Daily mortgage rates for March 25, 2024: Rates steady after last week’s turbulence

Mortgage rates are steady as of Monday, March 25, 2024, after rounding out a march to nearly 7.0% last week in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s hold on the benchmark interest rates. The Federal Reserve held its benchmark target interest rate at a 23-year high of 5.25% to 5.50% after last Wednesday’s committee meeting while signaling that cuts are on the horizon for later this year.

The current average rate for a 30-year mortgage is 6.98% for purchase and 6.99% for refinance — up 10 basis points and 12 basis points, respectively, from the start of last week. The rate for a 15-year mortgage is 6.47% for purchase and 6.49% for refinance. The average purchase rate on a 30-year fixed jumbo mortgage is 7.09% — 11 basis points higher than this time last week.

Purchase rates for Monday, March 25, 2024

30-year fixed rate — 6.98%

20-year fixed rate — 6.82%

15-year fixed rate — 6.47%

10-year fixed rate — 6.40%

5/1 adjustable rate mortgage — 6.51%

30-year fixed FHA rate — 6.82%

30-year fixed VA rate — 6.97%

30-year fixed jumbo rate — 7.09%

Refinance rates for Monday, March 25, 2024

30-year fixed rate — 6.99%

20-year fixed rate — 6.82%

15-year fixed rate — 6.49%

10-year fixed rate — 6.43%

5/1 adjustable rate mortgage — 6.37%

30-year fixed FHA rate — 6.86%

30-year fixed VA rate — 7.60%

30-year fixed jumbo rate — 7.08%

Current mortgage rates for March 25, 2024

The Fed rate does not determine mortgage rates, though it sets benchmarks that indirectly affect rates on financial products like mortgages, personal loans and deposit accounts. The Fed has a firm goal of a 2% inflation rate, and with favorable economic reports on the job market, it’s unlikely the reserve will cut rates until that goal is within reality’s reach.

Mortgage rates in the news

The Federal Reserve held its benchmark target interest rate at a 23-year high of 5.25% to 5.50% at last week’s committee meeting while signaling that multiple cuts are on the horizon for later this year. It marks the fifth consecutive time the Fed has held this key rate steady since July 2023. Policymakers projected cuts to 4.6% by the end of 2024 after December’s meeting and in its post-meeting statement last week, the Fed reiterated earlier concerns about cutting this key interest rate until it sees more data “that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent.”

The Federal Reserve increased the target interest rate 11 times from March 2022 to July 2023 in an effort to combat the highest inflation in four decades coming out of the pandemic. While inflation has cooled, Consumer Price Index data released on March 12 showed a month-over-month increase in consumer prices — a widely used indicator for inflation — and bankers forecast three rate cuts by the end of the year, predicting the first to come after the Fed meets again in June 2024.

The expected summer rate cut could coincide with a major change in the way Americans buy and sell homes. On March 15, the National Association of Realtors announced it had agreed to a settlement that, if approved by a federal judge, would bring an end to longstanding real estate broker commissions of up to 6% of a home’s purchase price. The settlement isn’t expected to affect mortgage rates, yet it paves the way for consumers to negotiate what they pay for an agent’s services, potentially saving homebuyers money in the long run — just in time for summer home sales.

4 top factors that affect your mortgage rate

The difference of even half a percentage point on your interest rate can save you hundreds of dollars a month and thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage, but the mortgage rate you’re ultimately offered depends on the mortgage you’re interested in, payments you’re willing to pay up front and your overall financial health.

Your credit score. Knowing your credit score can help you shop around for lenders you’re likely to get approval through, as well as understand the type of mortgage for your lifestyle and income. The best mortgage rates go to borrowers with good to excellent credit — typically a FICO credit score of at least 670 — though even with fair credit, you may be able to find a mortgage offering decent rates.

Your down payment. The more money you can put down toward your home, the better it benefits your interest rate. Paying at least 20% of your home’s purchase price up front generally results in a lower interest rate — and you can avoid mortgage insurance, which increases your total cost.

Your loan term. While the 30-year mortgage remains a popular way for Americans to purchase homes, you can find terms of 20 years, 15 years and 10 years. Shorter loan terms usually come with lower interest rates, though with higher monthly payments. Longer mortgage terms can result in smaller monthly payments, though you’ll pay higher total interest over the life of your loan.

Interest rate type. Mortgage rates come with two basic types of rates — fixed and variable. Fixed-rate mortgages offer a consistent interest rate over the life of your loan, whereas adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) often start with a lower fixed rate for an agreed-on time and then adjust to a variable rate based on market conditions for the remainder of your term. Choosing between these two rates depends on your financial goals and tolerance for risk.

Frequently asked questions about mortgage rates

What are mortgage lenders? Lenders are financial institutions that loan money to homebuyers. A lender is different from a loan servicer, which typically handles the operational tasks of your loan, like processing payments, talking directly with borrowers and sending monthly statements.  

What does it mean to refinance a mortgage? Refinancing is a process of trading in your current mortgage to another lender for lower rates and better terms than your current loan. With a refinance, the new lender pays off your old mortgage and you then pay your monthly statements from the new lender.  

What factors influence mortgage rates? Mortgage rates are determined by many factors that include inflation rates, economic conditions, housing market trends and the Federal Reserve’s target interest rate. Lenders also consider your personal credit score, the amount available for your down payment, the property you’re interested in and other terms of the loan you’re requesting, like 30-year or 15-year offers.

When is the best time to lock in a mortgage rate? Mortgage rates can fluctuate daily, so it’s best to lock in a rate when you’re comfortable with the offered rate and conditions of the loan. 

Can I negotiate my mortgage rate? It’s not likely — lenders consider the market conditions and other financial factors when determining rates. You can, however, ask about how you can reduce costs in other ways when comparing mortgage lenders. For instance, many lenders offer lower rates in exchange for “mortgage points” — upfront fees you pay to your lender.

Current refinance mortgage rates for March 2024

Editor’s note: Annual percentage yields shown are as of Monday, March 25, 2024. APYs and promotional rates for some products can vary by region and are subject to change.

Sources

Mortgage Industry Insights, Bankrate. Accessed March 25x, 2024.

2024 Housing Market Prediction: Lower Mortgage Rates, National Association of Realtors. Accessed March 19, 2024.

Mortgage rate forecast for March 2024, Bankrate. Accessed March 19, 2024.

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