Last week the intense rally in bond markets helped mortgage rates reach their best levels of the year, but the rally came to an end on Friday.  Then on Friday evening, news the S&P downgraded the US Sovereign Debt Rating set a chain of events in motion that completely rocked the markets.  Despite steep losses in stocks and insane rallies in Treasuries, the Secondary Mortgage Market has been more of a bystander today, leaving Home Loan Borrowing Costs slightly better than Friday, but not as good as Thursday.

CURRENT MARKET*: The BestExecution 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.250%. Not many lenders are willing to offer 4.00% but 4.125% is available if you're willing to pay additional closing costs.  On FHA/VA 30 year fixed BestExecution is 4.00%. Fewer lenders willing to quote 3.875% (includes additional closing costs).  15 year fixed conventional loans are still best priced at 3.75% and we're still seeing aggressive quotes at 3.625%. Five year ARMs are still best priced at 3.25. ARMs and 15 year quotes seem to have bottomed out. 

It's important that we point out an increased amount of variation in what individual lenders are quoting as their BestExecution rates.  This is a factor of price volatility in the secondary mortgage market. Unfortunately when volatility picks up in the secondary mortgage market, the cost of doing business gets more expensive for lenders (hedging costs go up). Those added costs are usually passed down to consumers via extra margin in rate sheets.

GUIDANCE: We've realized a good portion of the rates rally we'd been holding out for.  And while things could still improve, it's an especially volatile time for the broader markets, meaning lenders have been slow to pass along gains.  Mortgage rates DO NOT like volatility and uncertainty.  Relative to various market levels, rate sheets are conservative yes, but there's no telling when things will get better, and sadly, always a chance that they won't get better at all.  Incidentally, we lean toward the possibility of them getting better, but the timing and flexibility required to capitalize on that possibility makes floating a less attractive choice for most scenarios right now, especially when what's on the table is already so much better than everything else 2011 has to offer and fairly darn close to all time low rates. 

CAUTION: MND guidance is speculative in nature. We don't have a crystal ball, we can't predict the future, we can only share our outlook. Making the following considerations extra important........................

What MUST be considered BEFORE one thinks about capitalizing on a rates rally?

   1. WHAT DO YOU NEED? Rates might not rally as much as you want/need.
   2. WHEN DO YOU NEED IT BY? Rates might not rally as fast as you want/need.
   3. HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS? Are you ready to make tough decisions?

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*BestExecution is the most cost efficient combination of note rate offered and points paid at closing. This note rate is determined based on the time it takes to recover the points you paid at closing (discount) vs. the monthly savings of permanently buying down your mortgage rate by 0.125%. When deciding on whether or not to pay points, the borrower must have an idea of how long they intend to keep their mortgage. For more info, ask you originator to explain the findings of their "breakeven analysis" on your permanent rate buy down costs.


*Important Mortgage Rate Disclaimer: The BestExecution loan pricing quotes shared above are generally seen as the more aggressive side of the primary mortgage market. Loan originators will only be able to offer these rates on conforming loan amounts to very well-qualified borrowers who have a middle FICO score over 740 and enough equity in their home to qualify for a refinance or a large enough savings to cover their down payment and closing costs.If the terms of your loan trigger any risk-based loan level pricing adjustments(LLPAs), your rate quote will be higher. If you do not fall into the"perfect borrower" category, make sure you ask your loan originator for an explanation of the characteristics that make your loan more expensive."No point" loan doesn't mean "no cost" loan. The best 30year fixed conventional/FHA/VA mortgage rates still include closing costs such as: third party fees + title charges + transfer and recording. Don't forget the fiscal frisking that comes along with the underwriting process