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By Leslie Cook
Updated: October 15, 2020 10:05 AM ET

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage was 3.553% on Wednesday. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.39%.

Money’s current mortgage rates include data from over 8,000 lenders across the United States and are updated daily. The rates include points and represent what a borrower with a 20% down payment and 700 credit scores — roughly the national average FICO score — would have been quoted.

30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage
3.553%
Rate of October 14, 2020
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Mortgage rates vary from state to state. On Wednesday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.291%. People looking for mortgages in Rhode Island saw the highest average rate at 3.805%. Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 3.035%, while those with credit of 640 or below were shown rates of 4.804% — a 1.769 percentage-point spread.

You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you shop around or if you have other accounts with the lender. (Money’s picks for the best mortgage lenders are here.) Currently, some banks are hiking up advertised rates to keep demand in check, so you may be offered a lower rate if you reach out directly.

Freddie Mac’s widely quoted Primary Mortgage Market Survey put rates at 2.81% with 0.6 points paid for the week ending October 15, a new record low. The mortgage purchaser’s weekly survey reflects borrowers who put 20% down on conforming loans and have excellent credit.

Refinance rates today

Money’s survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.759% on Wednesday. Last October, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.859%.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage refi
3.759%
Rate of October 14, 2020

A homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage balance currently paying 3.859% on a 30-year could potentially cut their monthly payment from $939 to $927 by financing at the current lower rates. To determine if it’s worth it to refinance your mortgage, also consider the closing fees you paid on your current mortgage, how much your new lender is charging and how long you have left on your loan term. (Our picks for the best lenders for refinancing are here).

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What else is happening in the housing market right now?

Home sellers are slowly getting back into the market. According to Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Report for the week ending October 10, the decline in the number of new listings and total housing inventory appears to have leveled out, which would be good news for home buyer. Demand remains strong, homes are selling faster than the same time last year and for more money.

Still, the total number of homes available for sale was down 38% from the same week last year. It’s the fourth week in a row during which the inventory deficit remained the same or improved slightly from the prior week, possibly indicating that the housing supply has stabilized. New listings are down 5% year-over-year, but better than last week’s 7% deficit.

“Home sales are shaping up for a record-breaking October. There are so many buyers in the market right now that even the slight improvements we’re seeing in inventory could push the number of homes sold this month near mid-2000s level,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com. “If sky-high prices continue to lure more sellers into the market, it could prompt the inventory rebound we’ve been waiting for — which would be welcome news for frustrated buyers.”

Meanwhile, homes are selling in 52 days, one day faster than last week and a full two weeks faster than this time last year’s average. Home prices continue to increase, though at a slightly slower pace. The median listing price ticked up to just over $350,000, a new record for this time of year. However, prices grew 12.2% over last year compared to last week’s price growth of 12.9%. It was the first weekly deceleration in home price growth since April.

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Mortgage Tip of the Week

Jess Kennedy, co-founder of online mortgage lender Beeline, on what you can do to increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage:

For more on getting the best mortgage rates, read: Mortgage Rates Vary From State to State. Here’s How to Get the Best Deal if You’re Moving.

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Bottom line:

The Home Buyer’s Dilemma: As Mortgage Rates Fall, House Prices Soar out of Reach

Buying Mortgage Points Can Lower Your House Payments. But What the Heck Are They?

Millions of Homeowners Are Falling Behind on Their Mortgage Payments. Here Are Your Options if You’re One of Them

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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