July 24, 2017
Mortgage rates held steady today, which leaves them in line with the lowest levels in July. In underlying bond markets (bond movement directly impacts lenders' rate offerings), it was an exceptionally quiet day--especially for mortgage-related bonds.
Activity should increase somewhat as the week progresses. That's a typical pattern for most weeks--all other things being equal (Mondays and Fridays tend to be slower)--but we'll also get events that tend to draw out more participation among traders. The most obvious calendar item is the Fed Announcement on Wednesday.
Keep in mind, there are two different varieties of Fed Announcements. Of the 8 announcements each year, 4 of them are accompanied by a press conference with the Fed Chair, as well as economic projections. Whether by design or otherwise, those meetings with additional events have elicited the most market movement. This week is just a plain old announcement (i.e. no additional events). This leaves the door open for rates to react to any political headlines that come from closed-door congressional testimonies over the next few days. An absence of drama could make it hard for rates to break below their recent floor.
Loan Originator Perspectives
It was a sedate Monday for bond markets today, with little motivation for rate movement. My pricing was essentially identical with Friday's. The Fed meets Tuesday/Wednesday, but with no subsequent press conference, it's unlikely they will boost their benchmark overnight rate this meeting. As always, Fed rhetoric will be parsed for inflation/economic growth predictions; the Fed Statement will set the tone for our short term rate movement. Floating borrowers should examine their options by Wednesday AM, once the statement hits, lock desks may close temporarily. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.00%
- FHA/VA - 3.75%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375%
- 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.