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Published: Nov 06, 2020 5 min read

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage was 3.363% on Thursday. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.371%.

Money's current 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.

30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage
3.363%
Rate of November 5, 2020
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View Rates for October 03, 2022

Mortgage rates vary from state to state. On Thursday, borrowers in Alaska were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.17%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.734%. Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 2.901%, while those with credit of 640 or below were shown rates of 4.641% — a 1.74 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 2.78% with 0.6 points paid for the week ending November 5, a new record low and the twelfth time this year interest rates have set a historic 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 3.641% on Thursday. Last November, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.874%.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage refi
3.641%
Rate of November 5, 2020

A homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage balance currently paying 3.874% on a 30-year could potentially cut their monthly payment from $940 to $914 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?

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, historically-low mortgage rates coupled with extremely low housing supply are driving housing affordability to the lowest level in two years. From the beginning of June to the end of September, 58% of the homes sold were affordable to families earning the adjusted U.S. median income of $72,900. That was down from 59% of homes sold during the second quarter of 2020.

"A six months supply of homes is considered a normal supply and demand balance, and this figure has been running below a four-month rate since July, putting upward pressure on home prices," said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the NAHB. "As builders look to ramp up production, the work-at-home trend is contributing to a suburban shift, meaning that buyers have additional market power to shop for affordable markets."

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The national median home price increased to an all-time high of $313,000 during the third quarter, eclipsing the previous high of $300,000 obtained during the second quarter, while average mortgage rates fell to a record low of 3.05%.

The most affordable large metro areas were around Lansing, Michigan and Scranton, Pennsylvania. In Lansing 89% of the homes sold were affordable to families earning the area's median income of $75,000. In Scranton the same share of homes were affordable to families at the local median of $66,600.

San Francisco was the least affordable metro area, with only 9% of homes sold being affordable to those earning the area's median income of $130,900.

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Bottom line:

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