Aug 27 2014, 4:35PM
Mortgage rates fell by an almost imperceptible amount today. Some lenders were actually unchanged or slightly higher. The actual NOTE rates quoted today would be identical to yesterday, with the only differences being seen in the form of modestly lower closing costs. This means that 4.125% stays intact as the most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios. All that having been said, the slow trickle of improvement is gradually bringing rates closer to their best levels in 2014. It would only take another few days of these improvements to get there.
The bond markets that underlie mortgage rates started strong today, once again benefiting from strength in European bond markets. We talked about this phenomenon at length yesterday (Read More: How Long Will Low, Flat Mortgage Rates Last?). Bond markets didn’t move much during US trading hours, but this was more true of the Mortgage-Backed-Securities (MBS) that directly dictate rates as opposed to US Treasuries which continued improving into the afternoon. In other words, Treasury rates are continuing their recent trend of moving lower, faster than mortgage rates (which are stuck in the mud by comparison).
From a lock/float standpoint, today is one of the better recent opportunities to lock. Reason being: rates are at their 2nd lowest level of the year and tomorrow brings data that could contribute to market volatility. Keep in mind, it’s always a possibility that the data will work in our favor, but in the short term, risk outweighs reward in these situations. If you’re intent on floating and have a longer-term time horizon, that’s not necessarily a mistake either, as long as you have a ‘stop-loss’ level set somewhere overhead. For instance, if you’re at 4.125% today, you might say “if rates rise to 4.25%, I will lock to avoid the risk of further losses.”