Mortgage Rates were only slightly higher today, and in some cases were right in line with yesterday's.  In fact, if you caught a lenders' rate sheet earlier this morning, chances are it was in better shape than yesterday.  That stood to reason, considering bond markets (which drive mortgage rates) were also in slightly better shape to start.  But bonds tanked in the afternoon (meaning prices fell, and yields rose), thus implying higher rates.

When bond markets move enough during the day, lenders often 'reprice' and send out updated rate sheets.  That was indeed the case today, but the changes didn't leave us in significantly worse shape than yesterday.  That's the positive way to look at it.  The negative way is to observe that rates moved just a little bit more into the highest levels in more than 2 months (before Brexit).  

During the best moments of the range over that time, conventional 30yr fixed rates on top tier scenarios have been as low as 3.25%.  The most prevalent rate was 3.375%.  While that's still available today for a few of the most aggressive lenders, you're more likely to see 3.5%-3.625%.  Bottom line, the past few business days have solidified a shift higher of roughly an eighth of a percentage point.

It continues to make most sense to anticipate further weakness until it can be ruled out.  That means favoring locking vs floating until and unless we see a big bounce toward lower rates.

Loan Originator Perspectives

Ugly move today with bonds.  There was no specific cause of the move or breaking news...just momentum picked up and nobody wanted to catch the falling knife.  Since all lenders have repriced for the worse by now, I feel it is worth the risk to float over night and check pricing in the morning.  During sell offs like this, lenders do tend to take away more than the price drop in bonds justifies.  -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.5%
  • FHA/VA - 3.0 - 3.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 2.75%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • In the biggest of pictures, "global growth concerns" remain the driving force behind the long-term trend toward lower rates
  • Amid that trend, periodic corrections toward higher rates can and will happen.  These can happen for no apparent reason, or they can be brought on by changes in expectations surrounding central bank policy at home and abroad, as well as geopolitical and systemic risks

  • Time horizon and risk tolerance are 2 variables to consider when it comes to locking.  If you have plenty of time and don't mind losing some ground, set a limit as to how much higher rates could go before you'd lock to avoid further losses, and then float in the hopes of never seeing that limit.
  • In the shorter-term, it's always good to look for lock opportunities after rates have been moving lower or sideways repeatedly, especially if they've since begun to move back up in any sort of consistent way. 
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution' (that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 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).