March 13, 2013
Mortgage rates were flat on average today, but continued to be stratified depending on the lender. In other words, some rate sheets were moderately better than yesterday's latest while others were slightly worse. That said, most were fairly close to yesterday and several lenders improved pricing in the afternoon after a stronger-than-expected Treasury auction gave a lift to MBS (the mortgage-backed-securities that most directly affect mortgage rates). Conventional 30-yr Fixed best-execution remains at 3.75% though several lenders are closer to 3.625%.
(What is A Best-Execution Mortgage Rate?)
Before today's Treasury auction, bond markets (specifically US Treasuries and MBS) started out in rough shape thanks to stronger-than-expected Retail Sales numbers. Interest rates tend to rise when economic data suggest strength and this morning's reaction was fairly straightforward in that regard. A strong Treasury auction on the other hand, indicates higher than anticipated demand for Treasury Notes (in today's case, 10yr) which tend to move in the same direction as mortgage rates, even if by varying degrees. That was the case today and helped both MBS and Treasuries get back around unchanged levels vs yesterday. We have yet to see a strong commitment from rates to move in either direction since ratcheting higher on Friday.
Loan Originator Perspectives
"Tale of two days today, as strong retail sales data this AM dented yesterday's gains, only to be offset by a stellar 10 year treasury auction this PM. Bottom line, we're flat for the day as of press time. I floated two loans overnight, and did pick up some fractional gains on both. Nice to have a little more room to pay my clients' costs!" -Ted Rood, Senior Originator, Wintrust Mortgage.
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 3.75%
- FHA/VA - 3.375-3.5% (varies more between lenders than conventional 30yr Fixed)
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.00%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.625-3.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates have risen moderately but consistently since hitting their all-time lows in September and October 2012.
- Regardless of global or domestic economic weakness, the subsiding fear of a disorderly EU breakup will continue to prevent rates from getting back to those lows.
- This is very likely to be the case unless a similarly panic-inducing event were to come into focus, or if a disorderly break-up regained the spotlight.
- Sequestration, negative growth, and generally choppy political and economic environments around the world DO NOT constitute that sort of panic.
- This is a "rising rate environment" until further notice, though pockets of recovery and consolidation can provide smaller-scale opportunities against the larger-scale backdrop.
- (As always, please keep in mind that our talk of Best-Execution always pertains to a completely ideal scenario. There can be all sorts of reasons that your quoted rate would not be the same as our average rates, and in those cases, assuming you're following along on a day to day basis, simply use the Best-Ex levels we quote as a baseline to track potential movement in your quoted rate).