Mortgage rates played the same role they've been playing for weeks by holding fairly steady today.  At the average lender, if you're looking for an average loan and you have above average qualifications, you'll have seen the same interest rate at the top of any loan quote since late June.  Adjustments have only come in the form of the upfront costs associated with any given "note rate."  

The markets that underlie rate movement experienced some volatility today as a new round of tariffs was announced yesterday evening.  "More tariffs," in general, are bad for stocks and good for rates because they create economic uncertainty and/or fear of economic weakness.  A weaker economy does less to promote stock price growth and more to cause demand for safe haven investments like bonds (higher demand for bonds = lower rates).

Tomorrow brings the week's most important economic report, the Consumer Price Index.  This key measure of inflation is important for bonds.  If it misses or exceeds expectations by more than a tenth of a percent, it can cause significant volatility in bond markets, thus putting more noticeable pressure on rates (for better or worse).

Loan Originator Perspective

Bond markets posted small gains this PM following a respectable 10 year treasury auction.  My rate sheets were virtually identical to Tuesday's.  I'm still leaning toward locking early, better safe than sorry. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.625-4.75
  • FHA/VA - 4.25-4.5%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.125%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.75-4.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates have been moving higher in a serious way due to headwinds that cannot be quickly defeated.  These include the Fed's increasingly restrictive monetary policy outlook, the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation.

  • While we may see periodic corrections to the broader trend toward higher rates, it's safer to assume that broader trend can and will continue.  Until that changes, it makes much more sense to remain heavily-biased toward locking as opposed to floating.
  • 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.