Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Ahead of High-Risk Events

Interest Rates

Mortgages Rates were essentially unchanged today.  Several lenders showed small improvements and at least as many, moderate deterioration, with one lender in particular weighing on the day-over-day averages.  All told, it wasn’t nearly enough to sway Best-Execution Rates for 30yr Fixed Conventional loans which have regained a fair bit of the 3.875% territory.  4.0% Best-Execution offerings are in nearly equal supply, however.  (read more about Best-Execution calculations).

In that sense, Best-Ex rates are on somewhat of a fence, and which side of the fence they ultimately land on CONTINUES to look most closely tied to the same two events we’ve been eyeing since late last week.  One of the events is an important market mover at the beginning of any month: The Employment Situation Report, which we’ll also sometimes refer to as “NFP” which is merely the abbreviation for the reports chief component: Non-Farm Payrolls.

We described the other key event, Greece’s private sector bond swap, in a previous post.

“To oversimplify, EU officials have already decided how much of a loss
will be taken by any of Greece’s private sector investors (banks,
insurance funds, investment firms, etc…) that decide to participate in
the so-called swap (investors would swap out current bonds for the less
lucrative ones, thus taking a “haircut”).  If a sufficient
percentage of investors acquiesce to the haircuts by Thursday, it’s a
net-positive for Greece and the Euro-zone, and likely another challenge for longer term rates in the US.”

Although the speculation and updates on the Greek Bond Swap have caused some market gyrations ahead of Thursday’s deadline, the day itself arrives tomorrow.  As with any potentially big market mover, it stands a chance to send markets in any of 3 directions, up, down, or sideways.  The thing about these sorts of “high-risk eventsthat we sometimes discuss is NOT that they’re necessarily going to elicit a major shift, simply that they possess greater potential in that regard. 

Whether or not tomorrow’s deadline turns out to be “a dud” so to speak, could be clouded by the fact that markets are likely to hold back a bit, in anticipation of Friday’s NFP.  In other words, Friday is the biggest potential risk of market movement because the passing of NFP means that we’ll have all the important information we were waiting on for the week, whereas tomorrow, we’ll only have 1 of the 2 major pieces.


  • 30YR FIXED –  balanced between 3.875% and 4.0%
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.625-3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates and costs continue to operate near all time best levels
  • Current levels have experienced increasing resistance in improving much from here
  • There are technical reasons for that as well as fundamental reasons 
  • Lenders tend to get busier when rates are in this “high 3’s” level
    and can throttle their inbound volume by raising rates or costs.
  • While we don’t necessarily think rates are destined to go higher,
    given the above facts, there seems to be more risk than reward regarding
  • But that will always be the case when rates operating near historic lows
  • (As always, please keep in mind that our talk of
    Best-Execution always pertains to a completely ideal scenario.  There
    can be all sorts of reasons that your quoted rate would not be the same
    as our average rates, and in those cases, assuming you’re following
    along on a day to day basis, simply use the Best-Ex levels we quote as a
    baseline to track potential movement in your quoted rate).

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