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Events Calendar
Events Calendar



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Mortgage Rates Set Another 9-Month High
Posted on Monday January 22, 2018

Mortgage rates pushed up to yet another 9-month high today--something that's become all too common in the past few weeks.  Just as troubling is the fact that 10yr Treasury yields--the bigger, more important neighbor that shares the street with mortgage rates--are operating at their highest levels since early 2014.  Mortgage rates aren't directly tied to Treasury yields, but big momentum in Treasuries tends to spill over. 

Incidentally, both Treasuries and MBS (the mortgage-backed-securities that underlie mortgage rates) were roughly unchanged today.  The problem is they were much weaker on Friday afternoon and mortgage lenders didn't fully adjust for that fact with Friday's rate sheets.  That left them with a bit of catching up to do this morning.  In other words, lenders needed to push their rates just a bit higher to get caught up with Friday's market movements.

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Worst Week Since June for Mortgage Rates
Posted on Friday January 19, 2018

Mortgage rates remained at 9-month highs today, with most lenders in worse shape than yesterday.  In the morning, the sky hadn't yet fallen, the average lender was right in line with yesterday's 9-month highs, but at least we weren't any worse off than yesterday.  Things changed in the afternoon as bond markets weakened abruptly.  Many lenders issued negative reprices, thus leaving the average lender noticeably higher than yesterday.

Today's weakness makes this the worst week for rates since late June and one of only 3 weeks with as much of a rate spike since 2016. For the third day in a row, I'm repeating the same mantra: any time we're pushing long-term highs, it's a good idea to remain defensive in terms of locking vs floating. 

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Be Careful With News on Mortgage Rates Today
Posted on Thursday January 18, 2018

It's Thursday, which means Freddie Mac released its weekly update on mortgage rates.  This is typically not that big of a deal because mortgage rates don't tend to move enough in the short term to expose the shortfalls of Freddie's methodology.  To be perfectly fair to Freddie, their methodology is fine for those who want a once-a-week look at rates and who aren't currently in the process of shopping for a mortgage or home.

Unfortunately, much of the consumer-level interest in mortgage rate news comes from those who are in the process of shopping from a mortgage or home!  Granted, they're not seeking out Freddie's rate survey, but they do tend to come across internet news that cites Freddie's data as a source. 

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Mortgage Rates Highest in 9 Months
Posted on Wednesday January 17, 2018

Mortgage rates were only moderately higher today, but the move was enough to officially bring them to the highest levels since the Spring of 2017.  In other words, most lenders' rate quotes are fairly similar to recently bad days (like last Wednesday), but in terms of outright costs, you'd have to go back 9 months to see anything worse.

There was precious little by way of overt motivations for today's move.  Whereas rates have a longstanding history of responding to economic data and other events that speak to the economy/inflation/etc., many of the recent movements have had more to do with arcane considerations among bond traders than the aforementioned history.   

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Mortgage Rates Still Working on That Ceiling
Posted on Tuesday January 16, 2018

Mortgage rates didn't move much today.  Most lenders were just slightly lower/better this morning, but mid-day market weakness prompted several of them to reissue higher rates.  In the bigger picture, however, the past several days represent a welcome stint of relative calm.  The general trend had been toward higher rates beginning in mid-December.

Granted, that general trend could continue and the past few business days could merely be a pause.  But the point is, whether it's a pause or the beginning of a reversal, either would begin the same way.  The important development in underlying bond markets has been resilience at the weaker (read: higher rate) levels.  Using 10yr Treasury yields as a benchmark for rate in general, we'd want 2.60% to continue to act as a ceiling.

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Mortgage Rates Avoid More Dire Outcomes After Inflation Report
Posted on Saturday January 13, 2018

Mortgage rates caught a break yesterday by moving lower for the first time this week.  They arguably caught a break again today by not moving any higher than they did.  Underlying bond markets (which drive mortgage rate changes) were rocked this morning by stronger inflation data.  The important Consumer Price Index (CPI) was expected to hold steady at the same low levels that have persisted since the middle of 2017.  The modest uptick in inflation sent bond yields higher and resulted in most mortgage lenders putting out noticeably higher rates this morning.

Lenders don't like to put out more than one rate sheet per day if they can help it, but if markets move enough, they will "reprice." 

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Mortgage Rates Catch a Break With Help From Treasuries
Posted on Thursday January 11, 2018

Mortgage rates caught a break today, moving lower for the first time this week and pushing back from the highest levels since early July 2017.  Like yesterday, strong demand at a Treasury auction helped US bond markets, but notably, only the longer-term maturities (10yr and 30yr bonds were the big winners).  Fortunately, the bonds that underlie mortgage rates tend to correlate well with longer-term Treasuries.

Economic data also played a role with a weaker reading on inflation at the producer level.  Tomorrow brings the much more important reading on consumer-level inflation (via the Consumer Price Index or CPI).  If CPI is similarly weak, it could steel the resolve on the part of rates to hold to recent ceilings--potentially providing a base of operations for borrowers to consider a strategy other than locking early in the loan process. 

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Mortgage Rates Remain at 6-Month Highs Despite Late Day Bounce
Posted on Wednesday January 10, 2018

Mortgage rates were much higher this morning, bringing them to new 6-month highs (a dubious distinction also accomplished yesterday).  Unlike yesterday, there were good and bad moments today.  Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) were already starting to show signs of support this morning. Early this afternoon, a scheduled auction of 10yr Treasury Notes was met with strong demand.  When demand for a bond rises relative to supply, rates fall. 

Mortgage rates aren't based directly on 10yr Treasuries, but there is a strong correlation between the two.  The 10yr serves as an important benchmark for any longer-term interest rate in the US, so the strong auction suggested rates may attempt to find a ceiling here after a rocky start to the year.

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Mortgage Rates Highest in 6 Months
Posted on Tuesday January 09, 2018

Mortgage rates rose again today, adding to a nasty 2-day streak that's taken the average 30 yr fixed rate an eighth of a point higher.  That's an uncommonly big 2-day move, and it brings rates to their highest levels since early July 2017. 

Of potentially more concern is the fact that the current rate spike is making an ominous suggestion about the broader trend.  Specifically, the last 3 months of 2017 saw rates consolidate in a mostly-sideways pattern.  We'd been waiting for a bigger break higher or lower.  Although there were some early warning signs that the breakout would be to the upside, this week has all but confirmed it.  The implication is for things to get worse before they get better.

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Mortgage Rates Back Near Recent Highs
Posted on Monday January 08, 2018

Mortgage rates rose today, largely due to bond market movement from the end of last week that never made it onto last week's rate sheets.  Specifically, the bond markets that underlie mortgage rate movement had a fairly bad day last Friday, but not until after most lenders already released their first rate sheets of the day. 

Lenders normally need to see a certain amount of market movement by a certain time of day before issuing mid-day reprices, and Friday's weakness wasn't quite big enough.  As I noted last week, that meant we would begin the current week at a slight disadvantage.  It's that disadvantage that was seen on this morning's rate sheets.  From there, bonds weakened a bit more, prompting a few more lenders to issue rate sheets with even higher rates.

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