Mortgage Refinance Rates for March 16, 2023: Rates are falling

Both 15-year and 30-year refinances saw their average rates fall this week. The average interest rate on 10-year fixed refinancing also fell.

Like mortgage rates, refinance rates fluctuate daily and vary from lender to lender, but also rise and fall over the long term based on general market conditions and macroeconomic factors. Funding rates skyrocketed in 2022 as the US Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate to curb inflation, but we see signs that rates may be beginning to level off again.

The 0.25% rate hike announced on Feb. 1 after the last Fed meeting is the smallest since March 2022, a sign that the Fed may ease its aggressive rate hikes as inflation falls. Looking at average mortgage rate data for the past year, mortgage rates peaked in late 2022 and have been trending down ever since. We’re still a long way from the record-low refinancing rates of 2020 and 2021, but borrowers could expect falling interest rates in 2023.

“Against the backdrop of easing inflationary pressures, we should see a more consistent fall in mortgage rates throughout the year, particularly if the economy and jobs slow noticeably,” said Greg McBride, CFA and chief financial analyst at Bankrate. (Bankrate, like CNET Money, is owned by Red Ventures.) He expects 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates to end the year near 5.25%.

Regardless of where interest rates are heading, homeowners shouldn’t focus on market timing and instead should be deciding whether refinancing makes sense for their financial situation. As long as you can get a lower interest rate than your current interest rate, refinancing will likely save you money. Do the math to see if it makes sense for your current finances and goals. If you decide to refinance, be sure to compare interest rates, fees, and the APR — which reflects the total cost of borrowing — from different lenders to find the best deal.

30 year fixed rate refinancing

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed refinance loan is currently 6.93%, down 19 basis points from when it was last week. (One basis point equals 0.01%.) A 30-year fixed refinance typically has lower monthly payments than a 15- or 10-year refinance. This makes 30-year refinances good for people who are struggling to make their monthly payments or just want some extra breathing room. However, interest rates on a 30-year refinance are typically higher than interest rates on a 10- or 15-year refinance. It will also take longer to repay your loan.

15 year fixed rate refinancing

The average 15-year fixed refinancing rate is currently 6.27%, down 10 basis points from last week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you have a higher monthly payment than with a 30-year loan. On the other hand, you save money on interest because you pay off the loan earlier. Interest rates on a 15-year refinance are also typically lower than a 30-year refinance, allowing you to save even more in the long run.

10 year fixed rate refinancing

The average interest rate on a 10-year fixed refinancing loan currently stands at 6.31%, down 7 basis points from a week ago. With a 10-year fixed refinance, you’ll pay more every month than with a 15- or 30-year refinance — but you’ll also have a lower interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your home much faster and save on interest. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to ensure you can afford the higher monthly payment.

Where does the interest go

At the beginning of the pandemic, refinancing rates reached an all-time low. But in early 2022, the Fed began raising interest rates to curb runaway inflation. While the Fed does not set mortgage rates directly, the Fed’s rate hikes have increased the cost of borrowing for most consumer credit products, including mortgages and refinancing. Mortgage rates hit a 20-year high in late 2022.

Recent data shows that headline inflation has fallen slowly but steadily since peaking in June 2022, but is still well above the Fed’s inflation target of 2%. After raising interest rates by 25 basis points in February, the Fed has indicated (PDF) that it plans to slow – but not stop – the pace of its rate hikes throughout 2023. Both factors should contribute to a gradual decline. Mortgage and refinancing rates this year, though consumers shouldn’t expect a sharp drop or a return to pandemic-era lows.

We track refinance rate trends using information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here is a table of the average refinancing rates provided by lenders in the US:

Average refinancing rates

product rate A week ago Change
30 years of fixed ref 6.93% 7.12% -0.19
15 year fixed ref 6.27% 6.37% -0.10
10 year fixed ref 6.31% 6.38% -0.07

Prices from March 16, 2023.

How to find the best refinancing rate

It is important to understand that the fares advertised online often require specific eligibility conditions. Your interest rate will be affected by market conditions as well as your specific credit history, financial profile and application.

A strong credit score, low credit utilization, and a history of consistent and timely payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can get a good feel for average interest rates online, but be sure to speak with a mortgage expert to see the specific interest rates you qualify for. To get the best refinancing rates, you should first make your application as strong as possible. The best way to improve your credit score is to get your finances in order, use credit responsibly, and monitor your credit regularly. Don’t forget to talk to multiple lenders and do your research.

Refinancing can be a good move if you can get a good interest rate or pay off your loan sooner – but think carefully if it’s the right choice for you at the moment.

When to Consider Mortgage Refinancing

In general, refinancing is a good idea when you can get a lower interest rate than your current interest rate or when you need to change your loan term. When deciding whether to refinance, consider other factors besides market interest rates, including how long you plan to stay in your current home, the length of your loan term, and the size of your monthly payment. And don’t forget fees and closing costs, which can add up.

As interest rates rose throughout 2022, the pool of refinance seekers shrank. If you bought your home when interest rates were lower than they are today, there may not be any financial benefit from refinancing your mortgage.

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