The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.03 percent, a decrease of 1 basis point from a week ago. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher at 3.07 percent.

Several benchmark mortgage rates receded this week. The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed increased. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, ticked downward.

The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.03 percent, a decrease of 1 basis point from a week ago. This time a month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher at 3.07 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay $423.22 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s down $0.54 from what it would have been last week.

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.58 percent, up 1 basis point over the last week.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $671 per $100,000 borrowed. That’s clearly much higher than the monthly payment would be on a 30-year mortgage at that rate, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more quickly.

The average rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is 3.06 percent, down 1 basis point over the last week.

These loan types are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be materially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.06 percent would cost about $425 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could ratchet higher by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

More than half of the experts on Bankrate's panel (57 percent) predict rates will rise, while 29 percent expect rates to fall and 14 percent think rates will remain the same.

Dick Lepre, a senior loan officer with RPM Mortgage, is among those who see rates rising. He said, “The rates on Treasury and mortgage debt move with inflation. In the short term, once politicians agree on an enormous increase in Treasury debt, markets will fear increased inflation, driving Treasury and mortgage rates up. In the longer term (next few months) folks will realize that inflation will remain modest through 2021.”

Mitch Ohlbaum, a mortgage banker with Macoy Capital Partners, agrees, adding, “The 10-year is trading at .81 percent, which is only up by .047 percent, virtually nothing. We have some good news in the U.S. economy despite slower than expected ‘re-employment’ of the U.S. workforce. Housing starts were up in September - mostly driven by activity in the Northeast. Home Builder Confidence is also up, and surprising the market were strong retail sales. The fear of round two COVID in Europe and negative (yes negative) rates in countries like Germany is driving investors to the US market, which will help tamp down Treasury rates in the U.S.”

Logan Mohtashami, a housing analyst with HousingWire, also sees rates going up. He said, “We are itching to get a small breakout on bond yields higher, which is bullish for the U.S. economy because it means maybe we get a disaster relief package passed. Also, if either party gets clean in the election victory, we can see more relief passed if something doesn't happen this week. We have many headlines that can drive yields higher or lower faster than what we have been accustomed to recently. So, keep an eye out daily on the news.”

Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University sees it differently. He said, “30-year mortgage rates will continue to decline slightly. 10-year treasuries are rising slowly and approaching the 8-handle (.78 percent as of 10/19/2020). However, 30-year mortgage rates will continue to buck the trend and move in the opposite direction ever so slightly. Currently, long-term mortgages appear to be relatively safe to investors in part thanks to the federal government’s willingness to continue support of foreclosure moratoriums and payment deference plans. This will cause investors to bid the price of long-term mortgages up, driving down yields.”

Jennifer Kouchis, a senior vice president of real estate lending for the VyStar Credit Union, said, “Rates will remain the same. COVID and the election news are what is driving mortgage rates. For now, rates are stable with minimum movement, however there could be new developments at any time which create volatility in the market. For now, my feeling is that rates will remain the same, although we can expect to see some slight moves both up and down.”