January 17, 2019
Mortgage rates were technically steady today. In fact, as of this writing, most lenders are offering slightly better terms compared to yesterday, but only by barely-detectable amounts. The afternoon brought volatility in financial markets owing to trade-related headline. That volatility isn't moving in a good direction for mortgage rates at the moment. The takeaway is that, all other things being equal, lenders will be offering slightly weaker terms tomorrow morning, assuming they don't see quite enough weakness to adjust today's offerings with only a few hours left in the day.
Combine the volatility risk with the fact that rates are still very close to their lowest levels since last April, and this is still a compelling opportunity for potential homebuyers or owners interested in refinancing to lock a rate. This doesn't mean lower rates are out of the question in 2019, simply that a few risk factors have stacked up without having done much damage to the long-term low rates from early January. We need to see how markets react to those events (eventual end of the government shutdown, return of economic reports, progress on a trade deal) before getting a clear sense of longer-term lock/float risks.
Loan Originator Perspective
Rates continued creeping upward today, and we're going to need serious political drama or economic strife to post further gains. That is certainly possible, but until then I'm locking new applications closing within 45 days. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
With rates hovering at or near 9 month lows I think you need to consider locking. Government closure, Brexit (yes it's still a thing), and political battles all pose risk to low rates. I think it's easier for rates to go UP from here not down. -Jason Anker - Sr. Loan Officer
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.5%
- FHA/VA - 4.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.125%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 4.25%-4.625% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Headwinds that had plagued rates for most of the past 2 years are slowly dying down. The rising rate environment could flare up again, and some headwinds remain in effect, but the broader tone has taken a more optimistic shift.
- Highest rates in more than 7 years in Oct/Nov. Lowest rates 8 months by the end of the year.
- This is a bit of a crossroads. We may look back at Oct/Nov and see a long-term ceiling, or we may look back at early December and see a temporary correction before more pain. Either way, it's one of the more hopeful positions we've been in for several years.
- 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.