Mortgage rates ended higher for the 4th straight business day on Tuesday, but that wasn't necessarily destined to be the case this morning.  After last week's US/China trade announcements put upward pressure on rates heading into the 3-day weekend, some of the positivity was backtracked over the weekend.  This pushed stock prices and bond yields (aka "rates") lower to start the day, but the rate recovery didn't last long.

As news came in about improved odds for a Brexit deal, European bonds began losing ground quickly.  This, along with a strong performance in US stock markets, put pressure on US bonds throughout the morning (pressure on bonds = higher rates).  By the end of the day, most mortgage lenders had reissued rates that were closer to last Friday's.  

Tomorrow brings the week's only major economic report in the form of Retails Sales at 8:30am.  In general, if the report is much stronger than expected, is should keep upward pressure on rates.  If it's weaker, however, rates would have a better chance to recover.  Either way, geopolitical and trade-related headlines remain capable of causing plenty of intraday volatility.

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds posted small losses today, despite last week's tariff "agreement" appearing to be less than defined.  It's going to take a hefty dose of unforeseen geopolitical/economy duress for rates to rally from here.  I'm still locking early, especially for loans closing within 45 days. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

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

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations 

  • 2019 has been the best year for mortgage rates since 2011.  Big, long-lasting improvements such as this one are increasingly susceptible to bounces/corrections 

  • Fed policy and the US/China trade war have been key players.  Major updates on either front could cause a volatile reaction in rates

  • The Fed and the bond market (which dictates rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade war updates. The stronger the data and trade relations, the more rates could rise, while weaker data and trade wars will lead to new long-term lows.  
  • 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.