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USA Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates Holding Near 3-Month Highs

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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 for so long that they could be entering a natural corrective phase that creates its own upward momentum regardless of incoming news and events.

Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds attempted a meager comeback today, ultimately ending nearly unchanged ahead of the Veterans’ Day weekend.  News that tariff rollbacks weren’t guaranteed ahead of a new trade agreement failed to incite a rally, which is somewhat disappointing.  My pipeline for the year is locked, there’s no assurance rates drop from here.Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates For Top Tier Scenarios 

  • 30YR FIXED -3.875-4.0%
  • FHA/VA – 3.375-3.5%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375-3.5% 
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  3.25-3.75% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations 

  • 2019 has been the best year for mortgage rates since 2011.  Big, long-lasting improvements such as this one are increasingly susceptible to bounces/corrections 
  • Fed policy and the US/China trade war have been key players.  Major updates on either front could cause a volatile reaction in rates
  • The Fed and the bond market (which dictates rates) will be watching economic data closely, both at home and abroad, as well as trade war updates. The stronger the data and trade relations, the more rates could rise, while weaker data and trade wars will lead to new long-term lows.  
  • 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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