Mortgage rates didn’t move much today. That’s been the theme for most lenders every day this week. Rarely has an absence of change been so awesome! That’s because rates also happen to be at the lowest levels since 2017. It’s rare to rates make a strong move (like the one we saw last week) deep into long-term lows and then hold almost perfectly steady for 4 straight days. Usually, such opportunities prove fleeting, as they did in late March 2019 when the previous long-term lows were only available for a day and a half, depending on the lender.
If you happen to see media coverage of rates today and it suggests a massive drop this week, chances are it’s based on Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey. Freddie’s numbers are just fine in the long run, but they can lag reality when markets are volatile (as they were last week). The bulk of the recent rate rally was already in place by the end of last week. Freddie’s survey primarily captures Monday and Tuesday’s rate offerings (so, just Tuesday in last week’s case, due to Memorial Day), but the biggest moves were seen on Thursday and Friday.
Just because we’ve enjoyed 4 days of access to fantastically low rates, don’t take them for granted. While it’s true that rates can always move higher or lower in the future, and while there is a case to be made for even lower rates at some point in the near future, short-term volatility can always derail one’s individual mortgage plans. Big-ticket events can have big enough impacts on financial markets to push bonds off course for days or weeks at a time. One such event is the big jobs report due out tomorrow morning…
Loan Originator Perspective
Bond markets were flat today, as Friday’s May jobs report looms. Given the fact rates are near best levels since Jan 2018, I think it’s smart to lock loans closing within 30 days. –Ted Rood, Senior Originator
Today’s Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED – 3.875%
- FHA/VA – 3.75%
- 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.75%
- 5 YEAR ARMS – 3.875-4.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Early 2019 saw a rapid reevaluation of big-picture trends in rates and in markets in general
- The Federal Reserve has been a key player, and while they aren’t the ones pulling the global economic strings, their response (and even their EXPECTED response) to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.
- Based on the Fed’s laundry list of concerns, the bond market (which determines rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade-related concerns. 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.