Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Lowest Since Halloween

Mortgage Rate News - 3 hours 1 min ago
Mortgage rates are in the midst of a winning streak of moderate size and duration. Specifically, rates have improved by at least an eighth of a percentage point for the average lender since the beginning of last week and have moved lower on all but one of the days between now and then. That brings them to the lowest levels since October 31st. As far as rate rallies go, that qualifies as just a bit longer than average and just a bit better than average. Notably, it comes at the expense of weaker rate momentum for nearly the entire month of October. In the bigger picture, however, rates are staggeringly lower than they were this time last year. Despite having risen from multi-year lows in September, we're still in a very solid ball park. In the coming weeks, we'll be watching closely for signs
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

Mortgage Rate News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:13
Mortgage rates had a great week last week and haven't done anything to jeopardize that so far this week. Today was the first time during these 2 weeks where rates have merely held steady as opposed to move lower. The recent winning streak requires a caveat , however. It was largely made possible by the losing streak that preceded it. But if we're going to play that game, we could just as easily say that the losing streak was largely a reaction to the even bigger winning streak that's characterized most of 2019. The takeaway from the back and forth above is that rate momentum can often adhere to considerations that are almost like the laws of physics (you know... equal and opposite reactions?). Generally speaking, the longer and stronger any given move has been, the more likely it becomes that
Categories: Mortgage News

Lowest Mortgage Rates in 2 Weeks

Mortgage Rate News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 16:51
Mortgage rates added to last week's improvement with another modest drop today. That brings the average lender to the best levels in exactly 2 weeks--a welcome change after hitting the highest levels in more than 3 months on Friday November 8th. US/China trade relations have been a key source of volatility , but markets are also eager to see how economic data unfolds as 2019 draws to a close. The combination of a phase 1 US/China trade deal and reasonably resilient economic data could push rates much higher and confirm a rising rate trend for the next several months. Conversely, if the trade deal looks shaky and if economic data deteriorates, rates could take another run at the long-term lows seen in early September. This isn't a narrative that will play out today, tomorrow, or even any time
Categories: Mortgage News

Much Better Week For Rates, But Bigger Picture Risks Remain

Mortgage Rate News - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 19:06
Mortgage rates finished the week in much better territory compared to last Friday. Today only added modestly to that move, but the simple act of moving in a friendly direction feels like a major victory after coming toe to toe with the highest rates in more than 3 months (last week). There weren't any obvious reasons for today's meager gains. In fact, the underlying bond market was slightly weaker on the day (which usually implies higher rates). But lenders were still getting caught up with the week's previous bond market gains and thus managed to overlook the contrary cues from the market. In the slightly bigger picture, this week can be seen as the bond market's way of saying it's not quite ready yet to embark on a panicked race back toward higher rates . The question remains: is that sort
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Are Actually LOWER This Week

Mortgage Rate News - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 16:57
Mortgage rates moved lower again today. Whereas it was a bit easier to be dismissive about recent improvements, they're starting to add up at this point. Granted, we're not talking about anything other than a return to the rates seen on November 6th, but for anyone who was rate shopping at the end of last week, that's a welcome change. As if often the case on Thursdays, there is a major discrepancy between much of today's mortgage rate news and what I'm telling you here. Specifically, whereas I'm telling you rates are lower today and as low as they've been in more than a week, the average major media outlet is saying rates are HIGHER this week. As usual (at least when it comes to rates on Thursdays), I'm right and they're wrong. Actually, I'm right in a timely way and they're right if the goal
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Continue Much-Needed Recovery

Mortgage Rate News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 18:24
Mortgage rates have been more willing to move higher than lower recently. While that may continue to be the case in the near-term future, there have been pockets of resistance to that trend. The first 2 days of this week seem to be just such a pocket. The direction of the movement is good, but the magnitude may leave a bit to be desired, depending on your standards. The average loan scenario would still be seeing the same "note rate" quote as yesterday, but the effective rate would be slightly better due to lower upfront borrowing costs. In the bigger picture, it makes sense to remain defensive about the possibility that the broader trend toward higher rates can continue. We'd need to see a much more substantial push back toward lower rates in order to abandon that defensive stance. Loan Originator
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Avoid More Pain, Even if Only For Today

Mortgage Rate News - Tue, 11/12/2019 - 17:17
Mortgage rates had a bad October . November hasn't exactly been great either, with last Thursday being one of the worst days of the year in terms of day-over-day jumps in rates. In addition to the abrupt move, last week's weakness also brought rates in line with their highest levels in more than 3 months. All of the above could be part of a bigger shift away from the prevailing trend toward lower rates (which had been intact since last November) and into a new trend of rising rates. This newer, unfriendlier trend arguably tried to make an appearance in mid September but was quickly shut down as rates nearly returned to the super-long-term lows seen earlier that month. Notably though, they failed to make it all the way back down to those lows, and that can be an early warning sign of a shift
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Holding Near 3-Month Highs

