February 28, 2018
After moving back up to the highest levels in more than 4 years yesterday, mortgage rates fell slightly today. Pessimists/realists would rightfully point out that today's rates are still pretty close to those 4-year highs, and that one measly day isn't much of a foundation for hope. Optimists could counter that yesterday's high rates merely MATCHED the recent highs from last week and that the past 2 weeks overall have seen the most sideways stability in 2018.
Long story short, rates are high relative to anything seen since early 2014, but there also continues to be a chance that they'll try to avoid going much higher in the short term. NOTE: a "chance" means strictly that. We're not talking about probabilities here.
The average lender continues quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.5-4.625% for well-qualified borrowers. Todays' NOTE rate would be the same as yesterdays with the modest improvement coming in the form of slightly lower closing costs.
Loan Originator Perspective
Bond markets posted small gains today, and treasury yields seem to have found a comfort range between 2.85%-2.92%. While that's significantly higher than we've seen in recent years, at least it appears we MAY be establishing some support. Yes, I still advise locking sooner rather than later, but there's a small light at the end of the tunnel. We'll see if it's an oncoming train or possible rate stabilization in due time. Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today's Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED - 4.5-4.625%
- FHA/VA - 4.375%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.875%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.5-3.75% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- 2017 had proven to be a relatively good year for mortgage rates despite widespread expectations for a stronger push higher after the presidential election in late 2016.
- While rates remain low in absolute terms, they moved higher in a more threatening way heading into the 4th quarter, relative to the stability and improvement seen earlier in 2017
- The default stance for now is that this trend toward higher rates has the potential to continue. It will take more than a few great days here and there for that outlook to change.
- For weeks, this bullet point had warned about recent stability inviting a bigger dose of volatility. That volatility is now here. As such, locking is generally the better choice until the volatility is clearly dying down.
- 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.