May 15, 2017
Mortgage rates were steady to slightly higher today, largely maintaining the improvements seen last week. Underlying financial markets were calm and very few lenders adjusted rate sheets during the day.
Last week's gains happened all at once on Friday. They fully erased an entire week's worth of rising rates. That said, most of the movement in recent weeks has occurred in a very narrow range overall. The average borrower will have seen a quarter of a percentage point of movement at the most.
When rates fell last Friday, we were looking to the current week in order to confirm the potential shift in momentum. Today's minimal weakness, at the very least, suggests the previous trend toward higher rates from mid-April has shifted into a more sideways pattern. It's still too soon to conclude that we're witnessing a full-on reversal toward positive momentum.
Loan Originator Perspective
As I hoped on Friday, today’s rate sheets were improved so I had many clients want to pull the trigger and lock in the gains. There is very little in terms of data and speakers this week that can move the pile in one direction or another. So by floating, not so sure there is much to gain but I also do not see a huge risk in floating. I would advise to lock for sure if you are within 15 days of funding. Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
I'm still in favor of floating. 2.42 is the stop gap. I feel like there is too much room to run within the range and we're near the top. 2.42 to 2.1 looks to be in play for a while longer. -Jason Anker - Sr. Loan Officer
Bond markets retained Friday's sizable gains today, but failed to post further improvements. My pricing improved substantially over last weeks as Friday's movement trickled down to actual rate sheets. Aggressive borrowers may want to float here, but those without a penchant for risk are getting the best pricing in a couple of weeks. I'm locking several loans I wrote over the weekend, with better rates/pricing than we expected, which is always a good thing! -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.125%
- FHA/VA - 3.75 - 4.0%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375%-3.5%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Investors were relatively convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates had been permanently reversed after Trump became president, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm
- Instead of continuing higher in 2017, rates instead formed a narrow, sideways range, and held inside until April. Investor perceptions are shifting such that fiscal reforms and other policy developments will need to live up to expectations in order to push rates higher. Geopolitical risks would also need to avoid flaring up (more than they already have)
- For the first time since the election, we're in a rate environment where you wouldn't be crazy not to lock at every little opportunity/improvement. Until/unless it's broken, the highest rates of early-2017 mark the ceiling, and we're now waiting to see how much lower we can go from here.
- 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.