The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate remained roughly level at 3.67% in the week ending December 13, 2019. The 15-year FRM rate was also flat, at 3.12%. FRM rates rose significantly in 2018, but have fallen back in 2019, now below a year earlier. The long-term rising trend has briefly stalled as the Federal Reserve (the Fed) drops interest rates as we head into the coming recession, expected in 2020. In response, expect interest rates to remain low throughout 2019.

Rising interest rates discouraged homebuyers and decreased their purchasing power in 2018, causing sales volume and prices to slip going into 2019. Now begun, the downward trajectory for prices and sales volume will continue in 2019, not to recover until after the next recession is over, in 2021-2023.

FRM rates are tied to the bond market, tending to move in tandem with the 10-year Treasury Note (T-Note) rate. Bond market investors are feeling discouraged in light of the slowing economy and instability emanating from the federal government. This has led them to accept lower yields in return for the safety of treasuries, which in turn has kept FRM rates down in recent weeks. FRM rates will remain low over the next two-to-three years.

The spread between the 10-year T-Note and 30-year FRM rate is 1.84%, well above the historical difference of 1.5%. The higher margins seen through much of 2018-2019 signify that mortgage lenders, uncertain of the market’s future, are padding their risk premiums. 

The average monthly rate on ARMs was 3.97% in November 2019, far above its low point of 2.49% experienced in May 2013. The average ARM rate is actually significantly higher than the average 30-year FRM rate, making these riskier mortgage products even less appealing. As interest rates have fallen back in 2019, the spread between the ARM and FRM rates has diminished and now inverted. Therefore, ARM use will remain extremely low over the next couple of years, as the Fed will work to keep interest rates on FRMs low as the economy slows and a recession arrives, projected to hit by mid-2020.

Updated December 13, 2019. Original copy released March 2012.

Click the link to go directly to a chart, or browse the charts by scrolling below.

1. 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate, weekly — Chart update 12/13/19
2. 30-year FRM rate, monthly — Chart update 11/29/19
3. 15-year FRM rate — Chart update 12/13/19
4. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate — Chart update 11/29/19
5. 10-year Treasury note rate — Chart update 12/13/19
6. Combined FRM and 10-year Treasury note rates — Chart update 11/29/19
7. 91-day Treasury bill rate — Chart update 12/13/19
8. 3-month Treasury bill — Chart update 12/06/19
9. 6-month Treasury bill — Chart update 12/06/19
10. Treasury Securities average yield — Chart update 11/22/19
11. 12-month Treasury average — Chart update 12/06/19
12. Cost of Funds Index — Chart update 12/13/19
13. London Inter-Bank Offered rate (LIBOR) — Chart update 12/13/19
14. Applicable federal rates — Chart update 11/22/19
15. Private lender section 32 Reg-Z loans — Chart update 08/10/18

Chart update 12/13/19

Current
12/13/19
3.67%

Month ago
11/15/19
3.73%
Year ago
12/14/18
4.53%
The average 30-year FRM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com.

Chart update 11/29/19
Nov 2019
Average
3.69%
Oct 2019
Average
3.72%
Nov 2018
Average
4.74%
 
 
Chart update 12/13/19
Current
12/13/19
3.12%
Month ago
11/15/19
3.16%
Year ago
12/14/18
3.83%
The average 15-year FRM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com.
More information:

 
Chart update 11/29/19
Nov 2019
3.97%
Oct 2019
3.96%
Nov 2018
4.21%
The 5/1 average adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate shows the average rate for the first five years after origination. After the initial five-year period, the ARM rate is adjusted annually based on an index figure, such as a certain Treasury Bill rate (which reflects Federal Reserve rate movements) or the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Beginning January 2016, the average ARM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com. Prior to January 2016, the average ARM rate is provided by Freddie Mac’s survey of the Western Region of the U.S.
Chart update 12/13/19
Current
12/13/19
1.83%
Month ago
11/15/19
1.83%
Year ago
12/14/18
2.89%
This rate is a leading indicator of the direction of future Freddie Mac rates. The 10-year rate historically runs closer to 4% during a stable money market. The rate is influenced by worldwide demand for the dollar and anticipated future domestic inflation.
 
 

Chart update 11/29/19
Avg 15-Year
Nov 2019
3.14%
Avg 30-Year
Nov 2019
3.69%
Avg 10-Year T-Note
Nov 2019
1.81%
The average 15- and 30-year conventional commitment rates are the rates at which a lender commits to lend mortgage money in the United States-West/California for the duration of the life of each respective mortgage as reported by Freddie Mac. The green line reflects the 10-Year Treasury Note Average, a leading indicator of the direction of future Freddie Mac rates. It is comprised of the level of worldwide demand for the dollar and anticipated future domestic inflation.
More information:

Chart update 12/13/19
Current
12/12/19
1.55%
Month Ago
11/14/18
1.60%
Year Ago
12/13/18
2.42%
This rate determines the minimum interest rate the seller must use in a delayed §1031 transaction and report when not receiving interest on §1031 monies held by a facilitator/accommodator. This rate also sets the amount of the ordinary income the facilitator/accommodator must report.
Chart update 12/06/19
Nov 2019
1.54%
Oct 2018
1.65%
Nov 2018
2.33%
The 3-Month Treasury Bill is the rate managed by the Federal Reserve through the Fed Funds Rate as the base price of borrowing money in the short-term. It is used in determining the yield spread, which predicts the likelihood of a recession one year forward. The posted rate is the monthly average for the listed month. Rates are released with a 1-2 month reporting delay.

Chart update 12/06/19
 Nov 2019
1.55%
Oct 2019
1.62%
Nov 2018
2.46%

The six-month T-Bill rate is one of several indices used by lenders to periodically adjust the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate. The adjusted rate equals the indexed rate (at the time of adjustment or an average of several prior rates) plus the lender’s profit margin. The posted rate is the monthly average for the listed month. Rates are released with a 1-2 month reporting delay.

Chart update 11/22/19
Oct 2019
1.61%
Sep 2019
1.80%
Oct 2018
2.65%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate.The ARM interest rate equals T-Bill yield, plus the lender’s profit margin. The index is an average of T-Bill yields with maturities adjusted to one year.

Chart update 12/06/19
Nov 2019
2.14%
Oct 2019
2.24%
Nov 2018
2.25%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate. This figure is an average of the one-year T-Bill rates for the past 12 months. The ARM interest rate equals the 12-Month Treasury Average yield plus the lender’s profit margin. There is a one-two month lag in data reporting for the 12-Month Treasury Average.
Chart update 10/19/19
Oct 2019
1.10%
Sep 2019
1.13%
Oct 2018
1.08%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders to periodically adjust the interest rate on an ARM note. The ARM interest rate equals Cost of Funds Index, plus the lender’s profit margin. Current index reflects the cost of funds two months’ prior in the United States-West.
Chart update 12/13/19
1 Month
1.74%
6 Month
1.88%
1 Year
1.93%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate. The ARM interest rate equals the LIBOR rate plus the lender’s profit margin. The rate is set by the banks in London, England.

Chart update 11/22/19
Short (3 years or less)
Dec 2019
1.21%
Medium (3 to 9 years)
Dec 2019
1.28%
Long (9+ years)
Dec 2019
1.57%
These rates determine minimum interest yield reportable on carryback financing. The AFR category is determined by the carryback due date. Rates are for monthly payments, reported for the coming month.