May 8, 2017
Mortgage rates were generally unchanged today. This is actually quite an accomplishment if you ask the average bond market participant. Mortgage rates are largely determined by bond market movement (specifically, that of Mortgage-Backed Securities or MBS). In the bigger picture, bond markets weakened today. Normally, that would push mortgage rates higher, but today the damage was largely contained in the Treasury sector.
There's only so much MBS can do to ignore the suggestion of Treasury momentum, however. So if broader bond markets continue to weaken tomorrow, expect mortgage rates to head a bit higher. Even then, the overall range continues to be exceptionally narrow in the bigger picture. At most, the average quote for top tier 30yr fixed scenarios would only move up from 4.0% to 4.125%. Don't take that as an endorsement of complacency though. The underlying trend has been toward higher rates since mid-April, and we'd like to see a departure from that trend before anything other than a conservative, lock-biased approach makes sense.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bonds regressed slightly today, as France's election results confirmed Marine Le Pen's defeat, eliminating concerns over France departing the EU. There's scant motivation for rates to improve at this point, we're probably fortunate to be in our current range. Unless you have confidential info on pending traumatic world events, I strongly recommend locking for borrowers within 30 days of closing. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
After what appeared to be a positive start to the day, bonds have quickly reversed course following comments from a couple Fed members. At this point, the trend continues to not be friendly to those not locked in. At this point, if within 30 days of closing, you should consider locking. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage
Today's Best-Execution Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.0-4.125%
- FHA/VA - 3.5 - 3.75%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.25%
- 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.