July 22, 2024
Mortgage

Mortgage Rates Increase for Prospective Buyers: Mortgage Rates for May 1, 2024


The average rate for a 30-year fixed-mortgage is 7.36% today, up 0.07% over the last week. The average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 6.79%, which is an increase of 0.07% since last week. For a look at mortgage rate movement, see the chart below.

 

Today’s average mortgage rates


Today’s average mortgage rates on May. 01, 2024, compared with one week ago. We use rate data collected by Bankrate as reported by lenders across the US.


Mortgage rates change every day. Experts recommend shopping around to make sure you’re getting the lowest rate. By entering your information below, you can get a custom quote from one of CNET’s partner lenders.

About these rates: Like CNET, Bankrate is owned by Red Ventures. This tool features partner rates from lenders that you can use when comparing multiple mortgage rates.


How can I choose a mortgage term?

Each mortgage has a loan term, or payment schedule. The most common mortgage terms are 15 and 30 years, although 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages also exist. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate is set for the duration of the loan, offering stability. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, the interest rate is only fixed for a certain amount of time (commonly five, seven or 10 years), after which the rate adjusts annually based on the market. Fixed-rate mortgages are a better option if you plan to live in a home in the long term, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average interest rate for a standard 30-year fixed mortgage is 7.36% today. A 30-year fixed mortgage is the most common loan term. It will often have a higher interest rate than a 15-year mortgage, but you’ll have a lower monthly payment.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages

Today, the average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 6.79%. Though you’ll have a bigger monthly payment than a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year loan usually comes with a lower interest rate, allowing you to pay less interest in the long run and pay off your mortgage sooner.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 6.66% today. You’ll typically get a lower introductory interest rate with a 5/1 ARM in the first five years of the mortgage. But you could pay more after that period, depending on how the rate adjusts annually. If you plan to sell or refinance your house within five years, an ARM could be a good option.

Are mortgage rates considered high right now?

Over the last few years, high inflation and the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes pushed up mortgage rates from their record lows around the pandemic. Since last summer, the Fed has consistently kept the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%. Though the central bank doesn’t directly set the rates for mortgages, a high federal funds rate makes borrowing more expensive, including for home loans.

Mortgage rates change daily, but average rates have been moving between 6.5% and 7.5% since late last fall. Today’s homebuyers have less room in their budget to afford the cost of a home due to elevated mortgage rates and steep home prices. Limited housing inventory and low wage growth are also contributing to the affordability crisis and keeping mortgage demand down.

Will mortgage rates drop this year?

Mortgage forecasters base their projections on different data, but most housing market experts predict rates will end the year between 6% and 6.5%. Ultimately, a more affordable mortgage market will depend on how quickly the Fed begins cutting interest rates. The central bank could start lowering interest rates later this summer, but it will depend on how the economy fares in the coming months.

Since mortgage rates fluctuate for many reasons — supply, demand, inflation, monetary policy and jobs data — homebuyers won’t see lower rates overnight, and it’s unlikely they’ll find Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

Every month brings a new set of inflation and labor data that can change how investors and the market respond and what direction mortgage rates go, said Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American Financial Corporation. “Ongoing inflation deceleration, a slowing economy and even geopolitical uncertainty can contribute to lower mortgage rates. On the other hand, data that signals upside risk to inflation may result in higher rates,” Kushi said.

Here’s a look at where some major housing authorities expect average mortgage rates to land.

Calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Getting a mortgage should always depend on your financial situation and long-term goals. The most important thing is to make a budget and try to stay within your means. CNET’s mortgage calculator below can help homebuyers prepare for monthly mortgage payments.

Where can I find the best mortgage rates?

Though mortgage rates and home prices are high, the housing market won’t be unaffordable forever. It’s always a good time to save for a down payment and improve your credit score to help you secure a competitive mortgage rate when the time is right.

  1. Save for a bigger down payment: Though a 20% down payment isn’t required, a larger upfront payment means taking out a smaller mortgage, which will help you save in interest.
  2. Boost your credit score: You can qualify for a conventional mortgage with a 620 credit score, but a higher score of at least 740 will get you better rates.
  3. Pay off debt: Experts recommend a debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less to help you qualify for the best rates. Not carrying other debt will put you in a better position to handle your monthly payments.
  4. Research loans and assistance: Government-sponsored loans have more flexible borrowing requirements than conventional loans. Some government-sponsored or private programs can also help with your down payment and closing costs.
  5. Shop around for lenders: Researching and comparing multiple loan offers from different lenders can help you secure the lowest mortgage rate for your situation.



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