Mortgage rates rose today at the quickest pace in months, ultimately hitting the highest levels since June 25th for the average lender.  While neither of those are "fun" facts for fans of low rates, they are made slightly more palatable by the nature of the recent range.

Specifically, rates hadn't moved very much since late June.  The average mortgage seeker will not have seen a change in their quoted interest rate during that time (the only adjustments have been to upfront closing costs/credits).  The point is that it didn't require a huge move to be able to say "highest in a month" or "fastest pace in months." 

Caveats aside, today's rate spike confirms that a recent consolidation in the bond market is now over.  The risk is that by breaking to the upside, rates have signaled that we're in for more negative momentum (or at least an absence of any notable positive momentum).

Loan Originator Perspective

Range bound rates have made a move  starting last Friday and following through today with no resistance in sight. Definitely locking at submission is recommended at this time. -Al Hensling

After idling in place for most of July, bonds dropped sharply today and 10 year yields are at 2 month highs.  Anyone floating needs to seriously consider their risk tolerance.   I've been in "lock early" mode for months, and the last two days are great examples of why. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.625-4.75
  • FHA/VA - 4.25-4.5%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.125%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.75-4.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates moved higher in a serious way due to several big-picture headwinds, including: the Fed's rate hike outlook (and general policy tightening), the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation.

  • Despite those headwinds, the upward momentum in rates has cooled off heading into the summer months.  This could merely be the eye of the storm, or it could end up being the moment where markets began to doubt that prevailing trends would continue.

  • It makes sense to remain defensive (i.e. generally more lock-biased) because the headwinds mentioned above won't die down quickly.  Temporary corrections can be explained away, but it will take a big change in economic fundamentals or geopolitical risk for the big picture to change.  While that doesn't necessarily mean rates have to skyrocket, there's a good chance it means rates will struggle to move much lower than early 2018 lows until more convincing motivation shows up.
  • 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.