Mortgage rates continue to rise as 30-year loans approach 4.5%

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Will mortgage rates continue to rise? Here’s what to expect.

Last week, mortgage rates rose sharply on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike of the year. With six more rate hikes scheduled, we can expect borrowers to pay more to finance a home as the year progresses.

Here is a summary of mortgage rates for March 21:

Type of mortgage

Today’s interest rate

30-year fixed mortgage

4.489%

20-year fixed mortgage

4.198%

15-year fixed mortgage

3.621%

ARM 5/1

3.433%

The data source: The National Mortgage Interest Rate Tracker from The Ascent.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate is 4.489% today, down from 4.457% on Friday. At this rate, it will not be surprising to see the 30-year loan reach 5% before the end of the year. And it could exceed 4.5% this week.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate is 4.198% today, down from 4.146% on Friday. Last week, the 20-year loan rose above 4% for the first time in years, signaling that rate hikes are impacting all loan products.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate is 3.621% today, down from 3.592% on Friday. It will come as no surprise if the 15-year loan hits 4% before the end of the year based on its rise over the past few weeks.

RMA 5/1

The average ARM 5/1 rate is 3.433%, up slightly from 3.423% on Friday. Right now, it’s easy to see why a 5/1 ARM might appeal to borrowers over a 30-year mortgage. But despite the lower monthly payments a 5/1 ARM will initially allow, over time the rate of an ARM could climb. And since today’s ARM 5/1 rate is low, it’s fair to assume that rates will rise from here, so borrowers need to understand this risk.

Are the days of rock bottom mortgage rates over?

There may come a time when mortgage rates come back down and borrowers can take advantage of some of the remarkably low rates they were aware of in mid-2020 through late 2021. And throughout 2022, we may have periods where rates go down to some extent. But for the most part, borrowers may have to come to terms with the fact that the days of record borrowing are behind us.

That said, it’s important to put today’s rates into perspective. Compared to the rates we observed from mid-2020 to late 2021, the above rates appear high. But historically speaking, locking in a 30-year mortgage anywhere in the 4% range isn’t a bad deal at all.

Of course, borrowers looking to save money on a mortgage can try locking in a shorter-term loan at a lower interest rate. Or, they can take a chance on a 5/1 ARM and potentially refinance down the line.

Additionally, borrowers should be sure to shop around with different mortgage lenders and compare their rate options. Each lender ultimately sets their own rate based on factors such as borrowers’ credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, so it’s important to collect several offers before moving forward with a mortgage.

A Historic Opportunity to Save Potentially Thousands of Dollars on Your Mortgage

Chances are, interest rates won’t stay at multi-decade lows much longer. That’s why it’s crucial to act today, whether you want to refinance and lower your mortgage payments or are ready to pull the trigger on buying a new home.

Ascent’s in-house mortgage expert recommends this company find a low rate – and in fact, he’s used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While this does not influence our product opinions, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We are by your side, always. See The Ascent’s full announcer disclosure here.

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