Mortgage rates moved moderately higher today after failing to capitalize on a hopeful move in bond markets yesterday. Bonds--particularly mortgage-backed bonds--are directly responsible for most of the day-to-day movement in mortgage rates, and they've been losing ground all year.
Like several days in the past few weeks, yesterday saw a promising bounce in the bond market. This created some hope that rates had found their ceiling when they hit the highest levels in more than a year 3 weeks ago. After today's moderate increase, however, they're dangerously close to those highs.
As of early February, we'd spent nearly 2.5 months with the average 30yr fixed rate near 2.75% for top tier, conventional refis (2.625% or lower for purchases). Today, that rate is in the 3.375%-3.5% range for refinances and 3.25-3.375% for purchases. That makes this one of only a few moves of this size in decades.