Mortgage Interest Rates Forecast

Barbara Marquand
By Barbara Marquand 

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Mortgage rates today: Friday, March 31, 2023

On Friday, March 31, 2023, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 22 basis points to 6.418% APR. The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped nine basis points to 5.873% APR, and the average rate on a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage went down two basis points to 6.969% APR, according to rates provided to NerdWallet by Zillow. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is five basis points higher than one week ago and 165 basis points higher than one year ago. A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percent. Rates are expressed as an annual percentage rate, or APR.

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Mortgage rates this week

Fixed mortgage rates dropped a little in the week ending March 30 while the five-year adjustable rate rose.

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.56% APR, down four basis points from the previous week's average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.85% APR, down three basis points from the previous week's average.

  • The five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 6.99% APR, up 13 basis points from the previous week's average.

This week's average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit its lowest level since early February, and it was down about a half-percentage point from early March. 

That's good news if you're house hunting since lower mortgage rates make home loans less expensive and increase your buying power. 

On top of that, home prices are flattening. The national median price for existing homes — those owned and occupied before hitting the market — ebbed 0.2% year over year in February to $363,000. That drop may seem insignificant, but it was the first time the median existing home price fell year over year in more than a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

Price changes, though — varied widely by region — with year-over-year decreases in the Northeast and West and increases in the Midwest and South. 

The median price dipped 4.5% to $366,100 in the Northeast and fell 5.6% to $541,100 in the West, while it climbed 5% in the Midwest to $261,200 and increased 2.7% in the South to $342,000.

Even if prices wane, you'll still need to bring your A-game to compete with other buyers, thanks to a continuing shortage of homes for sale. The NAR pegged the supply of unsold homes on the market at just 2.6 months at the end of February, meaning it would take about 2 ½ months for all of the properties to sell at the current sales pace. A market with a good balance of buyers and sellers has a five- to six-month supply.

"Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties," NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release earlier this month.

If you're ready to buy a home, first shop for lenders and get preapproved for a mortgage. That will let you know how much you're qualified to borrow and show sellers you're a serious buyer. Then work with a good real estate agent who knows the local market and can help you find homes, make offers and navigate the process to closing.

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