February 16, 2017
After spending the past 5 business days moving higher, mortgage rates finally found their footing today. The improvement came in phases, with today's first round of rate sheets only marginally better than yesterday's. Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) surged into stronger territory around 11am as investors pared risk during Trump's press conference. This allowed most lenders to "reprice," meaning they send out revised rate sheets with better terms.
From the highest levels in nearly 3 weeks yesterday, today's rates ultimately fell to the lowest levels of the week by the afternoon. 4.25% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios, although several lenders moved back down to 4.125%. That means most borrowers will see today's improvements in the form of lower upfront costs.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bonds bounced back today, posting gains in spite of upbeat economic data. It's reassuring to step back from yesterday's foray towards the top of recent rate ranges. Treasury yields are now squarely mid-range at 2.45%. Lenders may be repricing better this PM, if you're locking today, advise waiting until later in the day. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.25%
- FHA/VA - 3.75-4.25%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election
- Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm
- With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office. Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels.
- We'd need to see a sustained push back toward lower rates (something that lasts more than 3 days) before anything less than a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense for all but the most risk-tolerant borrowers.
- As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution' (that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.' Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy. It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method).