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By Leslie Cook
Updated: November 9, 2020 8:16 AM ET

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage was 3.434% on Friday. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.404%.

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
3.434%
Rate of November 6, 2020
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View Rates for January 17, 2021

Mortgage rates vary from state to state. On Friday, borrowers in Kentucky were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.191%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.817%. Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 2.937%, while those with credit of 640 or below were shown rates of 4.762% — a 1.825 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 3.732% on Friday. Last November, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.874%.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage refi
3.732%
Rate of November 6, 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 $924 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?

The median home sale price was up 15% for the four-week period ending November 1, according to Redfin’s Housing Market Update. Homes sold for an average of $322,000, the highest price on record. Year-over-year, the median sale price was up 16% from the same week in November 2019. The average sale-to-list price ratio is at an all-time high of 99.5% and 1.4% higher than last year.

“Lower mortgage rates could push even more buyers to purchase a home in the remaining months of 2020,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. She also noted that some sellers may have been waiting for election results to list their properties.

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Pending homes sales for the same four-week period were up 34% over last year, although the number of sales contracts has declined slightly over the last month. The pace of sale has remained high well past its normal peak of April or May, with 44% of homes under contract having an accepted offer within the first two weeks of going on the market.

Inventory is still lagging, as active listings decreased by 29% from the same period last year. There is some good news on the supply front, however, as new listings increased by 9%.

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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.

Collateral: Some sort of property that is offered as security for a debt, such as a piece of real estate offered as collateral for a mortgage loan.

Bottom line:

Savvy Homebuyers Are Using an Under-the-Radar Strategy to Win Bidding Wars in 2020

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