many people have been waiting for lower mortgage rates, and even though rates are elevated compared to the last decard, people still jumped back into the market. Imagine if mortgage rates stayed near 6% for a year — mortgage demand would grow and we wouldn’t need tax credits to boost demand for existing homes.

Week ahead: Inflation week!

We are jumping right from jobs week into inflation week with the upcoming CPI and PPI inflation data. These will be important reports as many market players have used the seasonal base pricing variable as a reason why the last two months’ inflation data was a bit hotter than usual. This week will be critical to watch because if the inflation data comes in cooler than anticipated, the 10-year yield should fall, and with spreads getting better, that will be a plus for mortgage rates.


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Home loan borrowing costs fell for the second week in a row, pulling the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate to its lowest level since early February — good news for prospective home shoppers as the spring homebuying season gets underway.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage dropped to 6.74% from 6.88% last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the rate averaged 6.60%.

Borrowing costs on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular with homeowners refinancing their home loans, also fell this week, pulling the average rate down to 6.16% from 6.22% last week. A year ago it averaged 5.90%, Freddie Mac said.

“Despite the recent dip, mortgage rates remain high as the market contends with the pressure of sticky inflation,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In this environment, there is a good possibility that rates will stay higher for a longer period of time.”

The recent pullback in rates follows a string of rate increases. Mortgage rates rose for most of February as stronger-than-expected reports on inflation and the economy fueled speculation among bond investors that the Federal Reserve would have to hold off on cutting interest rates longer than expected.

The Fed has signaled that it will likely cut its key interest rate this year, once it sees more evidence that inflation is falling sustainably back to its 2% target. The Fed’s main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001.

Investors’ expectations for future inflation, global demand for U.S. Treasurys and what the Fed does with interest rates can influence rates on home loans.

Economists expect that mortgage rates will ease further this year, though most forecasts have the average rate on a 30-year mortgage going no lower than 6% by the end of the year. But that’s not likely to happen until the Fed begins cutting its short-term interest rate, something Wall Street is largely betting won’t happen until June, according to data from CME Group.

Despite the choppy trajectory in mortgage rates this year, the average rate on a 30-year home loan is still down from the 23-year high of 7.79% it reached in late October.

“Rates are much lower than they were last fall when they hovered near 8%,” said Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist at Bright MLS. “Any downward trend in rates later this spring will bring more buyers and sellers into the market.”

The decline in rates since their peak last fall has helped lower monthly mortgage payments, providing more financial breathing room for homebuyers facing rising prices and a shortage of homes for sale.

Lower rates helped lift sales of previously occupied U.S. homes by 3.1% in January versus the previous month to the strongest sales pace since August.

Still, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage remains well above where it was just two years ago at 4.16%. That large gap between rates now and then has helped limit the number of previously occupied homes on the market by discouraging homeowners who locked in rock-bottom rates from selling.


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The Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA) this week submitted a letter to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that urges the agency to “provide comparable down payment treatment for FHA borrowers, regardless of whether or not the seller is willing to pay the home buyer broker commission,” according to an announcement by the organization.

The letter is being sent in response to a series of real estate commission lawsuits and the recent $418 million settlement by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), with the association also agreeing to abolish the “Participation Rule” requiring sell-side agents to make an offer of compensation to buyer brokers.

CHLA contends that the settlement is “likely to result in a shifting from the home seller to the home buyer of the financial responsibility to pay buyer Realtor commissions,” and cites three key concerns in its letter addressed to FHA Commissioner Julia Gordon.

The first is a contention that large swaths of first-time homebuyers, who already face major challenges to enter the housing market, will not be able to meet higher down payment thresholds necessary to pay the buyer’s agent commission when using FHA financing.

“We believe that FHA borrowers should not have to make a much higher down payment merely because the seller is (arbitrarily) unwilling to fund the buyer agent commission,” the letter stated.

The CHLA also raises concerns about preexisting biases that may impact borrowers using FHA financing, a bias they contend has been demonstrated in the past.

“Existing (and well documented) home seller biases against buyers with FHA loans will be exacerbated, because of concerns over the buyer’s ability to make higher down payments,” the letter stated.

The third highlighted concern stems from the potential for inflated sales prices based on commission impacts, with CHLA contending that sellers “may use their leverage over the higher down payment levels to extract a higher sales price in exchange for agreeing to pay the buyer agent commission.”

The letter provides a series of prototype loan scenarios that could spin out of the settlement, illustrating CHLA’s arguments. Among the scenarios is one that CHLA hopes will become standard practice, in which “every home seller will be willing to pay the buyer agent commission, as a courtesy and without extracting a higher price in exchange for doing so,” the letter stated. “However, we do not have confidence that this will be the case.”

FHA borrowers are particularly vulnerable to sellers who may try to leverage a higher sales price, since “paying cash for their agent’s commission may not be economically feasible [for FHA buyers],” the letter read. “Having spent several years building up cash reserves for the down payment, the homebuyer will thus have to wait a few years longer to accumulate the cash necessary to fund this amount.”

