Mortgage rates were slightly higher in most cases today.  The small differences between rates at the end of the day today versus yesterday don't even begin to tell the story of volatility that went on behind the scenes.  In order to experience that, you would have to have seen the earliest rate sheets of the day come out in stronger territory only to face 3-5 instances of negative repricing that eventually made for the moderate day-over-day weakness.  Many lenders offered their highest rates in more than four months on Wednesday.  Thursday marked moderate improvement and today is somewhere in between, making it the second worst day in more than four months for most lenders.  Best-Execution remained at 3.625% and closing costs inched higher.

(What is A Best-Execution Mortgage Rate?)  

Today's market activity stands in stark contrast to yesterday's.  In fact, in terms of the Mortgage-Backed-Securities (MBS) that most directly influence mortgage rates, today's trading range almost completely envelopes all the trading that's taken place through last Friday, IN JUST ONE HOUR.  In other words, from 8am to 9am, MBS covered the entire week's range.  From 9am to 10am, they moved into even better territory, challenging Friday's best levels.  From there on out, pain and sadness.  Nearly constant weakness brought MBS roughly in line with their lows of the week seen Wednesday, thus mortgage rates are nearly as bad as Wednesday's.  

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.625%
  • FHA/VA - 3.25% - 3.5% (varies more between lenders than conventional 30yr Fixed)
  • 15 YEAR FIXED -  2.875%- 3.00%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.625-3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates have risen moderately from their all-time lows, making for relatively increased reward for floating at the expense of greater risks of loss.
  • Rates could easily move higher or lower, and unscheduled, unexpected events can ultimately have the most say in the direction.
  • Near term risks in 2013 include the upcoming debt-ceiling debate in Washington as well as the Fed's policy outlook regarding securities purchases.
  • Prospects For Extending The Debt Ceiling Deadline currently seem to be preventing a move back down in rate.  Passage of such legislation could further support a rising rate environment.
  • (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).