Mortgage rates rose again today, albeit at a slightly slower clip compared to yesterday. Still, that's little consolidation considering this is the 4th straight day spent moving in that unfriendly direction. The average lender is now back to levels not seen since March 19th. On the bright side, March 19th's rates were the lowest in more than a year at the time.
So what's going on?
In general, the month of March saw the confluence of 2 great things for rates. Not only was there a generally high level of concern/uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook, but the Fed was also surprisingly helpful. This was a bit of a double-edged sword because the Fed's helpfulness was predicated on that same sort of concern/uncertainty. In other words, if events unfold in such a way as to ease that concern, not only would it push rates higher of its own volition, it also might result in the Fed being less helpful.
One of the key ingredients in the Fed's outlook was/is global growth concerns. China and Europe are the two economies the Fed is most interested in, apart from the US. Chinese data has improved a bit since mid-March and there are several big reports due out overnight. Part of today's rise in rates could reflect concern that those reports come in stronger than expected (stronger economic data is associated with higher rates, all other things being equal). If the concerns prove to be well-founded, rates could easily continue higher tomorrow, but if the data disappoints, we may catch a break.
Loan Originator Perspective
Rates continued their upward ascent today. I'm hopeful they'll decide to bounce lower soon, but certainly can't plan on that. I'm locking loans that are closing in the next 30 days. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.25%
- FHA/VA - 4.0%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.875-4.00%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.875-4.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Early 2019 saw a rapid reevaluation of big-picture trends in rates and in markets in general
- The Federal Reserve has been a key player, and while they aren't the ones pulling the global economic strings, their response to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.
- Based on the Fed's laundry list of concerns, their current outlook for rate hikes and economic growth, and their bond-buying policy shifts, we've all but certainly seen the highest rates of this economic cycle in late 2018.
- 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.