December 18, 2019
Mortgage rates moved moderately higher today, but remained well within the range that's been intact for at least a month now. During that time, the average conventional 30yr fixed rate quote hasn't moved more than an eighth of a percentage point (0.125%). Contrast that to some of the more volatile individual days for the bond market which have resulted in that much movement in the space of a few hours.
Interestingly enough, several days during that time have actually come close to that level of volatility, but the trick is that subsequent days were quick to push back in the other direction (thus keeping the range narrow despite moderately high volatility from day to day).
At the moment, rates are arguably best described as being in a mild uptrend over the past few weeks. When it comes to planning on locking/floating rates, it makes more sense to be defensive (i.e. don't assume rates will come back down until and unless they give us a clear indication that is what they're doing).
Today's Most Prevalent Rates For Top Tier Scenarios
- 30YR FIXED - 3.875%
- FHA/VA - 3.375% - 3.5%
- 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375%
- 5 YEAR ARMS - 3.25-3.75% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- 2019 has been the best year for mortgage rates since 2011. Big, long-lasting improvements such as this one are increasingly susceptible to bounces/corrections
- Fed policy and the US/China trade war have been key players. Major updates on either front could cause a volatile reaction in rates
- The Fed and the bond market (which dictates rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade war updates. The stronger the data and trade relations, the more rates could rise, while weaker data and trade wars will lead to new long-term lows.
- 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.