March 15, 2018
Mortgage rates held steady today as political headlines helped to offset some initial weakness in bond markets. When bonds weaken, rates tend to move higher. That said, this morning's weakness was quite modest. The helpful headlines (regarding Robert Mueller's subpoena of members of the Trump Organization) had a similarly modest effect, thus leaving bonds and rates in relatively unchanged territory. That's perfectly acceptable in this case because it means rates are holding in line with their lowest levels since March 1st.
The risk is that March 1st served as a floor for rates after they began falling from mid-February highs. It could be the case that rates will have a tough time moving any lower than today's levels without more meaningful motivation and that they're waiting to decide on such matters until after next week's policy announcement from the Federal Reserve (aka, "the Fed"). While the Fed is widely expected to hike its policy rate next week, markets are more interested in their updated rate hike outlook (released 4 times a year) as well as the first press conference for Jerome Powell as Fed Chair.
Loan Originator Perspective
We continue to run into strong resistance at 2.81ish on the 10 year note. With bonds trading at the lows, locking in today is the way to go. Until we break 2.81 and stay below for at least 2 days, i will continue to advise locking as early as possible. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Bond markets tread water today, remaining with tight ranges, as did mortgage pricing. We're near resistance levels for Treasury yields, and I haven't seen adequate data or drama to anticipate we can break through that resistance to lower rates. Still locking early, but then again, I liked OU in March Madness too! -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.5-4.625%
- 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 beginning of 2018
- The scariest part of the move higher looks like it ended as of early February, and rates have been generally sideways since then
- Even so, the potential remains for more weakness (i.e. higher rates). It makes more sense to remain defensive (i.e. more inclined to lock) until we've seen a more convincing shift lower.
- 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.