Mortgage Rates Higher Following Employment Report

The monthly Employment Situation Report was released at 8:30am this morning, with much better-than-expected results.  Stocks rallied sharply and most every interest rate in fixed-income markets moved higher.  The economic optimism created by this sort of data tends to increase demand for riskier investments like stocks and lower demand for things like fixed-income notes and bonds.  MBS (the “mortgage backed securities” that most directly govern mortgage rates) fall into this fixed-income sector, and definitely weakened following the jobs data.  As a result, Mortgages Rates moved higher at their fastest pace in some time, traversing most of this week’s territory, but leaving Best-Execution rates mostly at 3.875%.  (learn more
about how we calculate Best-Execution in THIS POST). 

We’d said yesterday that MBS were looking like a runner in baseball taking a “lead-off,” waiting to find out whether or not the jobs data would be “a hit.”  We went on to say a stronger than expected report would result in MBS simply moving back to the safety of the base to wait for the next pitch.  That’s essentially what’s transpired today.  Our heroic little base-runner was clearly spooked by the data, and clearly backtracked to previous ground.  But in the process, we see “the base” metaphor emerging as a real possibility, in that markets weakened, but were able to dig in and hold firm after a certain point.  Bottom line, the runner is back on the base, but was not “tagged out,” at least not today.

The next pitches will be thrown next week in the form of US Treasury auctions.  While it’s true that mortgage rates are based on MBS and NOT on Treasuries, the Treasury Auctions are still a significant event for MBS, especially the longer maturity issues on Wednesday and Thursday.  Things are less certain on Monday and Tuesday, and it’s possible rates could be weaker if markets extend today’s movements against the backdrop of limited economic data on those first two days of the week.  We’ll know a lot more about how longer-term trends are evolving with the passing of at least the first important auction, Wednesday’s 10yr Notes.  Between now and then, 3.875% Best-Execution is STILL on the table, albeit at a higher cost than yesterday.  The point is that if you didn’t lock yesterday, today is not so much worse that you should just hold off indefinitely.  For those who are taking the risk floating into next week, things could get bumpy, but we’ll know a lot more about that on Wednesday. 

On a final note, we have to put out the constant caveat that European headlines do not adhere to a schedule and certainly have the potential to move markets in unexpected ways, by unexpected amounts, at unexpected times.

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.875% mostly, less 3.75 today, 4.0’s getting closer
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.625-3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates and costs continue to operate near all time best levels
  • Current levels have experienced increasing resistance in improving much from here
  • There are technical reasons for that as well as fundamental reasons
  • Lenders tend to get busier when rates are in this “high 3’s” level
    and can throttle their inbound volume by raising rates or costs.
  • While we don’t necessarily think rates are destined to go higher,
    given the above facts, there seems to be more risk than reward regarding
    floating
  • But that will always be the case when rates
    operating near historic lows
  • (As always, please keep in mind
    that our talk of Best-Execution always pertains to a completely ideal
    scenario.  There can be all sorts of reasons that your quoted rate would
    not be the same as our average rates, and in those cases, assuming you’re following along on
    a day to day basis, simply use the Best-Ex levels we quote as a
    baseline to track potential movement in your quoted rate).

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