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By Leslie Cook
January 29, 2021
Money; Getty Images

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.053% on Thursday — up from 3.029% Wednesday.

In other housing news, the latest data from the Census Bureau shows that sales of newly built homes jumped in December. Overall, 2020 ended with nearly 19% more new home sales than in 2019.

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

Mortgage Rate Chart
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.053%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.308%
30-Year FHA Loan 2.93%
30-Year VA Loan 2.944%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.551%
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 28, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 700

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

Our daily rates are generally higher than the weekly benchmark rate published by Freddie Mac, which are for buyers with the highest credit scores.

Money’s daily mortgage data also shows that borrowers with the highest credit scores — 740 and above — were offered a rate of 2.855% on average. People will lower credit scores — 620 or below — were shown rates of 4.141%.

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How do I get the lowest mortgage rate?

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.

Mortgage rates vary also from state-to-state. On Thursday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 2.993%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.161%.

Today’s Refinance Rates

Today’s survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.139% on Thursday. 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 3.139%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.576%
30-Year FHA Loan 3.377%
30-Year VA Loan 3.407%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.496%
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 28, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 740

What else is happening in the housing market today

Sales of newly-built single-family homes increased 1.6% in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That represents a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 842,000 units versus 829,000 units in November. Compared to December 2019, new home sales grew 15.5%.

Despite the monthly increase, sales growth slowed compared to gains seen in the fall. However, experts say high growth rates were unsustainable with demand far higher than supply.

“The decelerating trend in sales over the final months of the year is consistent with what we view as being necessary to bring the pace of sales in line with the pace of new construction,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.

Adding, “We’ve stressed in recent quarters that the sales pace had eclipsed what was sustainable given the level of construction, and that some combination of cooling sales and accelerating housing starts would be needed.”

There are signs that supply and demand may becoming more closely aligned, at least for new homes.

The supply of newly built homes for sale increased, with an estimated 302,000 homes available in December. This represents a 4.3 months supply, compared to last summer’s low of 3.5 months.

“When combined with previously reported growth in housing starts, much of this rebalancing may now have occurred,” said Duncan.

Total new home sales in 2020 increased 18% over 2019 as the demand for more housing inventory helped promote a surge in new construction. In all, a total of 811,000 new homes were sold in 2020, compared to 683,000 a year earlier.

More from Money:

Qualifying for a Mortgage Is Surprisingly Difficult Right Now

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

Low Rates Are Putting 15-Year Mortgages — and Big Savings — Within Reach for Millions of Homeowners