We're back to and maybe even setting new year-to-date mortgage rate lows right now. These positive developments follow a short period of stagnation where volatility in the secondary mortgage market kept us on edge, but never really amounted to much on rate sheets. Loan pricing has drifted mostly sideways since setting new YTD lows on June 8th. And even though we didn't have far to travel, we're back to those lows again. And maybe even teetering on lower lows....


CURRENT MARKET: The "Best Execution" conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.50%. Some lenders may be quoting 4.375%, but that offer is aggressive and will likely carry increased closing costs in the form of origination fees.  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:   This is as good as it's been all year. Since the middle of November really.  If you're on a short lock/float timeline (15 days), now is a good time to considering locking. While a few sessions of continued loan pricing rallies could lead to a lower overall note rate offer, we've been here before (recently) and failed to see investors commit to a sustained rally in the bond market. Our long-term outlook still supports the case for lower rates though, however until we see investors display a commitment to rally, we will be reluctant to advise floating in the short-term, especially with volatility only 2-days behind us.

CURRENT GUIDANCE:  As volatility continues in the secondary market, we remind rate watchers that lenders are known to price loans from a defensive stance when the broader bond market is in limbo. It might seem safer to float when lenders are defensive by default,  especially if you're able to act quickly and are somewhat flexible with respect to the risk of slightly higher closing costs, but floating is really best reserved for those operating on a longer-term timeline. This creates a buffer to allow for corrections when/if the market moves in an unfavorable direction. While a few sessions of continued loan pricing rallies could lead to a lower overall note rate offer, we've been here before (as recently as Friday) and failed to see investors commit to a sustained rally in the bond market (today).

THE WEEK AHEAD:  Indecisive Attitudes Dictate Short-Term Directionality. Greece Headlines, Treasury Auctions  and the End of QEII. Read more about indecisive attitudes HERE.


"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.

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?

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