Mortgage and refinancing rates today May 18 | Stable rates


Current mortgage and refinancing rates

Average mortgage rates were unchanged yesterday. After hikes of four out of five working days last week, it was a win.

Looks like this morning we could have a rehearsal from yesterday. Because Mortgage rates today look likely to hold or hold slightly on either side of the neutral line. But remember that the markets can gain momentum during the day.

Find and lock a great rate (May 18, 2021)

Current mortgage and refinancing rates

Program Mortgage rate APR* Switch
Conventional 30 years fixed 3.093% 3.098% + 0.03%
Conventional 15 years fixed 2.25% 2.367% -0.03%
Conventional 20 years fixed 2.781% 2,873% Unchanged
Conventional 10 years fixed 1,924% 2.101% -0.01%
30 years FHA fixed 2.813% 3.47% Unchanged
15-year fixed FHA 2,529% 3.13% + 0.03%
ARM FHA 5 years 2.5% 3,201% Unchanged
Fixed VA 30 years 2,431% 2.604% -0.07%
15-year fixed VA 2.25% 2,571% Unchanged
5-year VA ARM 2.5% 2.379% Unchanged
Prices are provided by our network of partners and may not reflect the market. Your rate may be different. Click here for a personalized quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Find and lock a great rate (May 18, 2021)

COVID-19 Mortgage Updates: Mortgage lenders change rates and rules due to COVID-19. To see the latest news on the impact of the coronavirus on your home loan, click here.

Should You Lock In A Mortgage Rate Today?

With mortgage rates nearing their highest point last month, you may be considering floating in hopes of further lows. But I suggest caution.

Of course, such falls are possible. And the occasional are likely. But overall, they look a lot less likely than the hikes. Read on to find out why I think this.

My personal rate lock-in recommendations therefore remain:

  • LOCK in case of closure 7 days
  • LOCK in case of closure 15 days
  • LOCK in case of closure 30 days
  • LOCK in case of closure 45 days
  • LOCK in case of closure 60 days

However, I do not claim to have perfect foresight. And your personal analysis could turn out as good as mine – or better. You can therefore choose to be guided by your instincts and your personal risk tolerance.

Market data affecting current mortgage rates

Here’s a look at the state of play this morning around 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared to around the same time yesterday, was:

  • the yield on 10-year treasury bills edged up to 1.65% from 1.64% (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates generally tend to track these particular yields of Treasuries, although less recently.
  • Main stock market indices were a shade higher when opened. (Bad for mortgage rates.) When investors buy stocks, they often sell bonds, which lowers bond prices and increases yields and mortgage rates. The reverse can happen when the indices are lower
  • Oil price rose from $ 65.71 per barrel to $ 66.11. (Bad for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play an important role in creating inflation and also indicate future economic activity.
  • Gold price went from $ 1,854 per ounce to $ 1,869. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s better for rates when gold goes up, and worse when gold goes down. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to cut rates
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed Index – Inche higher at 41 of 40 out of 100. (Bad for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) when they exit the bond market and turn to stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. . So lower readings are better than higher ones

* A change of less than $ 20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a fraction of 1%. We therefore only count significant differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Warnings about markets and prices

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good guess at what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But this is no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are generally right. But our accuracy record won’t hit its former high levels until things calm down.

Therefore, only use the markets as a guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to be able to count on them. But, with that caveat, so far mortgage rates today seem unchanged or barely changed. However, be aware that intraday fluctuations (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature at this time.

Find and lock a great rate (May 18, 2021)

Important Notes About Current Mortgage Rates

Here are some things you should know:

  1. Typically, mortgage rates rise when the economy is doing well and fall when it is struggling. But there are exceptions. Lily ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  2. Only senior borrowers (with exceptional credit scores, large down payments, and very healthy finances) get the very low mortgage rates you’ll see advertised.
  3. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate moves – although they all generally follow the larger trend over time.
  4. When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate tables unchanged.
  5. Refinancing rates are generally close to those for purchases. But some types of refinancing are higher following a regulatory change

So there is a lot going on here. And no one can claim to know for sure what will happen to mortgage rates in the hours, days, weeks or months to come.

Are mortgage and refinancing rates going up or down?

Today And so on

Earlier, I promised to tell you why I thought mortgage rates are more likely to rise than fall in the weeks and months to come. My reasons haven’t changed for some time. But, at the risk of annoying regular readers, here are the two main ones:

  1. Investors fear of future inflation – Mortgage-backed securities are long-term, fixed-yield bonds. And no one wants the ones where a higher return can be available in a matter of weeks or months.
  2. The Boom Ahead – The Federal Reserve predicts the fastest economic growth this year since the Reagan administration. And booms almost always lead to higher mortgage rates

Mortgage Rates and Inflation: Why Are Rates Rising?

These two elements are powerful engines. And, if the economy stays on track, it seems almost inevitable that they will lead to mortgage rate hikes.

However, nothing is inevitable. And the economy could be hit by another outbreak of COVID-19 or some other threat that is undermining the current recovery.

But, right now, those two higher rate factors seem more likely to most observers. So floating your rate only depends on your earning if some pretty unlikely situations arise. And that’s quite a gamble.

For more information, see our last weekend edition of this report.


For much of 2020, the general trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new all-time low was set 16 times last year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low came on January 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But then the trend reversed and rates went up.

However, most of those increases were replaced by declines in April, although they have moderated since the middle of this month. Freddie’s May 13 report puts that weekly average at 2.94% (with 0.7 fees and points), down compared to 2.96% the previous week. But note that Freddie’s methodology means he will have largely missed the major hikes that week. And in fact, the rates were significantly higher per day of publication of last Thursday.

Mortgage rate expert forecasts

Longer term, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rate forecasts for the remaining quarters of 2021 (Q2 / 21, Q3 / 21, Q4 / 21) and the first quarter of 2022 (Q1 / 22).

The figures in the table below are for 30-year fixed rate mortgages. Freddie’s were updated on April 14, Fannie’s on April 12, and MBA’s on April 22.

Forecaster T2 / 21 T3 / 21 T4 / 21 Q1 / 22
Fannie Mae 3.2% 3.3% 3.4% 3.5%
Freddie mac 3.2% 3.3% 3.4% 3.5%
MBA 3.4% 3.6% 3.7% 3.9%

However, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts could be even more speculative than usual. But, if any of these predictions are to be justified, rates will have to rise rapidly at some point in the remaining six weeks of the current quarter (Q2).

Find your lowest rate today

Some lenders have been frightened by the pandemic. And they limit their offers to the more vanilla mortgages and refinances.

But others remain courageous. And you can always find the refinance, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. You just need to shop more widely.

But, of course, you should be doing a lot of comparison regardless of what type of mortgage you want. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to save you money. It may not sound like a lot, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars during the term of your loan.

Check your new rate (May 18, 2021)

Mortgage rate methodology

Mortgage Reports receive daily rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners. We arrive at an average rate and an APR for each type of loan to display in our graph. Because we average a range of rates, it gives you a better idea of ​​what you might find in the market. In addition, we average the rates for the same types of loans. For example, fixed FHA with fixed FHA. The end result is a good overview of daily rates and how they have changed over time.

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