Mortgage rates surged significantly lower today, as a part of a broad-based market movement following a political scandal that began taking shape yesterday afternoon.  You can choose your preferred media outlet to digest all of the details, but the issue surrounds communications between Trump, former FBI Director Comey, and the potential for the details of those communications to be demanded by House Oversight Chair Chaffetz.  

The most scandalous and sensational endgame to all of this would be potential impeachment--a fact you couldn't help but hear or see if you heard or saw any news anywhere today.  But financial markets are probably reacting more to the fiscal policy implications.  Simply put, today's news headlines cast further doubt on the new administration's ability to rapidly enact the legislation that prompted investors to make big bets on higher stocks and interest rates.  It's only logical, then, that investors would push stocks and interest rates in the other direction today.  It's that simple for now.

We're often talking about just how small the day-to-day movements are that we're tracking in these daily write-ups.  Today was an exception, with most lenders moving a full eighth of a percentage point lower in rate.  That's the king of improvement we only see a few times a year.  This time, it brought conventional 30yr fixed rates to the best levels of 2017.  Many of the best-qualified borrowers will be seeing quotes in the 3.875%-4.0% range now as opposed to 4.0-4.125% before today.

Loan Originator Perspective

You're Welcome.  To those of you who listened to me at least.  Rates are plummeting down toward 6 month lows.  Great right!?  Hmm, not so fast.  If you floated you are certainly ahead of the game but let's not get too excited.  This move seems to be based mostly on recent political headlines surrounding Trump and potential impeachment proceeding.  In reality an impeachment looks like a long shot and I'd be worried about a rapid snap back toward higher rates as soon as the threat of impeachment subsides.  For now I'm cautiously watching and considering a switch to a lock stance.     -Jason Anker - Sr. Loan Officer 

Unexpected tape bombs from Washington have sparked a fairly large rally today.  With the much improved rate sheets, I am finding most clients want to go ahead and lock in the gains.  The thing with tape bombs like we got last night, they can quickly unwind and we can lose all the gains rather quickly.   If you do want to go ahead and lock, I would wait as late as possible to allow your lender to reprice for the better.   -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage 

Today's Best-Execution Rates

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

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Investors were relatively convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates had been permanently reversed after Trump became president, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm

  • Instead of continuing higher in 2017, rates instead formed a narrow, sideways range, and held inside until April.  Investor perceptions are shifting such that fiscal reforms and other policy developments will need to live up to expectations in order to push rates higher.  Geopolitical risks would also need to avoid flaring up (more than they already have)
  • For the first time since the election, we're in a rate environment where you wouldn't be crazy not to lock at every little opportunity/improvement.  Until/unless it's broken, the highest rates of early-2017 mark the ceiling, and we're now waiting to see how much lower we can go from here.
  • 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.