Mortgage rates have spiked dramatically over the past few weeks. As we head into the spring buying season, high rates strain affordability and may cause home price growth to slow slightly.
Even though rates are up by pandemic standards, they’re still relatively low historically. And as home values have risen so dramatically in the past couple years, many homeowners are now in an ideal spot to take advantage of their home’s equity with a cash-out refinance.
A cash-out refinance is a mortgage that lets you tap into your home’s value and turn it into cash. Though there are limits to how much you can take out, if you have enough equity, you can use the cash from a cash-out refinance to do things like fund a home improvement project that further boosts the value of your home, or pay off high-interest debt.
Plus, if you got your current mortgage a few years ago when rates were higher, you may still be able to snag 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
- Paying a 25% higher down payment would save you $ 8,916.08 on interest charges
- Lowering the interest rate by 1% would save you $ 51,562.03
- Paying an additional $ 500 each month would reduce the loan length by 146 months
By plugging in different term lengths and interest rates, you’ll see how your monthly payment could change.
Are mortgage rates going up?
Mortgage rates started ticking up from historic lows in the second half of 2021, and will likely continue to increase throughout 2022.
In the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index rose by 7.9%, the fastest rate of inflation since 1982. The
has been working to get inflation under control, and plans to increase the federal funds target rate six more times this year, following a 0.25% increase at its March meeting.
Though not directly tied to the federal funds rate, mortgage rates are often pushed up as a result of Fed rate hikes. As the central bank continues to tighten monetary policy to lower inflation, it’s likely that mortgage rates will remain elevated.
What do high rates mean for the housing market?
When mortgage rates go up, home shoppers’ buying power decreases, as more of their anticipated housing budget has to go toward paying interest. If rates get high enough, buyers can get priced out of the market completely, which cools demand and puts downward pressure on home price growth.
However, that does not mean home prices will fall – in fact, they’re expected to rise even more this year, just at a slower pace than what we’ve seen in the past couple years.
Even though high rates slow demand, low inventory will keep pushing prices up, says Ralph DiBugnara, president of Home Qualified and senior vice president of Cardinal Financial.
“There’s such a shortage that even if 50% of the people stop looking today, you would still have a high demand,” DiBugnara says. “So I just think that because of that demand, you’re going to see prices rise for at least another 18 to 24 months.”
What is a good mortgage rate?
It can be hard to know if a lender is offering you a good rate, which is why it’s so important to get preapproved with multiple
and compare each offer. Apply for preapproval with at least two or three lenders.
Your rate is not the only thing that matters. Be sure to compare both what your monthly costs would be as well as your upfront costs, including any lender fees.
Even though mortgage rates are heavily influenced by economic factors that are out of your control, there are some things you can do to help ensure you get a good rate:
- Consider fixed vs. adjustable rates. You may be able to get a lower introductory rate with an adjustable-rate mortgage, which can be good if you plan to move before the intro period ends. But a fixed rate could be better if you’re buying a forever home because you will not risk your rate going up later. Look at the rates your lender offers and weigh your options.
- Look at your finances. The stronger your financial situation, the lower your mortgage rate should be. Look for ways to boost your credit score or lower your debt-to-income ratio, if necessary. Saving for a higher down payment also helps.
- Choose the right lender. Each lender charges different mortgage rates. Picking the right one for your financial situation will help you land a good rate.