Mortgage rates were slightly lower today despite some volatility in the underlying bond market.  Rates have generally been moving lower recently, but the trend of improvement looked like it might have been running into some resistance yesterday.  While today's drop isn't big enough to suggest complacency, it does make a case for slightly less defensiveness in the short term.

In the bigger picture, however, it's good to keep in mind that rates are the lowest they've been in almost a month.   Early September was still a bit better, but those were the lowest rates in more than 3 years.

Volatility remains a risk as every update regarding a potential trade deal seems to have an easy time pushing the bond market around.  When bonds improve or deteriorate enough during any given day, lenders can issue mid-day changes to mortgage rate quotes.  It's a good idea for consumers to have a gameplan about locking vs floating with their mortgage professional of choice.

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds limped through the day near unchanged, amid Fed rhetoric and below forecast Producer Price Index data.  US/China tariff talks later this week have the potential to hurt rates.  I'm locking applications closing within 45 days, with pricing near the best levels in a month.  -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED -3.625%
  • FHA/VA - 3.375%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375% 
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.25-3.75% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations 

  • 2019 has been the best year for mortgage rates since 2011.  Big, long-lasting improvements such as this one are increasingly susceptible to bounces/corrections and as of September, it looks like such a correction is underway

  • Fed policy and the US/China trade war have been key players.  Major updates on either front could cause a volatile reaction in rates

  • The Fed and the bond market (which dictates rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade war updates. 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.