November 21, 2017
Mortgage rates were unchanged today, on average, although a few lenders made small adjustments to rates sheets in response to bond market volatility. Bond markets began the day heading into stronger territory (which implies lower rates), but gave up much of the gains by early afternoon. That prompted a few lenders to raise the costs associated with prevailing rates.
In other words, markets didn't move enough for published interest rates to change. Those tend to move in .125% increments and it takes an uncommonly big day in bond markets to push mortgage rates higher or lower by that much. The "upfront costs" associated with a mortgage (origination and discount, typically) give lenders a way to fine-tune the overall cost of financing. It's those costs that moved higher, but again, only for a few lenders. Bonds were actually able to remain in positive territory overall (barely), hence the average lender offering similar rates versus yesterday.
Bond markets and mortgage banks are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and lenders won't be issuing rate sheets. Friday is technically a half-day for bond markets, but availability of new rates and the ability to lock them varies widely. Many lenders simply republish the same rate sheets from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Loan Originator Perspective
Seems odd to say the work week is winding down on Tuesday, but that's how it feels. Bond markets stayed within narrow ranges today, and my rate sheets were virtually identical to Monday's. Tomorrow promises more of the same, as does Friday. Looks unlikely we'll see any substantial pricing changes until next week, if then. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.0%
- FHA/VA - 3.75%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 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.