Mortgage Rates Today
As of February 14, the Freddie Mac national average for 30-year mortgage rates was 4.69%. The average rate for 15-year mortgages was 4.20%, and the 5/1 ARM mortgage rate stood at 4.20%. The 30-year and 15-year mortgage rates moved -0.04% and -0.05% each, while 5/1 ARM rates changed by 0.00%.
U.S. Mortgage Rates Over Time
Mortgage Rates This Week
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The Federal Reserve voted unanimously to raise rates on December 19, 2018 by 0.25% and signaled the possibility of two more rate hikes in 2019. This represents a marked decrease from the 3 rate hikes that many analysts were forecasting for 2019. However, whether this is actually the case remains to be seen, as future Fed decisions are likely to be impacted by the moderating business environment.
These projected rate hikes show that interest rates are likely to continue their upwards trajectory in 2019. As rates continue to rise, banks will see their short-term funding costs increase, and are likely to pass those increased costs on to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates.
Should You Refinance Your Mortgage Now?
If you're thinking about refinancing this year, the long-term rise in interest rates means that you should start shopping for mortgages soon. To understand the savings at stake, consider that a $200,000 balance for a 30-year loan at today's average rate of 4.69% translates to a monthly payment of $829 before taxes and insurance. At March's average rate of 4.45%, that same balance would have cost $806 per month—a significant difference in monthly and lifetime interest costs compared to today's rate. This illustrates how important it is to shop across multiple lenders to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
For homeowners considering a cash-out refinance, higher mortgage rates mean that it may be more efficient to obtain a home equity line of credit (HELOC). If most of the rates above are higher than your original mortgage rate, then a cash-out refinance would mean paying a higher rate on your entire balance for the full remainder of your mortgage term. By contrast, HELOC borrowers only pay interest on whatever amount of credit they decide to draw.
While HELOC rates do tend to be higher than cash-out refi rates, getting a HELOC could allow you to keep a lower rate on the rest of your mortgage debt.
More Mortgage Tips & Analysis
For more information on how to navigate the mortgage experience, take a look at our informational guides and reviews of popular mortgage lenders.
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