July 16, 2018
Mortgage rates fell to their lowest levels since late May as of last Friday. Today, then, would be the 2nd best day since late May. Rates edged slightly higher to begin the new week as bond markets (which underlie rates) came under modest pressure for several relatively inconsequential reasons. The net effect was a small adjustment in the upfront costs associated with prevailing rates. In other words, the actual interest rate governing your monthly mortgage payment hasn't changed in weeks, but the upfront costs tied to that rate are slightly higher for lenders today compared to last Friday.
Loan Originator Perspective
My clients and i continue to favor locking in once within 30 days of closing. Only loans i would consider floating would be those that can lock on a shorter time tomorrow or if your lender repriced worse this morning. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Amazon Prime Day did not trickle down to Bonds for any bargains. Spike in rates clearly support the position of locking at origination until further notice. -Al Hensling
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.625-4.75
- FHA/VA - 4.25-4.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.125%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.75-4.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates moved higher in a serious way due to several big-picture headwinds, including: the Fed's rate hike outlook (and general policy tightening), 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.
- Despite those headwinds, the upward momentum in rates has cooled off heading into the summer months. This could merely be the eye of the storm, or it could end up being the moment where markets began to doubt that prevailing trends would continue.
- It makes sense to remain defensive (i.e. generally more lock-biased) because the headwinds mentioned above won't die down quickly. Temporary corrections can be explained away, but it will take a big change in economic fundamentals or geopolitical risk for the big picture to change. While that doesn't necessarily mean rates have to skyrocket, there's a good chance it means rates will struggle to move much lower than early 2018 lows until more convincing motivation shows up.
- 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.