Mortgage rates moved LOWER today, following a policy announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB). That claim runs counter to almost any other mortgage rate headline in the mainstream news because big media is in the habit of quoting Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you understand the underlying timelines. Unfortunately, most news outlets gloss over those important details or leave them out completely.
Specifically, Freddie’s survey is heavily weighted toward responses that come in on Monday and Tuesday, even though Wednesday is also technically included. Thursday and Friday are never counted. That means that any rate volatility that hits during the second half of the week typically isn’t captured in Freddie’s numbers.
Long story short, because the first 2.5 days of the week were pretty rough for rates, Freddie’s survey says the average 30yr fixed is 0.08% higher this week. In actuality, today’s 30yr fixed rates are right in line with last Thursday’s, on average.
Today’s Most Prevalent Rates
- 30YR FIXED – 4.625-4.75%
- FHA/VA – 4.375%
- 15 YEAR FIXED – 4.00%
- 5 YEAR ARMS – 3.75-4.25% depending on the lender
Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
- Rates have been moving higher in a serious way due to headwinds that cannot be quickly defeated. These include the Fed’s increasingly restrictive monetary policy outlook, the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation.
- While we may see periodic corrections to the broader trend toward higher rates, it’s safer to assume that broader trend can and will continue. Until that changes, it makes much more sense to remain heavily-biased toward locking as opposed to floating.
- 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.