August 29, 2018
Mortgage rates were just slightly higher again today, keeping them in line with the highest levels in about 3 weeks. The same caveat applies: we're talking about "effective rates" (which factor in upfront lender costs) as opposed to "note rates" (the actual interest rate that most of us have in mind when discussing mortgage rates). In other words, most prospective borrowers are seeing the same old rate on any given day over the past 3 weeks, but the overall cost of financing, on average, would be highest today.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bonds lost ground for a third straight day today, as month end demand failed to provide support. Looks like our little rate dip has passed. I am locking new applications closing within 45 days for all but the most risk-tolerant clients. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
I continue to see very little benefit in floating this market. My clients are favoring to lock in at current pricing. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Trade War resolution, incredible Consumer Confidence numbers all point towards higher rates. Suggest locking at application to avoid disappointment. -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.