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By Leslie Cook
Updated: January 27, 2021 2:31 PM ET
Money; Getty Images

Home prices continued climbing at the end of 2020, as record-low interest rates kept buyers engaged and bucking usual seasonal trends. At the same time, however, fewer sellers put homes on the market, which is likely to keep prices high in 2021.

Mortgage rates increased slightly for almost all loan types yesterday.

Today’s Mortgage Rates: 30-Year Fixed Loans, 15-Year Fixed Loans, and More

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.091% on Tuesday — up from 3.056% a day earlier.

Mortgage Rate Chart
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.091%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.323%
30-Year FHA Loan 2.942%
30-Year VA Loan 2.95%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.614%
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 26, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 700

Money’s most recent daily mortgage rates show the average rate offered by over 8,000 lenders across the United States the previous day. They reflect what a typical borrower with a 700 credit score might expect to pay for a home loan right now. The rates assume a 20% down payment and include discount points.

Freddie Mac’s benchmark Primary Mortgage Market Survey put mortgage rates at 2.77% with 0.7 points paid for the week ending January 21. That’s a slight drop of 0.02 percentage points from last week and 0.12 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 2.65%. The mortgage purchaser’s weekly survey reflects borrowers who put 20% down on conforming loans and have excellent credit.

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How do I get the best mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates vary from state-to-state. On Tuesday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.033%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.201%.

Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 2.886%, while those with credit of 620 or below were shown rates of 4.191%.

You may be able to negotiate a better mortgage rate if you shop around or if you have other accounts with the lender. (To get started, take a look at Money’s picks for the best mortgage lenders.) Lately, some lenders have been hiking up advertised rates to keep demand in check, so you may be offered a lower rate if you reach out directly.

Today’s Mortgage Refinance Rates

Money’s most recent survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.167% on Tuesday. In January 2020, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was around 3.8%.

Mortgage Refinance Rate Chart
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.167%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.584%
30-Year FHA Loan 3.384%
30-Year VA Loan 3.412%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.501%
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 26, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 740

What else is happening in the housing market today?

Home prices grew 9.5% between November 2019 and 2020, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index released yesterday. That’s the largest annual increase since 2014. Prices also increased 1.1% from October.

Record-low interest rates kept buyers active, despite a rise in COVID-19 infections.

“With mortgage rates steadily falling through the end of the year and buyers realizing that the pandemic is still far from over, robust demand was not fazed by traditional seasonal slowdown,” noted Selma Hepp, chief deputy economist at CoreLogic.

While buyer demand remained high, inventory took another dip, with the supply of available homes at just 1.4 million units. With fewer homes on the market, buyers will have a harder time finding properties to buy and face higher prices on what is available.

CoreLogic found that sellers were generally achieving their asking price, with the ratio of sold price to list price at a high of 0.996. Buyers should expect price growth to continue as long as the current economic fragility and pandemic-related restrictions remain, noted Hepp.

“Given that we are unsure of when social interaction will be safe again, homebuyers will continue to compete for fewer and fewer homes available for sale, which will drive home prices higher,” she said.

Quote of the Week

More great housing content from Money.

Eli Sklar, senior loan consultant with mortgage lender LoanDepot, on the advantages of a 15-year mortgage:

For more read: Low Rates Are Putting 15-Year Mortgages – and Big Savings – Within Reach for Millions of Homeowners.

Bottom line:

Qualifying for a Mortgage Is Surprisingly Difficult Right Now

A Key Indicator Suggests Mortgage Rates’ Epic Decline May Soon End

As Prices Soar, 6 Tricks for Finding a House You Can Actually Afford