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After spending most of the year skyrocketing to multi-decade highs, mortgage rates now appear to finally be heading back down — though they likely won’t reach the historic lows we saw in 2020 and 2021.
Getting a mortgage is still significantly more expensive than it was at the start of the year, but average 30-year rates have fallen quite a bit since they peaked in October and November. They are likely to fall further in 2023, as long as inflation continues to slow.
Today’s mortgage rates
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Today’s refinancing rates
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Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s mortgage rates will affect your monthly and long-term payments.
Your estimated monthly payment
- Payment a 25% a higher payment would save you $8,916.08 at the expense of interest
- Interest rate reduction for 1% would save you $51,562.03
- Additional payment 500 dollars every month would reduce the length of the loan by 146 months
By factoring in different term lengths and interest rates, you’ll see how your monthly payment could change.
Mortgage rate projection for 2023
Mortgage rates began rising from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and have risen by three percentage points so far in 2022. They are likely to remain near their current levels through the end of 2022.
But many forecasters expect rates to start falling next year. In its latest forecast, Fannie Mae researchers predicted that 30-year fixed rates will decline through 2023 and 2024.
But whether mortgage rates fall in 2023 depends on whether the Federal Reserve can control inflation.
In the last 12 months, the consumer price index increased by 7.1%. This is a significant slowdown from where inflation was earlier this year, a sign that mortgage rates could soon begin to fall as well.
If the Fed acts too aggressively and triggers a recession, mortgage rates could fall further than what is expected in current forecasts. But rates are unlikely to fall to the historic lows that borrowers have enjoyed in recent years.
Should I Get a HELOC? For and against
If you’re looking to tap into your home equity, a HELOC might be the best way to do it right now. Unlike a cash-out refinance, you won’t have to get a whole new mortgage with a new interest rate, and you’ll likely get a better rate than you would with a home equity loan.
But HELOCs don’t always make sense. It is important to consider the pros and cons.
- Pay interest only on what you borrow
- They usually have lower rates than alternatives, including home loans, personal loans and credit cards
- If you have a lot of equity, you could potentially borrow more than you could get with a personal loan
- Rates are variable, which means your monthly payments could go up
- Taking equity out of your home can be risky if the property’s value declines or if you default on the loan
- The minimum withdrawal amount may be higher than you want to borrow
When will house prices fall?
Home prices are starting to fall, but we probably won’t see big drops, even if there is a recession.
The S&P Case-Shiller home price index shows prices are still up year-over-year, although they fell on a monthly basis in July, August and September. Fannie Mae researchers expect prices to fall 1.5% in 2023, while MBA expects a 0.7% increase in 2023 and a 0.1% decrease in 2024.
High mortgage rates have pushed many hopeful buyers out of the market, slowing home-buying demand and putting downward pressure on home prices. But rates could start falling next year, taking some of that pressure off. The current supply of homes is also historically low, which is likely to keep prices from falling too far.
What happens to house prices in a recession?
House prices usually fall during recessions, but not always. When this happens, it’s mostly because fewer people can afford to buy homes and low demand forces sellers to lower their prices.
How much mortgage can I afford?
A mortgage calculator can help you determine how much you can afford to borrow. Play around with different home prices and down payment amounts to see what your monthly payment could be and think about how it fits into your overall budget.
Experts typically recommend that you spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing costs. This means that your entire monthly mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, should not exceed 28% of your monthly pre-tax income.
The lower your rate, the more you’ll be able to borrow, so shop around and get pre-approved by multiple mortgage lenders to see who can offer you the best rate. But remember not to borrow more than what your budget can comfortably handle.