Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage Rates Predictions and Analysis

11/22/2017 07:55 AM
Mortgage Rates Move Modestly Lower Ahead of Holiday

Mortgage rates fell modestly today, with bond market strength both before and after the release of the Fed Minutes (a more detailed account of the Fed meeting that took place 3 weeks ago).  Stronger bond markets correlate with lower rates. 

Bonds tend to benefit from weak economic data, low inflation expectations, and an accommodative monetary policy stance from the Fed.  Today's economic data was generally weaker, but of particular importance at the moment were the inflation expectations in the consumer sentiment data, which came in near the lowest levels since the financial crisis.  The Fed Minutes also mentioned some concern over intractably low inflation, though they continue to expect a rebound based on a strong labor market.

...(read more)

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


11/21/2017 08:34 AM
Mortgage Rates Holding Steady in Recent Range

Mortgage rates were unchanged today, on average, although a few lenders made small adjustments to rates sheets in response to bond market volatility.  Bond markets began the day heading into stronger territory (which implies lower rates), but gave up much of the gains by early afternoon.  That prompted a few lenders to raise the costs associated with prevailing rates.

In other words, markets didn't move enough for published interest rates to change.  Those tend to move in .125% increments and it takes an uncommonly big day in bond markets to push mortgage rates higher or lower by that much.  The "upfront costs" associated with a mortgage (origination and discount, typically) give lenders a way to...

...(read more)

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


11/20/2017 07:46 AM
Mortgage Rates Higher to Begin Holiday-Shortened Week

Mortgage rates moved slightly higher today against the backdrop of the unique bond market conditions seen on Thanksgiving week.  Bond markets underlie mortgage rates, and there's generally a certain level of participation that traders and mortgage lenders can count on.  That participation wanes on major holiday weeks and the remaining players tend to behave a bit more conservatively.  This is seen in the form of interest rates staying inside recent boundaries and mortgage lenders not getting too aggressive with pricing.  

Inside those boundaries, however, movement is far less predictable.  

...(read more)

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


11/17/2017 09:53 AM
Mortgage Rates Unchanged Heading Into Holiday Week

Mortgage rates barely budged today--not too surprising considering today's bond market levels (which underlie rates) were roughly in line with yesterday's.  The average lender is quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.0% or slightly lower for top tier scenarios.  Movement has been minimal since October with day-over-day change most frequently occurring at the "cost" level. 

In other words, bond markets don't move enough every day for lenders to change interest rates by their standard 0.125% increments.  Instead, the cost (or rebate) associated with any given rate serves as a fine-tuning adjustment.  The cost is typically calculated based on a percentage of the loan amount.  It can move by more than half a perfect in some cases ($500 for every $100k borrowed) before it would make sense for some borrowers to consider the next higher or lower rate.

...(read more)

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


11/16/2017 09:36 AM
Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher

Mortgage rates moved higher today, but the changes were minimal for most lenders.  Bond markets (which underlie interest rates) have been searching for inspiration recently and largely coming up short.  This morning contained several economic reports and the House passed its tax bill in the afternoon, but none of those events caused much of a stir for bonds.  In fact, all of the bond market movement responsible for today's higher rates occurred during Asian and European trading hours.  When US traders got in for the day, bonds were almost perfectly sideways through 3pm.

...(read more)

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


11/15/2017 08:26 AM
Mortgage Rates Lower After Inflation Data

Mortgage rates fell today, largely in response to the past two days of bond market improvement.  In other words, lenders had been keeping their guard up ahead of today's key inflation data (The Consumer Price Index, or "CPI").  While it's true that a strong CPI report had the potential to push rates back to the highest levels since this summer, today's data wasn't strong enough.  In fact, most of the metrics were roughly in line with forecasts. 

Still, the strength and resilience in bond markets shouldn't be discounted.  Bonds also digested strong Retail Sales data and managed to maintain stronger levels achieved overnight.  In general, "strength" in bond markets translates to lower mortgage rates, although there can be some lag between the two. 

...(read more)

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


11/14/2017 09:09 AM
Mortgage Rates Mixed Depending on Lender; Volatility Ahead

Mortgage rates didn't move much today, despite moderate improvements in bond markets.  Typically, stronger bond markets result in lower rates, but if anything, more lenders moved into slightly weaker territory.   That has a lot to do with the fact that bonds were in weaker territory around the time most lenders put out the first rate sheets of the day.  With bonds improving in the afternoon, several lenders have issued mid-day reprices, bringing their rate sheets more in line with the underlying market.  

...(read more)

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


11/13/2017 09:32 AM
Mortgage Rates Sideways to Slightly Higher

Mortgage rates were unchanged to slightly higher today, keeping them in line with their highest levels in more than 2 weeks, depending on the lender.  Bond markets (which underlie mortgage rates) were in slightly better shape this morning, but that failed to translate to rate sheet improvements due to bond market weakness on Friday afternoon. 

