Mortgage rates held steadier today after spending 6 of the past 7 days moving lower.  They're now at their lowest levels in roughly 3 weeks and fairly close to reentering the lower range that ended in September. 

That all sounds pretty impressive, but day to day rate movements have been smaller than average for much of 2017.  Some of the most volatile days of the past few months would look more like an average day at most points in 2016. 

Offsetting the lack of outright movement by historical standards is the fact that rates have managed to hold at generally low levels.  Most lenders are able to quote conventional 30yr fixed rates just under 4% on top tier scenarios.  Near the end of October, most lenders were creeping up into the low 4% range.

Underlying financial markets have been calm so far this week as investors wait for any relevant details regarding the tax reform process.  It's already looking like bigger news will be on hold until next week at the earliest.

Loan Originator Perspective

So far this week has been very friendly to floaters.   Bonds continue to add onto yesterday's modest gains and i am seeing better priced rate sheets.   So far today, over half my floaters have decided to take advantage of the better pricing and lock.  I think that is a wise choice especially if closing within 30 days.   We have pretty solid resistance not far below current levels, so not sure how much more we can improve without something substantial happening. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.875-4.0%
  • FHA/VA - 3.75% 
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.25-3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2017 had proven to be a relatively good year for mortgage rates despite widespread expectations for a stronger push higher after the presidential election in late 2016. 

  • While rates remain low in absolute terms, they've moved higher in a more threatening way heading into the 4th quarter, relative to the stability and improvement seen earlier in 2017

  • The default stance for now is that this trend toward higher rates has the potential to continue.  It will take more than a few great days here and there for that outlook to change.

  • For weeks, this bullet point had warned about recent stability inviting a bigger dose of volatility.  That volatility is now here.  As such, locking is generally the better choice until the volatility is clearly dying down.
  • 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.