February 19, 2019
Mortgage rates fell modestly today, making it the 7th straight business day where they've moved in the opposite direction from the previous day. This see-saw pattern is commonly seen during periods of consolidation in the bond market (which serves as the foundation for mortgages and most other interest rates). And a consolidation is often seen during times of indecision just before markets embark on their next big move higher or lower.
With many uncertainties set to be resolved by mid-March, there's a good enough chance that the recent sideways momentum in rates will give way to a bigger move. There's no way to know whether that move will be toward higher or lower rates (it will likely depend on the economic data, fiscal headlines, and Fed policy updates that have yet to be announced). For now, however, rates are closer to the lower boundary of the recent range. That means they're relatively close to the lowest levels in more than a year.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bond markets posted gains, despite little data-driven motivation, to open their abridged week. The rest of the week offers minimal meaningful data. Since we're nearing the year's lowest yields, I'm locking deals closing within 30 days, while floating most closing further out. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.375 - 4.5%
- FHA/VA - 4.125 - 4.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.0 - 4.125%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 4.25 - 4.625% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Headwinds that had plagued rates for most of the past 2 years began to die down in late 2018. A rapid decline in the stock market certainly helped drive investors into bonds (which helps rates) Highest rates in more than 7 years in Oct/Nov. 8-month lows by the end of the year
- This is a bit of a crossroads. The rising rate environment could flare up again. We may look back at Oct/Nov and see a long-term ceiling, or we may look back at early December and see a temporary correction before more pain.
- Either way, late 2018 was a sign that rates are willing to take opportunities presented to them. From here, it will be up to economic data, fiscal policies, and the stock market to decide on the next set of opportunities. The rougher the overall outlook, the better interest rates tend to do.
- 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.