March 6, 2018
Mortgage rates moved higher again today, but not because of anything that happened today. Rather, it was yesterday's bond market weakness that did the damage. Although many lenders reacted to that weakness by adjusting rates higher yesterday, those adjustments didn't fully reflect the amount of weakness in bonds (weaker bonds = lower bond prices = higher bond yields, or "rates").
While the change in rates versus yesterday isn't extreme, by any measure, the recent range is narrow enough that today's rates are technically the highest since Tuesday of last week. At these levels, the average lender is slightly more likely to be quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.625% for well-qualified borrowers, although 4.5% is still somewhat common.
Whereas the past 3 weeks have been a friendlier environment than the rest of 2018 for rates, the past 2 days suggest it might be time to batten down the hatches for more volatility.
Loan Originator Perspective
Small morning gains morphed to small early PM losses for bond markets today. My pricing was almost identical to yesterday's. Nothing's changed, there's no/minimal motivation to drive rates down, and the trend is still to higher rates. Locking early remains the prudent course of action. -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.