Mortgage rates have skyrocketed in recent weeks. As we head into the spring shopping season, high rates are weighing on affordability and could slightly slow home price growth.
Even though rates are up by pandemic standards, they are still relatively low historically. And because home values have increased so dramatically over the past two years, many homeowners are now in an ideal position to take advantage of their home’s equity with a cash refinance.
A cash-out refinance is a mortgage that lets you tap into the value of your home and turn it into cash. Although there are limits to the amount you can withdraw, if you have sufficient equity, you can use the money from a refinance to do things like finance a home improvement project that further increases the value of your home, or paying off high-interest debt.
Also, if you got your current mortgage a few years ago when rates were higher, you may still be able to get a lower rate by refinancing.
Mortgage rates today
Mortgage refinance rates today
Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s mortgage rates will affect your monthly and long-term payments.
Your estimated monthly payment
- pay one 25% a higher down payment would save you $8,916.08 on interest charges
- Lower the interest rate by 1% would save you $51,562.03
- Pay an extra fee $500 each month would reduce the term of the loan by 146 month
By plugging in different terms and interest rates, you’ll see how your monthly payment might change.
Are mortgage rates increasing?
Mortgage rates started to recover from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and will likely continue to rise throughout 2022.
Over the past 12 months, the consumer price index has risen 7.9%, the fastest rate of inflation since 1982.
has worked to keep inflation under control and plans to raise the federal funds target rate six more times this year, following a 0.25% increase at its March meeting.
Although not directly tied to the federal funds rate, mortgage rates are often pushed higher by Fed rate hikes. As the central bank continues to tighten monetary policy to reduce inflation, mortgage rates are likely to remain high.
What do high rates mean for the housing market?
When mortgage rates rise, homebuyers’ purchasing power declines, as more of their projected housing budget must be spent on interest payments. If rates get high enough, buyers can be shut out of the market altogether, cooling demand and putting downward pressure on home price growth.
However, that doesn’t mean house prices will go down – in fact, they’re expected to rise even more this year, just at a slower pace than what we’ve seen over the past two years.
“There is such a shortage that even if 50% of people stop looking today, the demand would still be high,” says DiBugnara. “So I just think because of that demand, you’re going to see prices go up for at least 18 to 24 months.”
What is a good mortgage rate?
It can be difficult to know if a lender is offering you a good rate, which is why it’s so important to get pre-approved with several
and compare each offer. Apply for pre-approval from at least two or three lenders.
Your price isn’t the only thing that matters. Be sure to compare both your monthly costs and your upfront costs, including lender fees.
Although mortgage rates are heavily influenced by economic factors beyond your control, there are steps you can take to ensure you get a good rate:
- Consider fixed rates versus adjustable rates. You may be able to get a lower introductory rate with an adjustable rate mortgage, which can be beneficial if you plan to move before the end of the introductory period. But a fixed rate might be better if you’re buying a house forever, because you don’t risk your rate going up later. Examine the rates offered by your lender and weigh your options.
- Look at your finances. The stronger your financial situation, the lower your mortgage rate should be. Look for ways to increase your credit score or reduce your debt ratio, if necessary. Saving for a larger down payment also helps.
- Choose the right lender. Each lender charges different mortgage rates. Choosing the right one for your financial situation will help you get a good rate.