March 5, 2019
After a pretty rough conclusion last week, yesterday's stability was a welcome change for mortgage rates at the start of the new week. Today made things slightly better as the average lender improved modestly. This puts today's rate quotes back in line with those seen last Thursday afternoon.
More importantly, rates managed to hold their ground despite the presence of strong economic data this morning. Whether we're talking about the Fed or the average bond market investor, most everyone is intently focused on the economy at the moment--waiting to see if it will reaccelerate or begin to show signs of weakness. A strong economy generally puts upward pressure on rates and vice versa. Today was important because it broke that mold. Rates improved in the middle of the day even after the strong economic data. That indicates solid investor appetite for bonds (and bond market demand dictates interest rates).
Even though there was resilience in the face of strong data today, the market will only tolerate so many of those reports before rates will be forced to move higher. With that in mind, we're building toward a very important jobs report on Friday. This is always an incredibly important report as far as rates are concerned. With investors hungry for economic updates, there's a bigger-than-normal risk of volatility on Friday morning. As always, this could either take rates quickly higher OR lower.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bonds hovered near unchanged today, as Friday's NFP jobs report nears. NFP expectations seem low to me, given January's strong gains, which could prompt higher rates. I'm locking most loans closing within 45 days. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.375 - 4.5%
- FHA/VA - 4.125 - 4.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.0 - 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 began to die down in late 2018. A rapid decline in the stock market certainly helped drive investors into bonds (which helps rates) Highest rates in more than 7 years in Oct/Nov. 8-month lows by the end of the year
- This is a bit of a crossroads. The rising rate environment could flare up again. 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, late 2018 was a sign that rates are willing to take opportunities presented to them. From here, it will be up to economic data, fiscal policies, and the stock market to decide on the next set of opportunities. The rougher the overall outlook, the better interest rates tend to do.
- 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.