Mortgage rates moved higher today following higher-than-expected job creation in a report from the Labor Department. The Employment Situation (aka "the jobs report") is the most important monthly economic report. That's especially true for interest rates as no other data is as consistent a source of guidance and volatility. Today's was no exception. In fact, it was being watched a bit more closely than normal because last month's report raised concerns about a potential shift in labor market trends. A separate report from the private payroll firm ADP only added to the concern on Wednesday when it suggested a weaker payroll count for June.
But the official jobs number surged right back to the high levels that have characterized what is now the longest running economic expansion... ever. Although this is only one report in a sea of generally lackluster data, it definitely pushes back against the notion of multiple Fed rate cuts in 2019 or against long-term low rates in general. Just how much it pushes back remains to be seen. It will depend--at least in part--on how the Fed interprets it. We'll find out more about that in a congressional testimony from Fed Chair Powell next week.
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 3.875%
- FHA/VA - 3.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.5-3.625%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.375-3.75% 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 (and even their EXPECTED response) to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.
- Based on the Fed's laundry list of concerns, the bond market (which determines rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade-related concerns. 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.