Mortgage rates didn't do much today, and that's good enough news considering the average lender is closer to the lower end of the rate range since early October.  The only counterpoint would be that there isn't much distance between the highs and the lows during that time (not a bad thing, just a bit of context).   In other words, rates are "pretty close" to the lowest levels of the past several months, but they're also not too far from the highest levels.  

Rates move when the underlying bond market moves, and it's not uncommon to see a slow start on Monday's that lack meaningful data or headline developments (like today).  Potential volatility will be increasing from here, however, with several important economic reports by Thursday morning along with the signing of the US/China phase 1 trade deal on Wednesday.  There's a chance we'll see some upward pressure on rates if the trade deal signing goes off without a hitch, but rates would benefit if it's delayed.

Loan Originator Perspective

MBS posted small gains today, as Wednesday's scheduled "Phase 1" tariff meeting with China looms large.  I still see Iranian drama as more likely to impact rates short term, and no one knows if/when that will pop up.  I'm locking loans closing within 30 days, going case by case for those further out. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

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 was 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.