Mortgage Rate News - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 19:23
Mortgage rates launched to their highest levels in more than 3 months yesterday for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was a series of comments from both China and the US about the intent to cancel previously announced tariffs as a part of the phase 1 trade deal. Tariffs and trade have been weighing on the economic outlook in a big way, and that's benefited interest rates. Anything that lessens the weight has the opposite effect. Notably, the bond market failed to improve very much today even after Trump said that there was no agreement to roll back tariffs yet, even though there was a clear reaction. This could be due to the fact that markets expect a deal to be worked out eventually, but bigger-picture momentum is also a consideration. Simply put, rates have been moving so much lower
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Blasted by Trade Deal Progress

Mortgage Rate News - Thu, 11/07/2019 - 18:19
Mortgage rates surged higher at a rapid pace for the second time this week. Taken together, the jump is the biggest of its kind since the big rate spike in September, and one of only a handful of weeks in the past 3 years where lenders are quoting rates that are 0.25% higher than the previous week. Progress on the US/China trade deal is the key culprit behind the volatility, but not the only factor. In general, the bond market (which dictates rates) has been doing so well for so long that risks of a bounce have been increasing simply due to doubts as to how long the good times could continue to roll. In market jargon, these motivations are referred to as "technical." Technical motivation can play out differently depending on the market in question. Unlike the stock market, which has proven
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Trying to Find a Ceiling

Mortgage Rate News - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 17:30
Mortgage rates were sharply higher yesterday , but managed to reverse course and make some gains today. The refreshing part of the improvement was that the bond market (which underlies rates) was already holding its ground before there was any obvious reason to do so. Simply put, this suggests that investors could view current rates as being high enough to be considered a good buying opportunity. That's a complicated way of saying rates could be running into a ceiling here. A word of caution though: it's never possible and seldom a good idea to read much into longer-term trends based on one day of bond market movement. The risk remains that the lowest rates we'll see for a while have already been seen at the beginning of September. What we're hoping to avoid is simply a runaway surge toward
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Shoot Significantly Higher

Mortgage Rate News - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 18:28
Mortgage rates were flat yesterday , but I warned that volatility could increase today. That turned out to be an understatement. Mortgage rates shot higher nearly as quickly as they'd moved lower last week. In fact, the average lender is offering rates that are back in line with the recent highs seen last Monday. As far as rate movement goes, today's jump in rates is a bigger deal than last week's improvement because it takes us back to the highest levels since early August. That's when the year's most abrupt drop began. Shortly thereafter, I added the first bullet point in the list of lock/float considerations below. Simply put, the rate rally was getting so big and had stuck around for long enough that we were increasingly forced to worry about it fizzling out. Bottom line: rates like today
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Steady Today, Much Lower This Week

Mortgage Rate News - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 19:31
Mortgage rates held steady today after moving sharply lower yesterday. "Sharply," in this context, means that many lenders saw rates move lower by as much as an eighth of a percentage point versus the previous morning. Changes of that magnitude are rarely seen in the space of 24-48 hours. In fact, more often than not, entire weeks go by with a 0.125% change in average 30yr fixed rates. The size and speed of the move is interesting in and of itself, but it's made more interesting by the fact that this week's most prevalent mortgage rate headlines claimed that rates were actually HIGHER. Rest assured, that's not the case. So what's with the misleading headlines? This is actually a fairly common occurrence. It stems from the fact that the industry's longest-standing and most widely-cited mortgage
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Dropping Like a Rock

Mortgage Rate News - Thu, 10/31/2019 - 17:58
Mortgage rates dropped like a rock today . This has absolutely nothing to do with yesterday's Fed rate cut, a little to do with the market reaction to the verbiage in yesterday's Fed announcement, and a lot to do with today's new developments. Chinese officials were cited as questioning the viability of the much-touted trade deal overnight. The trade deal is important to financial markets because it's thought to be an easy way to increase global economic growth--something that is typically bad for rates. As such, the questioning of the deal was good for rates. On top of that, there was also an exceptionally weaker economic report out this morning--one that's often seen as a bit of an advance indicator of several other important reports coming out in the next 3 business days. The bond market
Categories: Mortgage News

