Mortgage rates dropped at a modest pace for the 3rd straight day on Thursday.  This brings them back in line with levels seen at the end of last week.  That's notable because many media outlets--even some with a focus on mortgages and real estate--are running articles saying that rates are higher this week.  While it's true that rates WERE higher on Monday, they've quickly fallen back into line.

The source of the confusion is the same as it ever was on any given Thursday during times of relatively higher volatility.  The vaunted Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey is an industry and news media benchmark.  It comes out every Thursday, but only captures rate quotes from Monday through Wednesday (with heavy weight given to Monday based on my observations and comparisons with average daily rates).  So if last week's rates were pretty OK on Monday and much higher the subsequent Monday, Freddie's survey will tell us rates are higher, regardless of the movement on the other days of the week. 

Rest assured, the mortgage rate sheets in effect this afternoon are remarkably similar to those in effect last Friday.  But, there's a catch.  Movement in the bond market this afternoon is such that some mortgage lenders will be recalling those rate sheets and reissuing them with higher rates.  Those who forego such efforts today will simply be forced to make the adjustment tomorrow morning (unless the bond market finds a reason to bounce back in a big, friendly way overnight.

Long story short, yes, rates are lower today and unchanged from Friday, but there are signs that their next move will be higher--at least in the short term.

Loan Originator Perspective

Durable goods data released today missed expectations, and helped stabilize bond markets, which posted slight gains.  Looks like we may be headed to another "range bound" period with limited movement up or down.  I'm locking my November closings early, going case by case for December's.  -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED -3.75-3.875%
  • FHA/VA - 3.375-3.5%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5% 
  • 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 

  • 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.