Home loan borrowing costs moved marginally higher last week. Fortunately these unfriendly developments did not negatively impact Current Market "BestExection* quotes. Fear of the unknown has put lenders back on the defensive though.   This is generally not a favorable market environment for rate watchers.  The "path of least resistance" is tilted toward higher rates....

CURRENT MARKET*: The "BestExecution" conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.625%.  Few lenders are still offering 4.50% without origination fees. On FHA/VA 30 year fixed "BestExecution"  is 4.375% but lenders seem more comfortable quoting 4.50%.  15 year fixed conventional loans are best priced at 3.75%, for now. 15 year BestExecution quotes are teetering on a shift higher to 3.875%.  Five year ARMs are best priced at 3.25% but the ARM market is more stratified and there is more variation in what will be "BestExecution" depending on your individual scenario. 

THE WEEK AHEAD: The debt ceiling debate is expected to be the primary mover of money in the week ahead.  There will however be plenty of economic data to digest along the way. We'll hear how the weak June jobs report impacted Consumer Confidence. We'll get an update on home prices and sales.  The Federal Reserve's Beige Book will provide an anecdotal summary of economic conditions across the country. Last but not least, a sneak peek at 2nd Quarter GDP numbers will print on Friday morning. And if that wasn't enough, Treasury will auction $99 billion in government debt (notes) between Tuesday and Thursday.  Even with a wide variety of scheduled reports and data on the calendar, the politics of money and banking are expected to steal the spotlight. 

ONGOING GUIDANCE:   Floating in this environment is a crapshoot. Both stocks and bonds are maneuvering through major market uncertainties. Market participants are focused on news headlines regarding U.S. budget issues, EU debt contagion concerns, economic data, and quarterly earnings. That puts the direction of mortgage rates at the mercy of factors which don't exactly adhere to schedules or expectations. Yes there's still room to float longer term deals, but we're more inclined to advise locking short-term floats (those that must lock in less than 15 days). 

CURRENT GUIDANCE:  Until/unless we see bond markets get back to a stable or improving pattern, risks vs. rewards favor locking. 


*BestExecution 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 "BestExecution" 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.

CAUTION: MND guidance is speculative in nature. We don't have a crystal ball, we can't predict the future, we can only share our outlook. Making the following considerations extra important........................

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?