Mortgage Rates Stay Calm Ahead of Important Jobs Report

Interest Rates

Mortgage rates didn’t budge today.  Most lenders didn’t adjust rate sheets enough to affect yesterday’s loan quotes.  This is a fairly rare occurrence.  There’s almost always at least some small adjustment in the closing cost side of the equation, even if the quoted contract rate is the same.  It goes without saying, then, that the most prevalently-quoted rates are exactly the same as yesterday.  That leaves a fairly even split between 4.0 and 4.125% on conforming 30yr fixed scenarios for top tier borrowers.

Markets expressed only a small amount of the potential volatility associated with this morning’s events.  This places even more emphasis on tomorrow morning’s Employment Situation Report, which is always the biggest potential market-mover of any given month in terms of scheduled economic reports.  As always, it can push rates significantly higher or lower, depending on how the actual result compares to the forecast.


Loan Originator Perspective

“Heading into tomorrows employment report. I am considering locking
loans closing within a 30 day window and will suggest it to all clients,
leaving the decision with them. 15 days out is locked, tomorrow brings
bigger  risk, but also potential reward to those willing to take the bigger risk.” –Constantine Floropoulos, Quontic Bank

“Another day of treading water for us as rates were essentially flat
ahead of the October jobs report tomorrow. Typically, a strong jobs
report hurts rates, a weak report helps. The report is released before
lenders issue rate sheets, so floating borrowers will feel the impact of
any changes (whether for better or worse). I’m not overly concerned
about rates rising dramatically, but for loans in process for
conservative borrowers, locking today is the play.” Ted Rood, Senior Loan Officer

“As I suspected yesterday, today’s announcement from the ECB was a non
mover which leaves us with tomorrow’s non farm payrolls report. All
indicators are pointing to a pretty solid report in the morning with
economists expecting 231,000 total jobs created. So far this year,
market participants have ignored this report but it has created a lot of
volatility on the day of release. I think that trend will continue
tomorrow but float at your own risk.” –Victor Burek, Open Mortgage

“Mortgage bonds have been for the most part trading sideways all week.
Tomorrow that is sure to change with the release of the NFP. Traders
are now looking for the number to beat expectations. Equities have
rallied hard from the October lows and are overbought. Should the
report miss or meet expectations we could see Equities take a breather
and that would benefit mortgage rates. However given the narrow trading
range mortgage bonds have been in the size of tomorrows move may be
large and should they sell off rates can worsen quite a bit. The risk
of floating is simply too high. Loans should be locked today.” –Manny Gomes, Branch Manager Norcom Mortgage


Today’s Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.0-4.125
  • FHA/VA – 3.5-3.75
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  3.0 – 3.50% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • The hallmark of 2014 has been a narrow range in rates.  Too many market participants bet on rates going higher in 2014, and markets punished that imbalance with a paradoxical move lower.

  • European markets helped that process along and continue to play a prominent role in keeping US rates lower than they otherwise might be.  
  • For most of the Summer and early Fall months, rates held a narrow range of 4.125% -4.25% (essentially where the 2014 rate recovery has bottomed out) and finally broke to a 3.875%-4.0% range in mid-October.  It’s too soon to tell if this is a brief window of opportunity or the continuation of 2014’s very gradual improvements.

  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we’ve termedbest-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also ‘bang-for-the-buck.’  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points–though this can vary–and tends to predict Freddie Mac’s weekly survey with high accuracy.  It’s safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie’s once-a-week polling method). 

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