October 29, 2018
Mortgage rates didn't move today, despite a fair amount of underlying market volatility. Rates are able to weather the sorts of storms you hear about in the stock market in part due to the diminishing returns of stock market drama on the bond market. Along those same lines, the bonds that underlie mortgages specifically don't tend to react to stocks as much as mainstream bonds like US Treasuries.
Holding steady today means that rates remain at their lowest levels in just over 2 weeks. That sounds like a good thing, but the catch is that we really haven't moved too far from recent highs during that time, and those are the highest highs in more than 7 years.
The rest of the week keeps the volatility potential high. There are several important economic reports, culminating in Friday's big jobs report. Earnings season remains in full swing with bigger name companies reporting toward the end of the week. Beyond that, the end and beginning of the month is typically a more active time for bond traders. All of that adds up to the risk that we could see bigger swings in rates than we have seen in recent weeks.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bonds gave back a portion of last week's gains today, while remaining near the best levels since early October. It looks like our mini-rally may be losing steam, I'm locking loans closing within 30 days and discussing locks for those within 45 days. We COULD see some month end demand (which would help pricing) over the next few days, but I'm not banking on it. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator
In my opinion it’s a good time to lock in the recent pricing gains. Not seeing a lot of impetus right now for rates to push lower. -Timothy Baron Licensed Loan Originator, NMLS #184671
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.875-5.0%
- FHA/VA - 4.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.5%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 4.25%-4.75% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates continue coping with several big-picture headwinds, including: the Fed's rate hike outlook (and general policy tightening), the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation (which certainly seems to be the case so far in 2018).
- While rates were able to recover and stay sideways in the summer months, September and October have seen a surge up to the highest levels in more than 7 years.
- Upward pressure can continue as long as economic growth and inflation continue running near long-term highs. Stay defensive (i.e. generally more lock-biased). It will take a big change in economic fundamentals or geopolitical risk for the big picture to change. Such things tend to not happen as quickly as we'd like.
- 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.