Mortgage Daily

Published On: December 15, 2022

Which Surveys of Mortgage Rates Are the Best?

No longer is it easy to compare shops for mortgage rates. Sometimes four or five times daily, markets and pricing are subject to change.

Where do you thus seek a “ballpark” mortgage rate?

A reputable mortgage lender will ask for your information before providing you with an estimate since they are aware that interest rates are dependent on loan amounts, property types, and credit scores.

And no one desires to cooperate with a poor lender.

Due to the difficulty of obtaining real-time mortgage rate information, several websites supplying this data have emerged. These “mortgage rate surveys” assert to provide the current interest rates.

However, mortgage rates can fluctuate by up to 0.50 percentage points (0.50%) between mortgage rate surveys, which seldom reflect actual mortgage lender quotes.

So, why are there disparities? Why do mortgage rate surveys yield such disparate results? Which will you believe?

Why Are Mortgage Rates So Variable?

Mortgage rates range among home lenders. Rival lenders may offer the same borrower various interest rates even for an identical loan. This is because lenders are competitive businesses with their pricing practices.

Additionally, mortgage rates vary among borrowers. Even for the same loan product, the same mortgage lender may provide various interest rate rates to different applicants. This is because each borrower has a unique risk profile.

Rates on home loans vary based on the property type and other risk factors. For instance, a mortgage secured by a rental or investment property is more likely to default than a loan secured by a personal house. Consequently, investment property rates are higher.

The rate you receive is also affected by the home loan program. The Department of Veterans Affairs, for instance, guarantees VA loans. This indicates that banks are highly unlikely to incur a loss. Conventional (non-government) loans, in contrast, are not guaranteed. Less risk equals a reduced rate.

Considering that you are distinct from your neighbor, your loan will differ.

If you insist on locating a “ballpark” interest rate, you may discover a plethora of mortgage rate surveys online.

What Are Surveys of Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage rate surveys are market snapshots. Similar to lists:

  1. an average mortgage rate
  2. for a certain sort of mortgage borrower
  3. for a specified duration

Most of them feature an abundance of fine print towards the bottom. It may say that the quotations only apply to applicants with loan amounts less than $647,200, a minimum 20% down payment, and FICO scores of more than 740. Or it may state that the survey cannot guarantee the integrity of the information presented.

Furthermore, mortgage rates fluctuate often, perhaps several times each day. Therefore, even if you fulfill the assumptions of the online mortgage rate study, you will miss the deadline.

The rate displayed online may have expired. The rate you receive “right now” may be taken to the bank.

Several Common Mortgage Rate Surveys

There are several online and printed mortgage rate surveys available. This is a summary of some of the most prevalent ones.

Primary Mortgage Market Survey by Freddie Mac (PMMS)

Government-backed Freddie Mac purchases mortgages from banks and sells them to investors.

If you need general information or trends, the organization is well-equipped to respond to the query, “What are the current mortgage rates?”

Here is their method.

Each week, Freddie Mac surveys around 125 lenders. Asking about their average interest rate for borrowers purchasing a single-family house with a 20% down payment, a conventional loan, and excellent credit.

Most banks will respond to Freddie Mac by Tuesday afternoon at the latest. Results are made available on Thursday morning. This two-day delay implies that the survey results have little relevance to what you may obtain from a lender.

Freddie Mac data applies solely to loans with a 20% down payment and does not include government-backed mortgages.

Mortgage Rate Survey of the Mortgage Bankers Association

Since 1990, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the biggest mortgage banker trade association, has also released a rate survey.

Nevertheless, the MBA conducts its survey somewhat differently.

For the MBA’s mortgage rate survey, actual mortgage application data is collected from member institutions over a week (Saturday through Friday).

The MBA then computes the “average contract rate” for several types of loans. They include fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, conforming home loans (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), jumbo mortgages, and government-backed home lending programs such as FHA and VA.

According to the trade association, more than 75 percent of mortgage applications in the United States are included in their weekly poll.

The survey is issued on Wednesdays, with a delay of five days.

A benefit of the MBA study is that it includes several loan types. In addition to the information being five days old, the data source is loan applications, not closed loans.

Between the application and closing dates, mortgage rates can fluctuate dramatically.

Origination Insight Report From Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae, a mortgage software provider, also releases a mortgage rate report called the Origination Insight Report.

Ellie Mae reports average rates for real completed mortgage loans for the most frequent borrower categories and many popular products, using data from the millions of mortgage applications it helps mortgage lenders handle each year.

For instance, the Origination Insight Report displays the average interest rate obtained by FHA borrowers, VA borrowers, and conventional mortgage loan borrowers.

The Origination Insight Report is likely the most accurate survey report; however, it is only issued monthly, and its data are many weeks old.

Popular News Sites for Consumers

Daily and weekly mortgage rates are also available on popular consumer news websites such as,, and Zillow, as well as on the sidebar of virtually every personal finance company in existence.

As with the MBA study, these mortgage rates are often “advertised” and do not reflect actual rates on concluded loans.

However, for ballpark consumers, publicized prices might be more useful than Ellie Mae’s “closed rates.” When attempting to answer the question “what are mortgage rates doing today? “monitoring real-time movements can indicate whether mortgage rates are growing or declining.

Caution: Always verify assumptions!

Occasionally, internet mortgage rate advertising makes “loose” assumptions regarding interest rates. Verify that your desired online lender is not displaying a loan with a 20% down payment if you’re seeking a low-down payment loan.

Mortgage interest rates can vary widely.

What Are the Mortgage Rates Today?

Online mortgage rate shopping may be difficult, and mortgage rate surveys need to do more to improve the process. Often, it is preferable to go directly to the source.

Obtain current mortgage rates immediately. No SSN is necessary to initiate the quotation process, and all estimates include access to your actual mortgage credit scores.



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