Mortgage Rates Mostly Flat Despite Market Weakness

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Mortgage rates were arguably flat today for the average lender although a few were slightly higher or lower depending on their offerings from yesterday.  Markets, however, argued a slightly different case.

When we talk about “the market” with respect to mortgage rates, it’s not quite the same as almost every other mention of “the market.”  In rates’ case, it’s the BOND market that matters.  Indeed, bond prices and yields (another word for “rates”) have a bigger impact on mortgage rates than any other variable. 

Part of the reason for the discrepancy between bonds and mortgage rates today was timing.  Yesterday’s bond market strength didn’t translate to a big move in rates because many lenders had already put out their first rate sheet of the day and never saw enough improvement in bonds to suggest they drop mortgage rates.   Then today, the Treasury market bore most of the bond market weakness whereas the bonds that underlie mortgages were only marginally worse than yesterday.  The net effect was fairly flat mortgage rates with the average lender continuing to operate in the low 4% range on top tier 30yr fixed scenarios.

Loan Originator Perspective

Yesterday’s gains evaporated, and rates regressed to Tuesday’s levels.  We’re still  near the best pricing since late March, so no need to get dismayed here.  I’m locking applications closing within 30 days, floating most with more time before closing. –Ted Rood, Senior Originator

My clients are favoring locking at the current pricing.  Bonds are having trouble trying to add to the recent gains and i am not sure there is much more room for improvement in the short term.  If within 30 days of closing, i think locking in is the best call. –Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.125%
  • FHA/VA – 4.0%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.875-4.00% 
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  3.875-4.25% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
 

  • Early 2019 saw a rapid reevaluation of big-picture trends in rates and in markets in general

  • The Federal Reserve has been a key player, and while they aren’t the ones pulling the global economic strings, their response to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.

  • Based on the Fed’s laundry list of concerns, their current outlook for rate hikes and economic growth, and their bond-buying policy shifts, we’ve all but certainly seen the highest rates of this economic cycle in late 2018.  
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders.  The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable.  Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

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