September 26, 2016
Mortgage Rates were lower again today, marking the 4th straight day of improvements and the 8th day without a meaningful increase. This brings the average lender back in line with levels seen on September 7th. Before that, you'd have to go back at least to early August to see anything lower.
Admittedly, the "lowest rates since early August" sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is. The overall range of rates during that time continues to be exceptionally narrow. For most lenders conventional 30yr fixed quotes never went above 3.5% during that time, and never went lower than 3.375% on top tier scenarios.
The recovery from the higher rates seen 2 weeks ago allows a bit of breathing room from a strategy standpoint. In the bigger picture, it still makes sense to defend against the possibility that early July marked a long-term bottom in rates, but risk-takers could use recent highs as "stop loss" levels. In other words, it's not insane to float in the current environment as long as you lock if rates happen to move back to recent highs.
Loan Originator Perspective
The benchmark 10yr has fallen back below 1.60. As long as it holds below that, I would continue to float to see if this rally can extend. We are also approaching month end which tends to be supportive to the bond markets. So I don't see much risk right now floating. -Vicor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
The range is the range….again. So we closed at the very top end of the range that controlled the summer rates. We’ve improved today and are now firmly back in the range. So while rates are still great, especially if closing in the next few weeks, you may get the benefit of being patient if you have an extended closing, i.e. more than 30 days out. We’ll see how the circus tonight, I mean, debate, does as far as influencing markets. It may have not impact, but should be entertaining. -Jeff Anderson, Loan Officer, Salem Five Mortgage, LLC
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 3.375%
- FHA/VA - 3.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 2.75%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- In the biggest of pictures, "global growth concerns" remain the driving force behind the long-term trend toward lower rates
- Amid that trend, periodic corrections toward higher rates can and will happen. These can happen for no apparent reason, or they can be brought on by changes in expectations surrounding central bank policy at home and abroad, as well as geopolitical and systemic risks
- Time horizon and risk tolerance are 2 variables to consider when it comes to locking. If you have plenty of time and don't mind losing some ground, set a limit as to how much higher rates could go before you'd lock to avoid further losses, and then float in the hopes of never seeing that limit.
- In the shorter-term, it's always good to look for lock opportunities after rates have been moving lower or sideways repeatedly, especially if they've since begun to move back up in any sort of consistent way.
- As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution' (that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.' Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy. It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method).