May 14, 2018
Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher today, and that's actually a strong showing considering what transpired in underlying bond markets. In fact, I'd wager tomorrow morning's rate sheets will be noticeably weaker if bonds are anywhere near their current levels.
This flow of logic raises a valid question: if bonds drive rates and if bonds say rates should be higher, then why aren't they higher already?
The answer is fairly simple: mortgage lenders put out one rate sheet per day unless market conditions force them to change. Friday's rate sheets were arguably a bit worse than they should have been, based on bond levels. This allowed this morning's rate sheets to be a bit better than they otherwise might have been. Finally, bonds' deterioration throughout the day has been gradual enough so as to not force most lenders to consider adjusting their first rate sheet of the day. In these cases, lenders almost always just wait for the following morning and adjust accordingly.
Loan Originator Perspective
Felt like a Monday today as rate markets slumbered through minor losses. This week has scant significant events on tap. I'm still locking within 30 days of closing, cautiously floating applications further out. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Where is the Bounce? Still treading water under 3.00 10 Year. Continue to Lock at origination until further developments warrant change in position. -Al Hensling
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.625%-4.75%
- FHA/VA - 4.25%-4.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.0%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.625%-3.875% 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've been moving higher in a serious way due to headwinds that cannot be quickly defeated. These include the Fed's increasingly restrictive monetary policy outlook, the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation.
- While we may see periodic corrections to the broader trend toward higher rates, it's safer to assume that broader trend can and will continue. Until that changes, it makes much more sense to remain heavily-biased toward locking as opposed to floating.
- 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.