March 2, 2018
Mortgage rates snapped back toward recent highs today. Part of this has to do with how well rates have done over the past 3 weeks. Granted, rates haven't moved significantly lower over that time, but they've at least avoided moving significantly higher--something that couldn't be said for every other week in 2018.
There are several big and intractable reasons for the general rise in rates, and none of them have changed. As such, investors in the bond market (which underlies rate movement) are understandably hesitant to make trades that push rates very much lower. They were already on the edge of their comfort zone when yesterday's tariff announcement forced rates even lower. With that line having been crossed, buyers disappeared (bond buying pushes rates lower) and seller took over on Friday.
The net effect wasn't too terribly traumatic, but it mortgage lenders are nonetheless back in the same rate ballpark seen on Wednesday afternoon. For most, that means conventional 30yr fixed quotes of 4.5-4.625% for well-qualified borrowers.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bond markets regressed today, failing to hold recent gains yet again. Trade wars make goods more costly, and inflation's already been a market concern. Locking early remains the prudent path, rates are still trending upward. 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 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.