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By Leslie Cook
February 2, 2021
Money; Getty Images

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.086% — down from 3.107% last week.

Buyer interest in rural areas has pushed housing supply down and home prices up as people seek larger homes and more room overall.

Today’s Mortgage Rates: 30-Year Fixed Loans, 15-Year Fixed Loans, and More

Mortgage Rate Chart
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.086%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.33%
30-Year FHA Loan 2.85%
30-Year VA Loan 2.918%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.588%
Source: Money | Date: Feb. 1, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 700

Money’s daily mortgage rates show the average rate offered by over 8,000 lenders across the United States the previous business day. The rates reflect what a typical borrower with a 700 credit score might expect to pay for a home loan right now. These rates were offered to people putting 20% down and include discount points.

Our daily rates are generally higher than the weekly benchmark rate published by Freddie Mac, which are for buyers with the highest credit scores.

Money’s daily mortgage data also shows that borrowers with the highest credit scores — 740 and above — were offered a rate of 2.89% on average. People will lower credit scores — 620 or below — were shown rates of 4.026%.

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How do I get the lowest mortgage rate?

You may be able to negotiate a better mortgage rate if you shop around or if you have other accounts with the lender. (To get started, take a look at Money’s picks for the best mortgage lenders.) Lately, some lenders have been hiking up advertised rates to keep demand in check, so you may be offered a lower rate if you reach out directly.

Mortgage rates vary also from state-to-state. On Monday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.033%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.144%.

Today’s Refinance Rates

Today’s survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.168% on Monday. In February 2020, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was around 3.8%.

Mortgage Refinance Rate Chart
Loan type Average Rate
30-Year Fixed Loan 3.168%
15-Year Fixed Loan 2.586%
30-Year FHA Loan 3.285%
30-Year VA Loan 3.355%
30-Year Jumbo Loan 3.521%
Source: Money | Date: Feb. 1, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 740

What else is happening in the housing market today

The supply of houses in rural areas is down by more than 44% compared to a year ago, according to a recent report from brokerage Redfin. Inventory was also sharply down in the suburbs, with a year-over-year drop above 38%. These are the largest inventory drops in these areas since Redfin started keeping track in 2017.

By comparison, the supply of homes in urban areas was down by just 16%. The pandemic has made suburban and rural areas more popular among homebuyers looking to leave high-density urban centers for more wide-open space and larger homes. Overall, the total number of homes for sale was down by 34%, an all-time low for the four-week period ending January 17.

“The scarcity of rural and suburban homes for sale is driving the overall housing supply shortage. Many homeowners are staying put, and homes in those neighborhoods are snapped up as soon as they’re listed for sale,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

The lack of inventory also led to a faster pace of sales. Urban homes went under contract 14 days faster than last year, while suburban homes are selling 22 days faster and rural homes 29 days faster.

As a result, home prices were up too. The median home price in urban areas increased 15% to $288,000. Suburban home prices rose 14.5% to $330,230 and rural prices were up 16% to $290,592.

Mortgage Prediction of the Week

Expert views on what comes next.

Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX, on what the 2021 housing market looks like:

For more on the 2021 housing market, read: 2021 Real Estate Predictions: How Vaccines, President Biden and More Could Shape Housing Trends.

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