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By Leslie Cook
Updated: October 8, 2020 10:02 AM ET

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage was 3.468% Wednesday. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.291%.

Money’s current mortgage rates include data from 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
3.468%
Rate of October 7, 2020
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View Rates for January 15, 2021

Mortgage rates vary from state to state. On Wednesday, borrowers in Alaska were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.236%. People looking for mortgages in Georgia saw the highest average rate at 3.681%. Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 2.996%, while those with credit of 640 or below were shown rates of 4.734% — a 1.738 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 2.87% with 0.8 points paid for the week ending October 1. 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 3.655% on Wednesday. Last October, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.859%.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage refi
3.655%
Rate of October 7, 2020

A homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage balance currently paying 3.859% on a 30-year loan could potentially cut their monthly payment from $939 to $915 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 prices growth reached a record-high during the first week in October, climbing 12.9% over last year, according to the Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Report. It’s the 21st week of home price acceleration.

The median home price remained near its summertime high of $350,000, which is just one more sign of how unusual this year has been in the real estate market. Typically, home sellers need to reduce their prices during the fall months in order to attract buyers.

“While buyers would normally begin to hunker down this time of year, we expect to see an unusually high number remain in the market this fall. This gives sellers a rare opportunity to get top dollar for their home outside of the prime selling season, which may be motivating some to stay in the market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “However, even with record-breaking prices, we’re not seeing sellers rush into the market with the same eagerness as buyers. Looking forward, a key question is whether this frenzied demand will continue into the spring or if we’ll see more balance between home buyers and sellers.”

While inventory continues to be a roadblock to even higher home sales, the housing supply improved ever so slightly. As of October 3, total inventory is down 38% from last year, compared to 39% last week. However, new listings were down 7% compared to 6% a week ago. Homes sold 13 days faster than during the same period last year.

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Mortgage Tip of the Week

Ralph DiBugnara, president of Home Qualified, on how to win a bidding war:

For more information on bidding wars, read: Bidding Wars Are Back. Here’s How to Win Your Dream Home

 

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Bottom line:

Procrastinators, It’s Not Too Late to Refinance Your Mortgage and Save Thousands

Everyone Wants to Buy a House Right Now. 9 Experts Predict How Long Demand Will Soar

Get to Know the ‘Leaseback,’ the Pandemic House Selling Trend Where no Move Is Required

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