January 31, 2020
Mortgage rates inched even lower today as the market resumed efforts to react to and account for risks surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. Weaker economic data also played a part. That said, it's good to remember that the market's coronavirus reaction is all about the global economy in the first place. A massive epidemic is assumed to take a toll on the economy and slower economic growth helps rates and hurts stocks.
Today was somewhat special because the average conventional 30yr fixed mortgage rate officially hit the lowest levels since the middle of 2016. This was more a factor of how low they already were yesterday. While today's bond market improvement was fairly substantial it didn't translate to a huge change from most mortgage lenders.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bond markets recouped yesterday afternoon's small losses, then posted significant gains Friday as economic data and Wuhan virus concerns continued to inform markets. The temptation here is to float away, hoping rates will just keep falling. The reality is that, at some point, these gains will evaporate, and when they do, it may be sudden. I'm locking all February closings, looking at March on a case by case basis. - Ted Rood, Senior Originator
The Coronavirus continues to dominate the headlines and are helping rates improve. MBS are lagging the improvement seen in the 10 year treasury note. The longer the 10yr can hold or improve, the more likely MBS will have to follow. Since its a green Friday and i don't think the Coronavirus will go away over the weekend, i feel its worth the risk to float. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Today's Most Prevalent Rates For Top Tier Scenarios
- 30YR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
- FHA/VA - 3.25 - 3.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.125-3.25%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.25-3.75% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- 2019 was the best year for mortgage rates since 2011. Big, long-lasting improvements such as this one are increasingly susceptible to bounces/corrections
- Fed policy and the US/China trade war have been key players (and more recently, the coronavirus outbreak). Major updates on either front could cause a volatile reaction in rates.
- The Fed and the bond market (which dictates rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as updates on other factors like trade and viral epidemics. The stronger the data the more rates could rise, while weaker data will lead to new long-term lows.
- 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.