Mortgage rates have been on a solid run over the past few weeks--a time that tends to see the chips fall where they may in terms of market movement (especially for rates).  Yesterday and today were really the first two days since December 18th that have seen any semblance of business as usual for rates traders.  Even then, much of the participation was drawn out by geopolitical risks surrounding the flare-up in US/Iran relations after a drone strike killed Iran's top general.

Mortgage rates have been edging lower for nearly 2 weeks and are now at their lowest levels in exactly 1 month.  The gap between the highs and lows during that time isn't huge.  Worst case, rates were 1/8th of a percent higher on December 20th.  Either way, rates are historically low with the average lender under 4% for top tier scenarios the entire time.  

Next week will be important as there are several big-ticket economic reports (a key source of inspiration for the bonds that underlie mortgage rates) not to mention the likelihood of additional geopolitical developments. 

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds posted moderate gains today, amid rising Mideast tensions.  If Iran and US hostilities continue (which appears likely), rates are apt to improve further.  I am in no hurry to lock here. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

The news from the middle east has brought bonds to 1 month lows.   Unfortunately, I do not see this ending without more trouble which will allow rates to fall further.  I see no reason to lock today.   Float over the weekend to allow time for lenders to pass along the gains. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Most Prevalent Rates For Top Tier Scenarios 

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.75%
  • FHA/VA - 3.375%%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375% 
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.25-3.75% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations 

  • 2019 has been 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.  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 trade war updates. The stronger the data and trade relations, the more rates could rise, while weaker data and trade wars 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.