Mortgage rates hit another new low

Just one day after President Obama detailed a proposal to enable millions of homeowners to refinance to record-low mortgage rates, those rates notched another record.

Mortgage Rates Remarkably Steady At Historic Lows

Mortgages Rates
are just slightly better than unchanged on the day.  Best-Execution remains at 3.875% for conventional 30yr fixed loans, and the slight improvements seen today have benefited the borrowing costs required to obtain those rates.   (learn more
about how we calculate Best-Execution in THIS POST).  Some of the stratification between lender offerings seems to be lessening now that underlying markets have demonstrated the ability to hold recent levels.  

Particularly, MBS (the “mortgage-backed securities” that most directly affect mortgage rates) recently reached new all-time highs.  The fact that this is occurring at the same time rates are back at new all-time lows is no coincidence.  But it also means that there are some physics-based considerations for MBS prices (higher prices = lower rates).  Of course we’re not talking about real physics, but consider the adage “what goes up, must come down.”  Now, this isn’t a universal truth in bond markets, and certainly it was heard on several occassions over the past 5 months, with everyone who mentioned it turning out to be wrong.  So we’re not saying MBS prices are destined to go lower simply because they’ve hit their all-time highs (meaning rates would likely move higher off all time lows). 

What we ARE saying is that things have never been as good as they are right now in terms of MBS and the rates that lenders are offering.  We certainly don’t rule out the possibility that things could get even better, but we’d sure hate to have missed out on this opportunity if they don’t.  The comforting caveat is that if things do improve, that progress will likely be slow and potentially limited in scope.

Tomorrow is the last day until Friday’s Employment Situation Report (aka “jobs report,” or “NFP”) brings a high-risk situation into the mix.  NFP, which stands for the the reports chief
component “Non-Farm-Payrolls” is generally regarded as the single most
important piece of economic data each month.  Even against the current
backdrop of European headlines exerting more and more influence on
domestic markets, it’s immensely important.  Based on where markets sit
right now, we think that rates are somewhat vulnerable if the report is
better-than expected.  In other words, there’s a certain natural level
of “push-back” at current rate levels anyway, and a bullish jobs report
would probably accelerate that. 

This, of course, is contingent on the report coming in with
better-than-expected results.  If the opposite happens, rates could
still improve. 

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.875% mostly, increasing presence at 3.75%
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25%, some lenders venturing lower, some completely stuck at 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).

…(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Despite Bond Market Improvements

After setting new record lows yesterday, Mortgages Rates
rose slightly today, though 3.875% best-execution remains intact.  Rather than affect the prevailing rates being quoted, today’s weakness is most likely to be seen in the form of slightly higher borrowing/closing costs for the same rates quoted yesterday (learn more about how we calculate Best-Execution in THIS POST).  The increases run counter to today’s market movements as well.  

Treasury yields are lower again today, and MBS (the “mortgage-backed-securities” that most directly govern interest rates) are slightly improved as well.  One reason that loan pricing hasn’t adjusted to match that fact is that MBS weakened late in the trading session yesterday.  Not all lenders priced that in by issuing adjusted rate sheets, instead reflecting the changes in this morning’s rates.  The MBS market was indeed weaker this morning, so if we’re comparing the time of day that most lenders put out their first rate sheets, today was indeed worse than yesterday.  Beyond that objective explanation, we also have to consider the fact that continued rate improvements from all-time lows are going to continue to be slow and hard-fought.  Lenders have little incentive to offer lower rates if current offerings are generating more-than-sufficient demand.  (read more on this topic in this previous post)

Finally, and although it’s not the only other potential factor, this Friday’s Employment Situation Report (aka “jobs report,” or “NFP”) represents a high-risk situation, ESPECIALLY with mortgage rates at or near all-time lows.  NFP, which stands for the the reports chief component “Non-Farm-Payrolls” is generally regarded as the single most important piece of economic data each month.  Even against the current backdrop of European headlines exerting more and more influence on domestic markets, it’s immensely important.  Based on where markets sit right now, we think that rates are somewhat vulnerable if the report is better-than expected.  In other words, there’s a certain natural level of “push-back” at current rate levels anyway, and a bullish jobs report would probably accelerate that. 

This, of course, is contingent on the report coming in with better-than-expected results.  If the opposite happens, rates could still improve.  It’s just that those improvements would likely be slower and smaller than the losses would be in the opposite scenario.  It’s also very much contingent on rates not moving much between now and Thursday afternoon, which may or may not be the case.

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.875% mostly, with a few lenders on either side of this
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25%, some lenders venturing lower, some completely stuck at 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).

…(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Hit New All-Time Lows!

It’s happened before and it happened again today: Mortgages Rates
hit new all time lows today.  Please note, that the actual interest rate you would have been quoted last week and this week may not have changed, but based on raw data from more than 20 leading lenders as well as feedback from the MBS Live community, the average Best-Execution rate, before rounding to the nearest eighth, hit its lowest level on record, 3.81%.  Although 3.81% is closer to 3.75% than 3.875%, we won’t declare 3.75% to be the Best-Execution champ until the average from our lender survey falls to 3.75 or lower, and we’re not there yet.  (if the last paragraph is confusing, we went into some more detail on these methodologies in THIS POST).

 

Last week, we noted a high degree of stratification in rates as lenders responded to the bond market rally at different
paces.  This continues to be the case today, but perhaps to a slightly smaller extent.  When we say that rate offerings are more stratified, we’re
talking about various lenders offering increasingly different rates to
the same type of borrowers.  Among some lenders in our survey,
best-execution rates are still at 4.0%, while the bulk have moved down
to 3.875% and 3.75%.  The important point here is to not believe everything you read about mortgage rates these days, unless the source examines multiple lenders and offers the caveat that they can only report averages while individual experiences may vary. 

For instance, several lenders are priced WORSE today than Friday.  It’s far more important to be working with someone you trust in a process that is more likely to hit its deadlines than to go overboard in pursuing the lowest possible quotes.  In the current market, overfocus on lowest possible rates can lead to delays which can result in a higher rate than the one from which you were originally trying to avoid!

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.875% mostly, with a few lenders at 3.75%.  Less 4.0’s today
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25%, some lenders venturing lower, some completely stuck at 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).

…(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Improve For a 3rd Straight Day, Nearing All-Time Lows Again

Mortgages Rates
continued their march into better territory today, capping a 3 day effort of improvement following Wednesday’s FOMC Announcement.  At this point, rates have not only solidified their re-entry into 3.875% Best-Execution levels, but some lenders are once again competitively priced at rates below that (for detail on “best-execution,” READ THIS POST). 

That said, we’ve seen a high degree of stratification over the past 3 days as lenders have responded to the bond market rally at different paces.  When we say that rate offerings are more stratified, we’re talking about various lenders offering increasingly different rates to the same type of borrowers.  At a good handful of lenders in our survey, best-execution rates are still at 4.0%, while the bulk have moved down to 3.875%.  But a few outliers now stand at 3.75% with the leaders being quite a bit further away from the laggards than normal. 

This isn’t too surprising considering the uncertainty leading up to the FOMC Announcement and the pace of the rally that followed.  Given more time to adjust, lenders will tend to get closer and closer together when underlying markets are stable and always be prone to a but of stratification when markets are on the move (especially when those moves result in shifting Best-Execution rates as opposed to simply minor changes in closing costs).  

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.875% mostly, with a few lenders at 4.0% still, fewer still at 3.75%
  • FHA/VA -3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25% now
  • 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).

…(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.