Mortgage rates remained largely unchanged today, on average.  Once again, there was a fair amount of volatility in bond markets (which dictate rates) during the day, but said volatility was contained in a narrow range that's persisted all week.  In fact, all of this week's bond market movement has taken place inside the highs and lows set on Monday.  

There are less pleasant places for bonds/rates to be this indecisive.  Indecision here means that rates continue to operate very close to their lowest levels of the year.  Only a handful of days are better, and not by much.   4.125% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed quote on top tier scenarios. 

Tomorrow brings the typically-very-important Employment Situation (aka "the jobs report").  It always has the potential to cause a big move in bond markets.  Tomorrow is no exception, but this certainly isn't an instance where financial markets are waiting on some revelation in the data to set the tone for the next big shift.  In other words, tomorrow's jobs data probably won't be the thing that causes rates to move appreciably lower or higher for days and days.  

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds bounced around prior levels today, and were essentially unchanged by mid afternoon.  It's both encouraging we held the week's gains and discouraging we failed to break prior resistance on treasury yields, guess it depends on whether your perspective is glass "half full" or "half empty".  Tomorrow's jobs report still holds the potential to impact rates' short term future.  Floating basically entails betting on a tepid report.  Do so with caution.  -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Rates continue to hover near the bottom of the range of pricing we've been in for several months.  The continued failure to break below this range makes me want to be much more cautious.  We have a Jobs Report tomorrow which all indications lead to another solid report putting pressure on rates again to move us back to the top of that range.  If you're closing soon I would protect what you have in front of you now.  I believe the risk of floating the rate right now is too high unless you can easily handle the pain of a wrong guess. -Hugh W.Page, Mortgage Banker, Seacoast Bank

Once again, the Employment Situation Report is on deck for release in the morning.  It is always risky to float through this report.   With bonds unable to break through resistance, I think it would be wise to go ahead and lock in today.   The payroll report comes out in the morning before rate sheets hit which means if you float, you cannot lock before the damage may be done to rate sheets. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.125%
  • FHA/VA - 3.75-4.00%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 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

  • Still, it would take something very big and unexpected for rates to make a big, sustained push back toward pre-election levels.   Even then, it would take time to confirm such a shift.
  • With fiscal and monetary policy paths both clearly putting pressure on rates, at least one of those would need to make a noticeable change before anything but a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense as a baseline strategy.  Floating should only be considered as a tactical opportunity to capitalize on temporary corrections. 
  • 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.