Mortgage Interest Rates Today, February 17, 2021 | Rates Moved Upward

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The most closely followed mortgage rates all increased today. Both 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates inched up. The most common type of variable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) slid lower.

The average mortgage rates are as follows:

Looking at Today’s Mortgage Refinance Rates

Refinancing became a bit more expensive today as 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed refinance mortgages saw their mean rates trend upward. If you’ve been considering a 10-year refinance loan, average rates also made gains.

Take a look at today’s refinance rates:

Current Mortgage Rates.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

The median interest rate for a standard, 30-year, fixed mortgage is 2.94%, which is a growth of 12 basis points from seven days ago.

You can use NextAdvisor’s mortgage payment calculator to get an idea of what your monthly payments will be and calculate what you’ll save with additional payments. The mortgage calculator can also show you the total 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 2.39%, which is an increase of 5 basis points compared to a week ago.

A 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage’s monthly payment is, undeniably, a much bigger monthly payment than what you’d get with a 30-year mortgage offering the same interest rate. However, 15-year loans have some considerable benefits: You’ll save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off your loan much sooner.

5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

A 5/1 ARM has an average rate of 2.94%, a downtick of 1 basis point from seven days ago.

An ARM is ideal for individuals who will sell or refinance 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 headed, we rely on information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as NextAdvisor. Looking at the history of mortgage rates, we’re in the middle of a period of unprecedented low rates. 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 country:

Average mortgage interest rates
ProductRateLast weekChange
30-year fixed2.94%2.82%+0.12
15-year fixed2.39%2.34%-0.05
30-year jumbo mortgage rate2.99%2.84%+0.15
30-year mortgage refinance rate2.99%2.86%+0.13

Rates as of February 17, 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.

What Is in the Future for Mortgage Rates?

In recent months, mortgage rates fell to new all-time lows. Since there’s not much room for rates to decline further, many experts expect mortgage rates to stay relatively low or see only modest gains in 2021.

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

There is a wide range of factors that impact mortgage rates. Some are broader economic factors, and others are related to your personal situation.

  • Condition of the economy
  • Decisions made by the Federal Reserve
  • Government and consumer spending
  • U.S. Treasury bond Yields
  • Inflation
  • Personal financial situation: Size of your down payment, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio

How to Qualify for the Lowest Mortgage Rate

Your credit score, loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and debt-to-income ratio (DTI), are the most important factors in determining your interest rate.

These days, a credit score over 750 will help you get the best rate. But, even a score of 700+ can get you a decent rate reduction compared to a lower credit score. However, once you get a credit score higher than 800, the interest rate discount won’t be meaningful.

Having fewer debt payments can make it less expensive for you to buy a house. When you have fewer debt payments to make each month, it lowers your DTI. And a lower DTI will help you get a smaller interest rate.

Lenders provide the biggest mortgage rate discounts to borrowers that are deemed less risky. One surefire way to signal you’re a less risky borrower is to bring a bigger down payment to the closing table. 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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