Mortgage rates were only slightly higher today, and didn't rise enough to make it above the levels that showed up somewhat abruptly on Wednesday.  That keeps this week fairly tame in terms of volatility.  In fact, most of January has been fairly calm after rates initially rebounded from the long-term lows seen in the first few days of the year.  That may change next week, however, for a variety of reasons.

The government re-opening is only one of these reasons and probably not the most important one.  Rather, investors will focus on any major changes in the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday.  Then on Friday, we'll get the big jobs report, which is the most consistent source of volatility and inspiration for rates when it comes to economic data.  Economists expect a major contraction in the job count from last month.  Such big changes in forecasts leave lots of room for investors to be surprised.  The more surprised they are, the faster rates could move, for better or worse.

Loan Originator Perspective

It appears the Shutdown Showdown  is temporarily easing,  which may reduce bond demand.  Treasury yields rose to 2.75% today, so any trend toward lower rates is on hold.  I'm locking applications closing within 45 days. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.5%
  • FHA/VA - 4.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.125%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  4.25%-4.625% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Headwinds that had plagued rates for most of the past 2 years began to die down in late 2018.  A rapid decline in the stock market certainly helped drive investors into bonds (which helps rates) Highest rates in more than 7 years in Oct/Nov.  8-month lows by the end of the year

  • This is a bit of a crossroads. The rising rate environment could flare up again.  We may look back at Oct/Nov and see a long-term ceiling, or we may look back at early December and see a temporary correction before more pain. 

  • Either way, late 2018 was a sign that rates are willing to take opportunities presented to them.  From here, it will be up to economic data, fiscal policies, and the stock market to decide on the next set of opportunities.  The rougher the overall outlook, the better interest rates tend to do.
  • 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.