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Published: Jul 20, 2020 5 min read

Real estate agents are reporting bidding wars in some of the most active real estate markets in the country, as interest rates remain at record lows and housing supply remains tight.

According to real estate brokerage Redfin, nearly 54% of its offers were involved in bidding wars during the month of June, the third month of steady increases. Boston was the most competitive market, with 72% of all offers there facing competition, followed by San Diego with nearly 66% and Salt Lake City at close to 64%. Of the 24 metro markets Redfin examined, 12 had more than 50% of offers involved in bidding wars.

"Bidding wars continue to continue to be fueled by historically low mortgage rates and fewer homes up for sale than almost any time in the last two decades," explained Redfin economist Taylor Marr. "It's like a game of musical chairs where only the best bidders get a seat."

Last week, there were modest signs that supply could increase in the future. The National Association of Home Builder/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index showed home builder sentiment reaching pre-pandemic levels for the month of July. Information from the U.S. Census Bureau's New Residential Construction report also pointed to an improving outlook, with housing starts gaining 17% over May numbers (although still 4% below June 2019 levels).

Average Mortgage Rates Today

Mortgage rates broke the 3% barrier on Thursday, the lowest rate recorded in 50 years of Freddie Mac's interest rate survey. For the week ending July 16, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a new record low of 2.98% with 0.7 points paid, according to Freddie Mac. That's 0.05 percentage points below the previous low of 3.07%, set a week earlier.

The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.48% with 0.7 points paid, down 0.03 percentage points from the previous week, while the average rate on a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 3.06% with 0.3 points paid.

Average Refinance Rates Today

A year ago the average mortgage rate was 3.81%. A homeowner with a $250,000 mortgage balance paying 3.81% on a 30-year loan could cut their monthly payment from $1,166 to $1,051 by financing at today’s lower rates. (It is important to consider closing fees and that refinancing could reset the clock on your mortgage, meaning you will have to make payments longer.)

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Of course, mortgage rates vary widely by location and personal factors like location, the size of your down payment and your credit score. Here are today’s advertised mortgage rates at some of the mortgage industry’s largest lenders. (The rates you see may be different.)


Quicken, a non-bank lender based in Detroit, is the nation’s largest mortgage lender by dollar origination volume.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 20:

30-year fixed: 3.246%

15-year-fixed: 2.924%

(Quicken doesn’t advertise a five-year adjustable rate. Rates are APRs.)

Wells Fargo

Based in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has more than 7,000 locations.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 20:

30-year fixed: 3.113%

15-year-fixed: 2.811%

5-year ARM: 2.827%

(Rates are APRs.)

JP Morgan Chase

Based in New York, JP Morgan Chase has nearly 5,000 U.S. branches.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 20:

30-year fixed: 3.055%

15-year-fixed: 2.605%

5-year ARM: 2.692%

(Rates based on New York City zip code 10006. Rates are APRs.)

Bottom Line:

If you have decent credit, you may be in a position to take advantage of mortgage rates near all time lows

View Money’s Best Mortgage Lenders of 2020

Compare Money's Best Mortgage Refinance Companies of 2020

Related: Why Right Now Is the Best Time to Refinance Your Mortgage, According to David Bach

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