Yes, The Fed Will Cut Rates, But Not Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rate News - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 17:32
You may have heard that the Federal Reserve is highly likely to cut rates this week. That is true. It's happening tomorrow . It would be a big surprise for financial markets if the Fed did NOT cut rates at this point. You may be wondering if this means anything for mortgage rates or worse, you may actually be convinced that a Fed rate cut means lower mortgage rates. The only mortgage rates that have anything to do with the Fed Funds Rate (the thing the Fed cuts or hikes) are those associated with some home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). But when it comes to 1st mortgages, and most 2nd mortgages, any impact from the Fed's rate cut has long since been felt. That's because the bond market that dictates mortgage rates can move in real-time whereas the Fed only meets once every 6 weeks. So if
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Near 3-Month Highs

Mortgage Rate News - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 18:11
Mortgage rates increased again today as lenders continued to get caught up with 2 days of bond market weakness. When bonds are weaker, prices are moving lower and yields (aka "rates") are moving higher. Rates have been rising in general for almost the entire month October after taking a another run at long-term lows. The previous attempt (a successful one) saw rates hit the lowest levels in more than 3 years at the beginning of September. With the early October lows representing a modest increase from the early September lows, there's a risk that a bigger-picture shift is taking place. Simply put, the long-term trend of falling rates that began roughly 1 year ago could be in the process of shifting toward a trend of rising rates. Loan Originator Perspective Bonds continued their recent slide
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher, As Expected

Mortgage Rate News - Fri, 10/25/2019 - 18:40
Mortgage rates moved lower for 3 days in a row as of yesterday afternoon. But that trend was likely to reverse based on the timing of yesterday's market movement. Specifically, the market was suggesting mortgage lenders should raise their rates, but not quite urgently enough (or early enough in the day) for lenders to pull the trigger at the time. As such, it was a strong possibility that we'd see lenders make those adjustments with today's first rate sheets. Things actually deteriorated a bit from there. Once again, bond markets were unable to maintain modest improvement from the overnight trading session. As bond prices move lower and yields move higher, lenders are increasingly forced to "reprice" their mortgage rate sheets (i.e. they change the rates they're offering in the middle of the
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Fell Again, But There's a Catch

Mortgage Rate News - Thu, 10/24/2019 - 16:16
Mortgage rates dropped at a modest pace for the 3rd straight day on Thursday. This brings them back in line with levels seen at the end of last week. That's notable because many media outlets--even some with a focus on mortgages and real estate--are running articles saying that rates are higher this week. While it's true that rates WERE higher on Monday, they've quickly fallen back into line. The source of the confusion is the same as it ever was on any given Thursday during times of relatively higher volatility. The vaunted Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey is an industry and news media benchmark. It comes out every Thursday, but only captures rate quotes from Monday through Wednesday (with heavy weight given to Monday based on my observations and comparisons with average daily rates). So if
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Recover Slightly

Mortgage Rate News - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 17:41
Mortgage rates recovered just a bit today after hitting the highest levels in more than a month yesterday. The inspiration for much of the recent upward pressure on rates can be traced to progress in Britain's attempt to exit the European Union (aka "Brexit"). It's not that Brexit is bad for interest rates. In fact, it's definitely been a positive influence off and on for nearly 4 years now. Rather, it's the manner in which Brexit is accomplished that matters to global bond markets, and thus, to interest rates. To be clear, European markets have seen the biggest effects, but there is some spillover in the US. The most important consideration at present is whether or not the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal. A so-called "no deal" Brexit would be the better option for fans of low interest
Categories: Mortgage News

Here's Why Rates Were Flat This Week (And Why That Should Change)

Mortgage Rate News - Fri, 10/18/2019 - 18:17
Mortgage rates were flat today. In fact, they were very close to being flat on the week for that matter! This is a reflection of the bond markets current set of concerns, which really came into focus late last week with Thursday's Brexit-related news and Friday's trade deal updates. Brexit refers to the UK's attempts to exit the EU. As esoteric of a concern as that may seem, it's something that the bond market (and hence, interest rates) quite clearly cares about. Last Thursday's unexpected progress between Boris Johnson and Northern Ireland's Prime Minister sent rates screaming higher at their fastest pace in months. I could also argue that much of the damage that seemed to have been done by Friday's US/China trade news was instead follow-through momentum from Thursday's Brexit-inspired move
Categories: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Face Volatility Thanks to an Old Friend

Mortgage Rate News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 16:24
Mortgage rates didn't do much today, but risks are increasing that movement will be more brisk in the coming business days. Blame European politics--specifically: Brexit. This isn't the mortgage rates' world first go-round with the U.K.'s lengthy process of exiting the European Union (aka "Brexit"). In fact, Brexit was the single biggest factor that helped drive rates down to the long-term lows seen in 2016. For most lenders, those rates were close enough to the all-time lows seen in 2012. The fact that they were available in the middle of the summer homebuying season only made things better for the housing market. Thanks Brexit! More than 3 years later and the U.K. is set to run into yet another deadline for its divorce from the EU. This one has been on the radar for months, but it's been
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