February 20, 2018
Mortgage rates moved back up today after ending last week on a positive note. Improvements in rates have been uncommon so far in 2018. In fact, we haven't seen more than 2 consecutive days without a move higher. In that sense, today keeps the prevailing trend intact. If there's a saving grace, it's that rates didn't quite rise back above last week's highs.
If there's a downside (whatever the opposite of a "saving grace" might be...), it's that rates remain in line with the highest levels in more than 4 years. While we COULD see some relief at some point, there's no telling if that would be a legitimate attempt at a ceiling or merely be a temporary correction before another move higher. Either way, betting on the emergence of a ceiling (via floating one's loan as opposed to locking) hasn't been an advisable strategy for nearly 2 months now. Rest assured, we'll be discussing it as soon as that changes.
Loan Originator Perspective
A new week ushered in further bond market losses today, as rates continued their seemingly unstoppable upward march. You can blame higher rates on deficit spending, increased bond supply, looming inflation, or "just because". At the end of the day, what matters is that rates are rising. Lock accordingly (early). -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Nothing has changed recently regarding lock/float. Lock as early as you can. The trend still favors higher rates and that trend does not look to change at the present. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.625%
- FHA/VA - 4.375%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.875%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.5-3.75% 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.