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Events Calendar



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Mortgage Rates Rocked (Relatively) By Tax Plan Optimism
Posted on Friday October 20, 2017

Mortgage rates moved higher today as financial markets grew more optimistic about the potential for tax reform.  Late last night, the Senate passed a resolution that included language designed to make tax reform legislation easier to pass.  In a nutshell, it means the Senate only needs 51 votes as opposed to 60 when it comes time to consider a tax bill.

Stocks like tax reform.  They moved quickly higher in futures trading.  Bonds (which dictate rates) aren't too thrilled with the idea for several reasons.  They moved quickly lower in price, which equates to upward movement in terms of rates.

...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Hold Ground Amid Market Volatility
Posted on Thursday October 19, 2017

Mortgage rates were unchanged to slightly lower today.  Political drama in Europe pushed stocks lower overnight and sent investors toward safer haven assets like bonds.  Higher demand for bonds pushes rates lower, all things being equal.  

All of the above meant a stronger start for bond markets and slightly lower mortgage rates this morning.  Still, the average improvement was so small that it was barely noticeable, largely because bonds had weakened yesterday afternoon, implying that lenders would have started today at a disadvantage were it not for the overnight improvement.  Still with me there?  In a nutshell, bond market weakness yesterday never made it onto lender rate sheets and this morning's bond market strength was just barely enough to counteract that weakness.

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Mortgage Rates Rise Only Modestly Despite Market Weakness
Posted on Wednesday October 18, 2017

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher today despite bigger movement in underlying bond markets.  In part, this is a byproduct of the way rates behaved at the end of last week, when lenders didn't adjust rates lower as quickly as bond market strength would have suggested.  In short, rates are playing it closer to the vest while the bonds that underlie and inform rate movement have been a bit more volatile.  

Bonds and rates frequently react to economic reports and other news that speaks to the health of the economy or the rate-setting policies of the Federal Reserve.  Although we did have a key report on new home construction and several speakers from the Fed today, rates were preoccupied with less overt motivations.  One example would be bond traders who decided to sell bonds today simply because trading levels hit certain targets. 

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Mortgage Rates Rise a Bit More From Recent Lows
Posted on Tuesday October 17, 2017

Mortgage rates were at their best levels in roughly a month last Friday afternoon.  Since then, they've risen modestly on each of the past two business days.  As has been the case for quite some time, day-to-day movement continues to be very tame.  The actual interest rates at the top of loan quotes rarely change from one day to the next.  Instead, fine-tuning adjustments to the overall cost of financing come courtesy of slightly higher upfront costs--at least in today's case.

In other words, if you were being quoted 3.875% yesterday on a 30yr loan yesterday, chances are you'd be seeing the same rate today, but with upfront costs just a bit higher (or a lender credit that's just a bit lower, depending on the scenario). 

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Mortgage Rates Sideways to Slightly Higher
Posted on Monday October 16, 2017

Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher today, depending on the lender.  Underlying bond markets suggested a bit more movement, and that will likely be reflected in tomorrow morning's rate sheets unless bonds improve overnight.

In other words, effective rates are just a bit lower this afternoon than bond market trading levels would imply.  This happens fairly often when bonds move during the day, but not by a wide enough margin to prompt mortgage lenders to reissue the day's rate sheets. 

All that having been said, the change would still be fairly minimal in the bigger picture, with most any lender continuing to quote the same interest rate (just with slightly higher upfront costs).  After dropping at the best pace in more than a month to the lowest levels in roughly a month on Friday, this modest pullback isn't yet cause for concern, but that could change if the weakness continues tomorrow.

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Mortgage Rates Back Into The 3's After Inflation Report
Posted on Friday October 13, 2017

Mortgage rates moved lower today.  For many lenders, it was the biggest drop in more than a month and it also brings them to the best levels in roughly a month.  Others were more hesitant to make significant updates to today's rate sheets based on this morning's strength in bond markets (which underlie mortgage rates).  If you're not seeing much of an improvement compared to yesterday at a specific lender, they're more likely to pass along that improvement if bond markets continue holding in current territory at the start of next week.

Just to be clear on how much improvement you might expect from a day like today, we're talking about roughly one quarter of ...

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Be Careful What You Read About Mortgage Rates Today
Posted on Thursday October 12, 2017

Mortgage rate data collection is tricky business.  Some sources rely on survey data that can have a limited collection window and a significant lag.  Other sources rely on incredibly aggressive quotes that tend to have caveats that limit the rates' availability and applicability to the average top tier scenario.  We take a different approach that takes all the potential distortion and confusion out of the process.  The result is the most accurate day-over-day mortgage rate movement available, and today's a good day for it.

Reason being: today is Thursday!  Why is Thursday cause for exclamation?  It's the day of the week that Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey is released.  This is the long-standing benchmark for mortgage rates as far as financial markets and news media is concerned.  There's nothing wrong with it over the long term.  It actually tends to track fairly well with our numbers (but again, over the long run). 

...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Stay Stubborn
Posted on Wednesday October 11, 2017

Mortgage rates haven't done much over the past few days, with the average lender offering substantially similar quotes every day in October.  Depending on your perspective, that could be good or bad.  On the positive side, the lack of movement means that clear trend toward higher rates in September is at least taking a breather.  On the negative side, it means rates have been holding near the highest levels in 2 months.

It's not clear what it will take for this stagnation to lift.  It IS clear that it wasn't today's Fed Minutes.  

 

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Mortgage Rates Little-Changed Near 4%
Posted on Tuesday October 10, 2017

Mortgage rates were marginally lower today compared to last week, but only when factoring in upfront finance charges.  Actual quoted interest rates have been unchanged for more than a week with the average lender quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.0% on top tier scenarios.

For the bond markets that underlie mortgage rates, it was a three-day weekend, and it showed.  There were no relevant economic reports and very little by way of market-moving news or events.  That will change later this week when we'll receive several important reports, including a key inflation reading on Friday.  

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Mortgage Rates Highest in 2 Months After Jobs Report
Posted on Friday October 06, 2017

Mortgage rates moved higher today, following a much weaker-than-expected jobs report.  These are two things that essentially never go together.  What made this time so different?

The paradox was made possible by the recent Hurricanes wreaking havoc on the jobs counts for the month of September.  Normally, weaker jobs data (i.e. lower counts of "payrolls") signal economic weakness.  A weaker economy generally can't support rates and stock prices as well as a stronger economy.  Thus, weak jobs data usually pushes rates lower.

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