Rates Cap Impressively Sideways Week Near Long-Term Lows


Weeks like this are the reason that some mortgage rate analysis is only done once a week. There haven’t been any significant developments in financial markets–at least not as far as bonds (which dictate rates) have been concerned.  And there certainly hasn’t been any significant movement in mortgage rates themselves.  In fact, with the exception of a modest dip last Wednesday, mortgage rates have been essentially flat for the entire month of June.

As we’ve discussed all week, being “flat” at current levels is a good thing considering lenders continue quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates in a range from 3.875% to 4.0% on top tier scenarios.  Almost any borrower will have seen the exact same interest rate quote throughout June.  Any detectable variation has come in the form of upfront costs.  These adjustments are typically minimal, and equate to 0.01-0.02% in terms of effective interest rate.   Bottom line, while only June 14th can claim the title of “best day for rates in over 8 months,” everything else has been strikingly close for more than 3 weeks now.

Movement potential increases next week.  Risk-averse clients are well within their right to prefer locking, given the nearness to long-term lows.  Risk-tolerant clients can afford to wait and see if next week’s economic data ends up helping rates break lower through this extended floor.

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 3.875-4.00
  • FHA/VA – 3.5-3.75% 
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.125-3.25%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Investors were relatively convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates had been permanently reversed after Trump became president, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm

  • Instead of continuing higher in 2017, rates instead formed a narrow, sideways range, and held inside until April.  Investor perceptions are shifting such that fiscal reforms and other policy developments will need to live up to expectations in order to push rates higher.  Geopolitical risks would also need to avoid flaring up (more than they already have)
  • For the first time since the election, we’re in a rate environment where you wouldn’t be crazy not to lock at every little opportunity/improvement.  Until/unless it’s broken, the highest rates of early-2017 mark the ceiling, and we’re now waiting to see how much lower we can go from here.
  • 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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