Mortgage Rates maintained their recent winning streak today, falling for the 5th straight day.  The average lender is now offering the best rates in nearly 2 months.  You'd have to go back early August or late July (depending on the lender) to see a better combination of rate and upfront cost.

This brings up a caveat that has been important in the past few months.  The outright range of rate movement has been exceptionally small!  We talk about "rates" moving every day, but that's just convenient shorthand for "the combination of NOTE RATE and UPFRONT LENDER COSTS."  Those upfront costs are sometimes referred to as "points," but that isn't a universal definition.  Regardless of the label, this refers to whatever costs the lender is charging (or paying) at closing.  These usually include things like origination fee, discount, processing, etc... anything that is paid to the lender.  

All that to say, most of this "movement" in rates has been in the form of the upfront costs on any individual day.  If we look at the last 5 days all together, however, we have seen almost a full eighth of a point decrease in the rate itself.  Floating is less risky now than it had been early last week, but keep in mind that the longer streaks like this go, the more susceptible they are to corrections.  

Loan Originator Perspective

If you had the stomach to float to today you have been almost fully rewarded. MBS prices are near as attractive as they've been. I would cautiously wait for pricing improvements today/tomorrow and strongly recommend locking loans with as long as a 45 day window. Speculating things get better is just greedy. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.   -Gus Floropoulos, VP, The Federal Savings Bank


Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.375%
  • FHA/VA - 3.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 2.75%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • In the biggest of pictures, "global growth concerns" remain the driving force behind the long-term trend toward lower rates
  • Amid that trend, periodic corrections toward higher rates can and will happen.  These can happen for no apparent reason, or they can be brought on by changes in expectations surrounding central bank policy at home and abroad, as well as geopolitical and systemic risks

  • Time horizon and risk tolerance are 2 variables to consider when it comes to locking.  If you have plenty of time and don't mind losing some ground, set a limit as to how much higher rates could go before you'd lock to avoid further losses, and then float in the hopes of never seeing that limit.
  • In the shorter-term, it's always good to look for lock opportunities after rates have been moving lower or sideways repeatedly, especially if they've since begun to move back up in any sort of consistent way. 
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution' (that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.'  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy.  It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method).