October 26, 2018
Mortgage rates fell decisively today--at least in the context of the recent range--thanks primarily to heavy losses in the stock market. Stocks are far from the only consideration for interest rates, and many times, there's no correlation between the two on any given trading day. But when stocks are losing ground quickly, investors seek shelter in several safer places--one of them being the bond market. More demand for bonds means lower rates.
All of the above having been said, over the past two days, I've made it a point to talk about the inconsistent behavior between mortgage rates and bond market movement. In short, mortgage rates weren't doing a good job of following the market. This was mostly a factor of timing, and we just needed to see bond markets hold onto recent gains with less volatility. Today was our lucky day in that regard, and lenders' rate sheets confirm it.
The average lender is now quoting the lowest conventional 30yr fixed rates in 2 weeks. Keep in mind, "lowest rates" refers to the overall cost of financing between the actual interest rate and the lender charges/credits associated with that rate. In some cases, the interest rate (or "note rate") may be exactly the same as 2 weeks ago, but in those cases, the upfront lender costs should be lower (or the lender credit should be higher).
Loan Originator Perspective
Stocks' continued swoon helped bonds recoup their October losses. While my rate sheets don't fully reflect the gains, they're improving. My hunch is that Monday's rates will reflect more of our gains, so will hold off locking new applications until then. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.875-5.0%
- FHA/VA - 4.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.5%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 4.25%-4.75% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates continue coping with several big-picture headwinds, including: the Fed's rate hike outlook (and general policy tightening), 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 (which certainly seems to be the case so far in 2018).
- While rates were able to recover and stay sideways in the summer months, September and October have seen a surge up to the highest levels in more than 7 years.
- Upward pressure can continue as long as economic growth and inflation continue running near long-term highs. Stay defensive (i.e. generally more lock-biased). It will take a big change in economic fundamentals or geopolitical risk for the big picture to change. Such things tend to not happen as quickly as we'd like.
- 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.