There were no significant economic reports or market moving headlines for bonds/rates today, but that will quickly change as the week progresses.  Wednesday brings a key inflation report--the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Markets are also interested in any meaningful tax bill headlines, including the vote scheduled for the House version of the bill on Thursday. 

...(read more)

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


11/10/2017 08:31 AM
Mortgage Rates Jump to 2-Week Highs

What a difference 2 days make! Freddie Mac's weekly rate survey was out yesterday prompting multiple news outlets to declare "slightly lower rates" on the week.  Given that Freddie's survey only gathers responses through any given Wednesday, the results jived with what we were seeing on lenders' actual rate sheets.

On Wednesday, mortgage rates were indeed at their best levels in more than 3 weeks.  But after 2 days of relatively aprupt weakness, rates quickly find themselves at the highest levels in 2 weeks.  Adding to the frustration is the absence of any single, obvious motivation for the weakness.  In order to account for it, we'd have to discuss several esoteric developments in bond markets (if you're into that sort of thing, I go into more detail in the MBS Commentary channel). 

...(read more)

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


11/09/2017 08:22 AM
Mortgage Rates Higher as Lenders Catch Up to Yesterday's Market Moves

Mortgage rates moved higher for the first time this week, ending a 3-day run at the best levels since mid-October.  Today's rates are roughly in line with those seen on November 3rd. 

Compared to yesterday's closing levels, bond markets (which dictate mortgage rates) are roughly unchanged today.  That typically corresponds with relatively unchanged mortgage rates.  Today's departure from the norm is due to bond market weakness yesterday afternoon, which came on too gradually and too late in the day for most lenders to adjust rate sheets accordingly.  Moreover, bond markets were actually in weaker territory this morning when lenders released today's rate sheets.  That means they had to account for yesterday's bond market weakness as well as the additional AM weakness today. 

...(read more)

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


11/08/2017 08:23 AM
Mortgage Rates Flat Today, But Some Signs of Pressure

Mortgage rates held steady again today, keeping them in line with the lowest levels in more than 3 weeks.  They've also been uncommonly calm so far this week, which certainly isn't a bad thing when we're at 3-week lows.  The calm trend began showing cracks at the end of the day in terms of underlying bond markets (movement in bonds ultimately dictates movement in mortgage rates).

Bonds began to weaken in the afternoon.  "Weakness" in bonds corresponds to higher rates.  To put the move in context, bonds are still in better territory than they were on any day last week.  In other words, the weakness is quite modest for now. 

...(read more)

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


11/07/2017 10:15 AM
Mortgage Rates Steady at 3-Week Lows

Mortgage rates held steadier today after spending 6 of the past 7 days moving lower.  They're now at their lowest levels in roughly 3 weeks and fairly close to reentering the lower range that ended in September. 

That all sounds pretty impressive, but day to day rate movements have been smaller than average for much of 2017.  Some of the most volatile days of the past few months would look more like an average day at most points in 2016. 

Offsetting the lack of outright movement by historical standards is the fact that rates have managed to hold at generally low levels. 

...(read more)

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


11/06/2017 10:08 AM
Mortgage Rates Drift Calmly Down to 3-Week Lows

Mortgage rates continued lower today, despite a blatant lack of underlying motivation in financial markets.  By that, I mean that we haven't seen any obvious cause and effect relationships between news, economic data, and bond market movements (which, in turn, drive interest rate movements).  Instead, bonds moved of their own volition.  While the move was modest, it was the 6th improvement in the past 7 business days.  The net effect is the best mortgage rate offerings in 3 weeks.

Several of the more aggressive lenders are again quoting top tier 30yr fixed rates o

...(read more)

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


11/03/2017 09:55 AM
Mortgage Rates Roughly Unchanged After Jobs Report

Mortgage rates were mostly sideways today although a few lenders offered token improvements.  When we talk about small improvements in "mortgage rates," we're often dealing with the "upfront cost" side of the equation that dictates the overall cost of financing.  The other, more obvious side would be the interest rate itself.  Upfront costs offer more of a fine-tuning adjustment.  Many borrowers wouldn't even notice today's improvements.  Others will see than as a couple hundred dollars. 

Today brought the big jobs report--traditionally one of the most important economic reports as far as interest rates are concerned.  At present, the jobs data is packing less of a punch, simply because strong, stable labor markets are fairly well established in the economic data.  It's not a surprise for investors, so there's less of a reaction in stocks and bonds (which drive rates).

...(read more)

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


11/02/2017 09:52 AM
Mortgage Rates Back to 2-Week Lows After Tax Plan

Mortgage rates improved moderately today following the release of the GOP tax bill and confirmation of Jerome Powell as Trump's Fed Chair nomination.  "Confirmation" actually isn't quite the right word in this case because Powell actually does need to be technically "confirmed" by the Senate before he's officially the new Fed Chair.  What we got today was simply confirmation that several weeks of rumors and press leaks were accurate. Bond markets (and thus, interest rates) had already moved in anticipation of the Powell nomination, and it ended up having limited impact by the time it became official.

...(read more)

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