Mortgage rates were almost perfectly unchanged today as markets returned to full force following the extended Thanksgiving break.  Bond markets (which dictate mortgage rate momentum) had been consolidating in a narrower and narrower range in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  While it’s safe to assume that we’ll see a bigger move in the coming weeks, today didn’t deliver.  

The volatility is widely expected to result from the tax reform process.  The Senate will begin debate this week, but don’t expect anything conclusive until mid-to-late December.  Markets are ready to react to success (which would be bad for rates) or failure (which would be good), and will move in the direction of those results to whatever extent one seems more likely than the other.  

Loan Originator Perspective

Bond markets posted minor gains today, and my rate sheets showed the best pricing in over a week.  It’s important to keep in mind that “the best” is a relative term, since pricing has stayed within a tight range recently,  November’s NFP jobs report hits next Friday, but there’s still GDP data Wednesday and inflation data Thursday.  We’re not in rally phase yet, but at least can imagine getting there.  Float/lock is 50/50, depends on your risk tolerance..   –Ted Rood, Senior Originator

My clients are favoring to float overnight.   My rate sheets do not reflect the current pricing of MBS, so i feel safe in recommending to float.  As always, only float if you can afford to me wrong.  We do have quite a bit of potentially high impact reports later this week including inflation and GDP data but those reports do not come until Wednesday and Thursday.  –Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.0%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75% 
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2017 had proven to be a relatively good year for mortgage rates despite widespread expectations for a stronger push higher after the presidential election in late 2016. 
  • While rates remain low in absolute terms, they’ve moved higher in a more threatening way heading into the 4th quarter, relative to the stability and improvement seen earlier in 2017
  • The default stance for now is that this trend toward higher rates has the potential to continue.  It will take more than a few great days here and there for that outlook to change.
  • For weeks, this bullet point had warned about recent stability inviting a bigger dose of volatility.  That volatility is now here.  As such, locking is generally the better choice until the volatility is clearly dying down.
  • 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.

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