February 22, 2018
Mortgage rates fell modestly today as underlying bond markets experienced a rare absence of volatility. Rather than view this as some sort of turning point for what has been a fairly relentless march to higher ground, these days are best seen as periodic corrections/consolidations to the prevailing trend. They are normal features of such trends and they've all been "false positives" so far in 2018 when it comes to identifying an opportunity to get more optimistic about rates moving lower.
Bottom line: today is merely the day after hitting the highest rates in more than 4 years. We'd need to see a whole lot more than one day of modest gains before anything other than a defensive, lock-biased stance makes sense for prospective mortgage borrowers.
Loan Originator Perspective
Rates improved slightly today, which means we're no longer at 4 year highs! The bad news, however, is that we're quite near those highs. We MAY be nearing rates' short term tops, but it'd be foolhardy to count on that. Locking early remains the smart option, unless your crystal ball works far better than mine. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
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.