Home loan borrowing costs today recovered a portion of the increases they experienced on Monday and Tuesday.  Once again these slight cost improvements came amidst a volatile backdrop. These are generally not favorable conditions for rate watchers as volatility in the secondary mortgage market puts lenders in a more defensive position than usual. That means we're not seeing aggressive loan pricing strategies on rate sheets.  Mortgage rate movements have gone stale.

CURRENT MARKET: The "Best Execution" conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is still 4.50%. Some lenders may be quoting 4.50% with increased closing costs in the form of origination fees. Some lenders may also be quoting 4.375%, but those offers will definitely carry additional closing costs.  These costs could be worth it to applicants who plan to keep their new mortgage outstanding for long enough to breakeven on the extra upfront costs.  On FHA/VA 30 year fixed "Best Execution"  is 4.25%.  15 year fixed conventional loans are best priced at 3.75%. Five year ARMs are best priced at 3.125% but the ARM market is more stratified and there is more variation in what will be "Best-Execution" depending on your individual scenario. 

PREVIOUS GUIDANCE:  "Volatility" in and of itself doesn't mean rates are more likely to get directionally better or worse, but it does mean lenders are more anxious about the potential for larger intraday loan pricing swings. This creates a defensive environment where rate sheets fluctuate in a wider range of offers.  If you can't afford (or don't want to afford) to risk what could be a meaningful increase in closing costs or even a .125% shift higher in rate, we're always in favor of protecting current offers, especially when rates are near their best levels in recent memory and high-risk, high-impact economic events are less than 24 hours away.  If you float through today into tomorrow, you're basically accepting any short-term rate/cost adjustments that take place following the market's reaction to those events.

CURRENT GUIDANCE:  As volatility continues in the secondary market, it's becoming apparent that lenders are pricing loans from a defensive stance.  Lenders are waiting for the secondary market to commit to a directional trend.  With today's high-risk event over, it might seem safer to float if lenders are pricing defensively by default.  And in fact, if you're able to act quickly and are somewhat flexible with respect to the risk of slightly higher closing costs, that can be a valid strategy here, but floating is best reserved for the longer term and most flexible scenarios here.  While there is potential upside even for short term outlooks, it's not likely to ratchet the Best-Execution rate down another 1/8th of a percent quickly enough to be worth the risk.

What MUST be considered BEFORE one thinks about capitalizing on a rates rally?

   1. WHAT DO YOU NEED? Rates might not rally as much as you want/need.
   2. WHEN DO YOU NEED IT BY? Rates might not rally as fast as you want/need.
   3. HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS? Are you ready to make tough decisions?


"Best Execution" is the most cost efficient combination of note rate offered and points paid at closing. This note rate is determined based on the time it takes to recover the points you paid at closing (discount) vs. the monthly savings of permanently buying down your mortgage rate by 0.125%.  When deciding on whether or not to pay points, the borrower must have an idea of how long they intend to keep their mortgage. For more info, ask you originator to explain the findings of their "breakeven analysis" on your permanent rate buy down costs.

Important Mortgage Rate Disclaimer
: The "Best Execution" loan pricing quotes shared above are generally seen as the more aggressive side of the primary mortgage market. Loan originators will only be able to offer these rates on conforming loan amounts to very well-qualified borrowers who have a middle FICO score over 740 and enough equity in their home to qualify for a refinance or a large enough savings to cover their down payment and closing costs. If the terms of your loan trigger any risk-based loan level pricing adjustments (LLPAs), your rate quote will be higher. If you do not fall into the "perfect borrower" category, make sure you ask your loan originator for an explanation of the characteristics that make your loan more expensive. "No point" loan doesn't mean "no cost" loan. The best 30 year fixed conventional/FHA/VA mortgage rates still include closing costs such as: third party fees + title charges + transfer and recording. Don't forget the fiscal frisking that comes along with the underwriting process