Late last month, FHA addressed a common question the agency had received from interested stakeholders, who asked how the proposed settlement agreement will affect the treatment of seller-paid buyer broker fees in transactions that use FHA-insured mortgage financing.

“Under existing FHA policy, if sellers continue to pay buyer-side real estate agent commissions and fees as a manner of state and local law or custom, and if the commissions and fees are reasonable in amount, existing policy would not treat those payments as interested party contributions provided all other requirements are met,” the agency said in an informational notice distributed to professionals via email and published online.

Editor’s note: An FHA statement on a different matter was erroneously included in a previous version of this article.


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Mortgage rates have gone down in recent days. This week, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.37%, according to Zillow data. This is 24 basis points down from the previous week’s average. But they could tick back up in the next couple of weeks depending on how some major economic reports turn out.

Most major forecasters expect mortgage rates to decline in 2024, but so far we haven’t seen any signs of a sustained drop. As we get more data showing that inflation is cooling, mortgage rates should start trending down more definitively. But if inflation remains sticky for longer than expected, rates will likely stay near their current levels.

On Friday, the Commerce Department released the latest Personal Consumption Expenditures price index data. The PCE price index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. The latest data showed that prices rose 2.5% year over year in February. This is a slight uptick from the previous month. 

Fed officials have indicated that they expect the path to lower inflation to be bumpy, and that they’re waiting for more data before they’ll consider lowering the federal funds rate. 

The sooner the Fed can start cutting rates, the sooner mortgage rates will start to fall. At the moment, investors are anticipating that first cut to come at the Fed’s June meeting, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. But hotter-than-expected economic data could push that timeline back. 

Today’s mortgage rates

Mortgage type Average rate today
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mortgage rates on Zillow

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Today’s refinance rates

Mortgage type Average rate today
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mortgage rates on Zillow

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Mortgage Calculator

Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s interest rates will affect your monthly payments:

Mortgage Calculator

Your estimated monthly payment

Total paid$418,177
Principal paid$275,520
Interest paid$42,657
  • Paying a 25% higher down payment would save you $8,916.08 on interest charges
  • Lowering the interest rate by 1% would save you $51,562.03
  • Paying an additional $500 each month would reduce the loan length by 146 months

By clicking on “More details,” you’ll also see how much you’ll pay over the entire length of your mortgage, including how much goes toward the principal vs. interest.

Mortgage Rate Projection for 2024

Mortgage rates started ticking up from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and increased dramatically in 2022 and throughout most of 2023.

Many forecasts expect rates to fall this year now that inflation has been coming down. In the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index rose by 3.2%, a significant slowdown compared when it peaked at 9.1% in 2022. But we’ll likely need to see more slowing before rates can drop substantially.

For homeowners looking to leverage their home’s value to cover a big purchase — such as a home renovation — a home equity line of credit (HELOC) may be a good option while we wait for mortgage rates to ease. Check out some of our best HELOC lenders to start your search for the right loan for you.

A HELOC is a line of credit that lets you borrow against the equity in your home. It works similarly to a credit card in that you borrow what you need rather than getting the full amount you’re borrowing in a lump sum. It also lets you tap into the money you have in your home without replacing your entire mortgage, like you’d do with a cash-out refinance.

Current HELOC rates are relatively low compared to other loan options, including credit cards and personal loans. 

When Will House Prices Come Down?

We aren’t likely to see home prices drop this year. In fact, they’ll probably rise.

Fannie Mae researchers expect prices to increase 3.20% in 2024 and 0.30% in 2025, while the Mortgage Bankers Association expects a 4.10% increase in 2024 and a 3.30% increase in 2024.

Sky high mortgage rates have pushed many hopeful buyers out of the market, slowing homebuying demand and putting downward pressure on home prices. But rates have since eased, removing some of that pressure. The current supply of homes is also historically low, which will likely push prices up.

What Happens to House Prices in a Recession?

House prices usually drop during a recession, but not always. When it does happen, it’s generally because fewer people can afford to purchase homes, and the low demand forces sellers to lower their prices.

How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?

A mortgage calculator can help you determine how much house you can afford. Play around with different home prices and down payment amounts to see how much your monthly payment could be, and think about how that fits in with your overall budget.

Typically, experts recommend spending no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses. This means your entire monthly mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, shouldn’t exceed 28% of your pre-tax monthly income.

The lower your rate, the more you’ll be able to borrow, so shop around and get preapproved with multiple mortgage lenders to see who can offer you the best rate. But remember not to borrow more than what your budget can comfortably handle.


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Purchase applications remained virtually flat (-0.2%), reflecting continued hesitancy among homebuyers who await further rate decreases and more available listings. Refinance activity also declined 2% from the previous week. Read more: Housing market slowdown hits sellers “Lower rates should help to free up additional inventory as the lock-in effect is reduced, but we expect that … [Read more…]