January 2, 2014
Mortgage rates were almost perfectly flat today. Various lenders were in slightly better or worse shape, but on average, today's quotes will look very similar to Tuesday's. That means 4.625% remains the most prevalently quoted rate for ideal, conforming 30yr Fixed loans (best-execution), with the minimal changes coming in the form of closing costs.
The financial markets that underlie mortgage rate movement managed a slightly more active day with the arrival of the new year, but things won't be close to normal until next week. That means rates are currently being decided with fewer than the normal amount of votes. When the majority returns next week, it could result in more pronounced movement.
Loan Originator Perspectives
"Some very slight improvement in rate markets today as the two week holiday break eases to an end. Markets still on hold awaiting next week's NFP report and further economic data. It's doubtful that rates will drop significantly without definitive motivation, which is decidedly lacking at the moment. Starting a loan now? If you're happy with current pricing, may want to take the drama and uncertainty out of the process and lock, unless you're willing to roll the dice." -Ted Rood, Senior Originator, Wintrust Mortgage
"Pretty slow until next week when everyone is back to the real world. Hard to say what is in store for rates in the young new year, but all time lows are long gone for sure. Data kicks off next week with our NFP report and it will set the tone. A surprise to the down side would be nice as would some sort of correction in the stock market. A hint of a correction in the stock market could help bonds as it might lead to a stampede considering 2013 returns. No one wants to lose last years gains so park the money in bonds. Wishful thinking....." -Michael Owens, VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate, Inc. NMLS # 107434
"I've had a lock bias for a while now. One client asked me when he could lock... as he's negotiating the contract. Unless there is a sea change, figure rate deterioration from economics as well as future LLPAs." -Matt Hodges, Charlottesville Sales Manager, Presidential Mortgage Group
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.625%
- FHA/VA - 4.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.5%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.0-3.50% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- The prospect of the Fed reducing its asset purchases weighed heavy on interest rates for the 2nd half of 2013, causing volatility and generally pervasive upward movement.
- Tapering ultimately happened on December 18th, 2013. Markets had done so much to come to terms with it ahead of time that it essentially just confirmed the the 6 month move higher in rates, but didn't make for another immediate spike higher.
- That said, we should assume that we're still in a rising rate environment on average.
- NOTE: Lenders had begun adjusting rate sheets to account for the most recent announced hike in Guarantee Fees. This would have unequivocally raised rates by at least an eighth of a percent for almost every borrower, and in most cases .25-.375%. Those changes are now on hold indefinitely. We won't know if they're coming back or not until we hear more official word from new FHFA Director Mel Watt.
- (As always, please keep in mind that our Best-Execution rate always pertains to a completely ideal scenario. There are many reasons a quoted rate may differ from 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).