Mortgage rates moved lower again today.  Whereas it was a bit easier to be dismissive about recent improvements, they're starting to add up at this point.  Granted, we're not talking about anything other than a return to the rates seen on November 6th, but for anyone who was rate shopping at the end of last week, that's a welcome change.

As if often the case on Thursdays, there is a major discrepancy between much of today's mortgage rate news and what I'm telling you here.  Specifically, whereas I'm telling you rates are lower today and as low as they've been in more than a week, the average major media outlet is saying rates are HIGHER this week.

As usual (at least when it comes to rates on Thursdays), I'm right and they're wrong.  Actually, I'm right in a timely way and they're right if the goal was to examine this past Monday's rates versus the previous Monday.  Reason being: reporters are simply citing Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey data which comes out on Thursday, but typically only captures rate quotes from the beginning of the week.  That means it didn't account for the big spike in rates on Thursday and Friday last week, nor for the recovery in rates seen over the past 2 days.   

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds posted further gains today, amid slowing Chinese economic growth and bond friendly Fed rhetoric.  We're back at levels last seen Nov 6th, and appears there may be room for rates to run slightly lower from here.  I'm cautiously floating new applications overnight, to see if tomorrow's pricing better reflects today's bond gains.  -Ted Rood, Senior Originator 

Since peaking at 1.96 on 11/7, the benchmark 10 year treasury note has fallen currently to 1.81.  With the bond yields falling, lender rate sheets are showing some improvement, but not all of the gains are priced in yet.  This bond rally can quickly shift...all it would take is one tweet regarding good news on trade deal with China.   So, floating remains risky.   For today, if your lender reprices for the better, you should consider locking in the gains.  If your lender does not reprice for the better, then i would look to float overnight.   Only float if you can afford to be wrong. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today's Most Prevalent Rates For Top Tier Scenarios 

  • 30YR FIXED -3.875-4.0%
  • 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.