Mortgage Rates

Average Nationwide Mortgage Interest Rates

The rates listed below are provided by a third party, and assume “Best Execution”, which is the most perfect situation.  These rates also assume with you paying all your standard closing costs.  No closing cost loans, no origination loans, no lender fee loans all have higher interest rates.  Your actual rate is likely to be different.

National Averages * Your rate may vary


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Learn More About MND’s Daily Rate Survey

The methodology used on this chart for determining daily mortgage rates is somewhat complex, and involves an objective component based on lenders raw prices as well as subjective impression from our network of originators. We look at the actual rate sheet offerings from most major lenders and calculate the buy-ups and buy-downs between each rate (incidentally, rates tend to be offered in .125% increments, which is why it shows always conveying best-execution in .125% increments).

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Buy-ups and Buy-downs

As mentioned above, most lenders’ rate sheets are structured with 0.125% increments between the rates. For any given RATE there is a COST associated with it (closing costs). It’s important to note that a cost can be negative or positive. This means that some rates with enough “negative cost” allow lenders to pay some or all of the borrowers’ closing costs. It is almost always the case that higher rates equate with lower costs. In other words, a borrower may have to pay their own closing costs in one quote, whereas the lender could cover a portion of the closing costs in a quote that was .125-.250% higher.

Conversely, borrowers can opt to pay additional up front costs in order to BUY DOWN the rate. This may or may not be advisable depending on the borrowers’ personal preferences as well as the economic logic and break-even time required for paying the extra costs. In other words, paying more up front means that you’d need to keep a loan for a particular period of time in order to save enough in terms of lower monthly payments to break even on the additional up front expense.

These buy-ups and buy-downs (costs to move higher or lower in rate) can vary greatly from rate to rate. For example, on a $200,000 loan, it may only cost $800 to move to the next .125% lower in rate whereas the next .125% could cost $1600.

Best-Execution: The Sweet Spot

Slight variations in daily mortgage interest rates tend to create a sweat spot daily where the combination of COST and RATE is more efficient at one rate vs another.  In general, this means giving you the most efficient combination of rates and fees at a cost level that typically allows most well-priced lenders to offer you the best bang for your buck.

No closing costs, No lender fee, No loan origination

Remember again, interest rate and closing costs go hand in hand.  All of these low closing cost option can be offered by all lenders. They simply increase your interest rate to offset your lower closing costs.  Pay over time versus pay today.

Best-Execution Vs. Day-Over-Day Changes In Rates

Because rates are generally offered in 0.125% increments, it’s rare that markets move enough in one day to cause Best-Execution to adjust to the next eighth higher or lower in rate. However, markets are always moving and on a vast majority of days, the COSTS associated with the RATES are moving. These smaller day-to-day variations are accounted for by the daily changes seen on our mortgage rates page.

On this page, you will see interest rates that aren’t available in order to illustrate the day-to-day movement in mortgage rates even when that movement isn’t sufficient for us to announce a shift in the Best-Execution rate.

The bottom line is that Best-Execution is found only in the RateWatch articles and moves up or down only in .125% increments and only when the underlying costs have changed enough that the new Best-Execution rate becomes more efficient than the previous one. The rates seen on the mortgage rates page are a purely notional representation of the day-to-day movement on rate sheets.

All About The CHANGE

In the cases of both the Best-Execution rate and the daily changes seen on the mortgage rates page, please keep in mind that there are numerous variables that can affect loan pricing for any given scenario. Both of our rate metrics won’t apply to every borrower in every scenario and are generally on the more aggressive side of the market. They assume an ideal scenario with top tier credit qualifications and loan factors

Their ideal use is to benchmark the day-to-day changes as they provide a common point of reference. As you read along, you may have to infer that when we’re talking about a .125% improvement in rates that your own starting point may have been different from our Best-Execution starting point. Unless your scenario falls in that “best case” category, the important thing to track is the CHANGE as opposed to the outright levels. Above all, your mortgage professional should always be able to show you several options and explain any factors in your scenario that are affecting pricing.

On a final note, even after speaking to your mortgage professional about factors affecting pricing, it can still be the case that different lenders quotes would vary. Decisions around this topic are more subjective, but we’d advocate not letting costs be the be-all-end-all deciding factor, even if they’re the most important for you. Great service and well-managed expectations are worth a lot, and that’s something we can’t quantify for you. A smooth and timely mortgage process can end up saving you more money than the lowest possible quote you can find.

When in doubt, ask your trusted Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota  mortgage professional.

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