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Published: Nov 23, 2020 7 min read

It has been 15-years since home values and sales rose at such a lightening fast rate. Experts expect that strength to continue well into the new year. Meanwhile, mortgages rates are down slightly.

Today's Mortgage Rates

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage was 3.171% on Friday. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.089%.

Money's mortgage rates include data from over 8,000 lenders across the United States and are updated daily. These rates include discount 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.

Mortgage Rates for November 23, 2020
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.171%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.41%
30-Year FHA Loan 3.115%
30-Year VA Loan 3.257%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.603%
Source: Money | Date: Nov. 20, 2020 | Rates Assume a Credit Score of 700

Mortgage rates vary from state to state. On Friday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 2.997%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada received the highest average rate at 3.421%.

Nationwide, borrowers with credit scores of 740 and above were quoted rates averaging 2.85%, while those with credit of 620 were shown rates of 4.552% — a 1.702 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 lenders 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 2.72% with 0.7 points paid for the week ending November 19, a 0.12 percentage point drop from last week's 2.84% and the 13th record low of 2020. The mortgage purchaser's weekly survey reflects borrowers who put 20% down on conforming loans and have excellent credit.

Today's Refinance Rates

Money's survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.361% on Friday. Last November, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.874%.

Refinance Rates for November 23, 2020
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.361%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.754%
30-Year FHA Loan 3.555%
30-Year VA Loan 3.61%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.552%
Source: Money | Date: Nov. 20, 2020 | Rates Assume a Credit Score of 740

A homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage balance currently paying 3.874% on a 30-year mortgage could potentially cut their monthly payment from around $940 to around $690 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 today?

Home values are increasing faster than at any point since before the housing crash, according to real estate listing site Zillow. But economists are not nearly as worries as they were back then

"The red-hot housing market of this summer and fall is now clearly reflected in soaring home value appreciation," said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow. "We haven't seen such steep, short-term appreciation since the summer of 2005, but this time it is driven by buyers with strong credit and incomes securing affordable fixed-rate mortgages, unlike the wave of poorly-vetted, exotic mortgages that financed the last boom.”

Tucker added, “The simple fact is that millions of well-qualified Millennials are seriously shopping for houses and they are competing for a shortfall of homes for sale."

In October, the typical value of homes in America reached $262,604 a 1% increase from the previous month, according to. Zillow’s home value index. The index has only registered bigger month-over-month gains four times in its 24-year history— in June, July, August, and September of 2005.

The jump last month continues a recent trend. Compared to October 2019, values are up 6.6%.

Growth was also nationwide. None of the 50 markets measured experienced a price decline last month. Increases ranged from 0.6% in Richmond, Va., up to 1.9% in San Jose. Only three markets — Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Riverside — experience a deceleration in value growth.

This report comes on the heels of the National Association of Realtors’ tally of existing homes sales, which October's seasonally adjusted annualized rate at 6.85 million — also the strongest pace since 2005. Economists expect both sales and price growth to continue far into next year.

Zillow is forecasting home value will grow another 7.9% over the next 12 months and that home sales will continue at an average annual pace of 6.42 million units.

Mortgage Term of the Week

Understanding the lingo can be key to avoiding mistakes when you are buying a home or refinancing your mortgage. For more read: Everything You Need to Know About Mortgage Rates in 2020.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): DTI measures what share of a borrowers monthly income you go toward debt payments, including their new mortgage and any existing loans. Loans with high DTI are seen as riskier to a lender. Federal guidelines suggest staying below 43% and some lenders cap DTI at 36%. It may be possible to qualify for a FHA loan with with a higher DTI than for a conventional loan.

More from Money:

The 10 Most Affordable Suburbs in America

Finding a Home Is so Hard Right Now That Buyers Are Scouring Obituaries and Divorce Notices

Lockdown Converted Many Americans Into Serious Savers. Now They Have Houses to Show for It

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