January 10, 2018
Mortgage rates were much higher this morning, bringing them to new 6-month highs (a dubious distinction also accomplished yesterday). Unlike yesterday, there were good and bad moments today. Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) were already starting to show signs of support this morning. Early this afternoon, a scheduled auction of 10yr Treasury Notes was met with strong demand. When demand for a bond rises relative to supply, rates fall.
Mortgage rates aren't based directly on 10yr Treasuries, but there is a strong correlation between the two. The 10yr serves as an important benchmark for any longer-term interest rate in the US, so the strong auction suggested rates may attempt to find a ceiling here after a rocky start to the year.
The staying power of any such ceiling remains to be seen, but at least for today, it allowed lenders to adjust rate sheets for the better. While that didn't quite get them back to yesterday's levels, some lenders were very close.
From a strategy standpoint, we'd still want to see a bigger commitment to lower rates before it made sense to roll the dice with respect to locking and floating.
Loan Originator Perspectives
Bonds found a measure of support today, as 10 year Treasury auction results were strong. Yields are still at their highest since March, and rates are still trending up, so it's not time to relax just yet. I'm still locking early, until we see far more evidence that rates' recent swoon has passed. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.125%
- FHA/VA - 3.75%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375%-3.5%
- 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 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.