Current Mortgage Interest Rates, February 16, 2021 | Rates Climbed

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Looking at today’s mortgage rates a number of preeminent rates climbed higher. The averages for both 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both inched up. We also saw a downward slide in the average rate of 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM).

The averages for 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and 5/1 ARMs are:

Current Mortgage Refinance Rates

Refinancing became a bit more expensive today as 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed refinance mortgages saw their average rates go up. Shorter term 10-year fixed-rate refinance mortgages didn’t change.

The average refinance rates are as follows:

Take a look at mortgage rates for different styles of loan.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

For a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate you’ll pay is 2.88%, which is an increase of 3 basis points from the previous week.

You can use NextAdvisor’s mortgage payment calculator to determine your monthly payments and play around with extra mortgage payments to wrap your head around how much you could save. The mortgage calculator can also show you how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan

15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

The median rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.37%, which is an increase of 2 basis points from the same time last week.

A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment will be much bigger. So finding room in your budget for a 30-year loan’s monthly payment would be easier. However, 15-year loans have some considerable benefits: You’ll save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off your loan much faster.

5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 2.94%, a downtick of 1 basis point from the same time last week.

An ARM is ideal for individuals who will refinance or sell before the rate changes. If that’s not the case, their interest rates could end up being remarkably higher after a rate adjusts.

For the first five years, a 5/1 ARM will typically have a lower interest rate compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. Just keep in mind that your payment could end up being hundreds of dollars higher after a rate adjustment, depending on the terms of your loan.

How Mortgage Rates Have Changed

To see where mortgage rates are going we rely on information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as NextAdvisor. Looking at mortgage rate history, we’re in an exceptionally low rate environment. The table below compares today’s average rates to what they were a week ago, and is based on information provided to Bankrate by lenders from across the nation:

Current average mortgage interest rates
Loan typeInterest rateA week agoChange
30-year fixed rate2.88%2.85%+0.03
15-year fixed rate2.37%2.35%-0.02
30-year jumbo mortgage rate2.91%2.88%+0.03
30-year mortgage refinance rate2.92%2.88%+0.04

Updated on February 16, 2021.

There isn’t a single factor that causes mortgage rates to move, but rather there are many. Chief among them are things including inflation and even the unemployment rate. When you see inflation increasing that usually means mortgage rates are about to climb higher. On the other hand, lower inflation typically accompanies lower mortgage rates. With higher inflation, the dollar becomes less valuable. This scenario pushes buyers away from mortgage-backed securities, which leads to price decreases and the need for increasing yields. And higher yields require borrowers to pay higher interest rates.

The demand for housing can also impact mortgage rates. If more people are buying homes, there is a greater need for mortgages. This type of demand can drive interest rates up. And if there is less demand for mortgages, that can cause a decline in mortgage rates.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed in 2021?

In recent months, we’ve seen mortgage interest rates linger near all-time lows. And for 2021, some experts see mortgage rates continuing to stay low. Although, the possibility for rates to rise is there.

Where rates go is largely dependent on what happens with the economy. How effective we are in dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is key to our economic recovery.
As the economy recovers, we should see inflation rise, which will put upward pressure on mortgage rates. However, if the economic recovery is slower than expected and the pandemic drags on, it’s likely we’ll see low rates for the foreseeable future. And the Federal Reserve could also act to limit the increase of mortgage rates if it feels the economy cannot support them

Factors Influencing Today’s Mortgage Rates

Your mortgage rate is based on a number of things. First off, your personal finances have a big influence. A higher credit score or making a bigger down payment will help you secure a lower rate. However, not everything is in your control, many larger economic factors play a role as well:

  • Condition of the economy
  • Federal Reserve policy decisions
  • Spending in the private and public sectors
  • U.S. Treasury bond Yields
  • Inflation rates
  • Personal situation: Loan term, type and location of the property, and credit score

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

As you work to secure the absolute lowest mortgage rate you should focus on three factors: Credit score, loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

Having a credit score of at least 750 will help you get the best rate. But, even a score of over 700 can get you a decent rate reduction compared to a lower credit score. For a credit score over 800, the mortgage rate discount won’t be meaningful.

When you’re looking to buy a house, the less debt you have the better. When you have fewer debt payments to make each month, it lowers your DTI. And a lower DTI will help you get a better interest rate.

Banks give the largest mortgage rate reductions to home buyers that are deemed less risky. A hefty down payment is a signal to lenders that you are more committed and are less likely to default on your loan. A down payment of 20% or more will save you money in two ways; with a more favorable mortgage rate, and you’ll be able to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

There’s no “right time” to buy a house — the decision is a highly personal one. Keep in mind, when you purchase a home the monthly payment won’t be your only cost. You’ll also need enough money saved up for upfront closing costs and a down payment. And you’ll get a better deal if you have a higher credit score and lower debt-to-income ratio.

However, the pandemic has led to an even greater shortage of homes. That’s caused a bidding war and rising prices. Those trends mean it can be a frustrating market for buyers.

How We Got These Rates

The rates we have included are averages provided by Bankrate.com Site Averages and are calculated after the close of the previous business day. The lenders that the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables include are not the same can change daily.

National lenders provide this mortgage rate information to Bankrate.com. It is possible the mortgage rates we reference has changed since this was published.

Mortgage Interest Rates by Loan Type

Home Purchase Rates

Mortgage Refinance Rates

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