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Originally Published: Oct 15, 2020
Originally Published: Oct 15, 2020 Last Updated: Oct 15, 2020 6 min read

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
Rate of October 14, 2020

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
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).

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.

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.

Bottom line:

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Rates are subject to change. All information provided here is accurate as of the publish date.