Mortgage rates rose for the 5th day in a row following a higher reading in this morning's inflation data and an upbeat Retail Sales report.  In general, stronger economic data and higher inflation motivate investors to move money out of the bond market.  As demand for bonds falls, bond prices move lower and rates move higher.  

Today's increase brings mortgage rates close to their highest level in 3 weeks.  You'd have to go back to January 25th to see worse.  That said, "worse" is a relative term.  Both then and now, a top tier scenario would result in a conventional 30yr fixed rate of 4.25%.  Today's upfront costs would be just slightly lower.  Only a few lenders remain at 4.125% on comparable scenarios and several have moved up to 4.375%.

Loan Originator Perspective

Bond markets lost further ground today, and rates are approaching December's highs.  Our recent range of 2.4-2.5% on treasuries is in jeopardy, and the trend is NOT our friend.  I favor locking early, particularly if closing within 45 days.  -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

I continue to believe locking is the way to go.  The current trend is not our friend, and will remain that way until it changes.   Recent data has shown inflation picking up which is one of the biggest enemies to low interest rates.  I see very little to gain floating. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.25%
  • FHA/VA - 3.75-4.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election
  • Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm

  • With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels. 
  • We'd need to see a sustained push back toward lower rates (something that lasts more than 3 days) before anything less than a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense for all but the most risk-tolerant borrowers. 
  • 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).