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Events Calendar



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Mortgage Rates Quickly Lower After Inflation Data and Fed
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Mortgage rates fell fairly quickly this afternoon following the Federal Reserves updated economic projections.  While it is indeed true that the Fed "raised rates" this afternoon, there are two reasons that doesn't matter.

First of all, the rate the Fed adjusts (aptly named, the Fed Funds Rate), governs only the shortest-time frames (overnight loans among big banks).  Although its effects radiate to longer-term debt like mortgages, the two are far from joined at the hip.  Short term rates often move one direction while long term rates move another.

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Ahead of Fed
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher for the 4th straight business day today.  Last Wednesday saw the best levels in a month with some lenders in the best shape since early September.  The recent move higher brings rates back into the higher part of the prevailing range.

If that all sounds somewhat dramatic, it's not.  The "prevailing range" is so narrow that it barely bears mentioning.  In fact, quite a few loan scenarios would be quoted the same "note rate" on any day in the past several months.  Why, then, are we talking about rates "moving?"  Technically, it's the "effective rate" that's moving because lenders use upfront costs to make finer adjustments to the cost of financing. 

...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged to Slightly Higher
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher for the 3rd straight business day, making for a moderate correction from the last Wednesday's 1-month lows.  In the recent context, talking about "1-month lows" and 3-day losing streaks is actually far too dramatic when it comes to the actual movement in rates. Most prospective borrowers would be seeing the same rates as last week with the only differences being a slight adjustment in the upfront costs.  Even then, many lenders are perfectly unchanged over the past 2 days.  Point being: rate volatility has been calm with few exceptions.

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Rates Stay Higher After Jobs Report and Shutdown Bill
Posted on Friday December 08, 2017

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher today, although some lenders were right in line with yesterday's levels (especially those who raised rates in response to market weakness yesterday afternoon).  Either way, today's rates are pretty darn close to yesterday's and very much inside the recent range.

The Labor Department announced that 228k new jobs were created in November, stronger than the median forecast of 200k.  These so-called "nonfarm payrolls" add up to the most widely followed metric on the health of the labor market in the US.  On most other occasions, the report would create a more meaningful response in rates (which tend to rise when jobs growth is strong).  In the current case, market participants are more interested to see how various legislative efforts develop--especially the tax bill.  

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Rates Only Slightly Higher Despite Bond Market Weakness
Posted on Thursday December 07, 2017

Mortgage rates were best described as "unchanged" today, although that may not be the case tomorrow.  The afternoon hours saw bond markets (which dictate rate movement) come under some pressure.  In the grand scheme of things, that pressure reinforces the narrow range we've been watching over the past few months.  In the context of today's rate sheets, it was enough weakness for a few lenders to issue "reprices" (mid day rate changes--in this case, higher).

Most lenders didn't raise rates today because bond markets didn't weaken enough to justify it.  That said, the weakness still occurred, and unless things improve overnight, lenders will need to account for it in tomorrow morning's rates sheets.  In other words, we start tomorrow with a bit of handicap, all other things being equal.

...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Very Close to 1-Month Lows
Posted on Wednesday December 06, 2017

Mortgage rates moved noticeably lower today as bond market improved for the 2nd day in a row--the first time that's happened since early November (when it comes to the bonds that relate to mortgage rates) his was the first time since early November.  That was reassuring enough that lenders finally adjusted their rate sheets to more than match the market.  They haven't been able to do that recently due to the volatility and the general trend toward slightly higher rates over the past 2 months.  The average lender continues quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates at 4.0% for top tier scenarios.  While that rate hasn't changed for more than 2 months, we have seen the upfront costs move higher and lower.

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Mortgage Rates Steady to Lower
Posted on Tuesday December 05, 2017

Mortgage rates were more intuitive today with most lenders keeping things unchanged at first.  This matched the movement in underlying bond markets, where today's trading levels in the morning (when most lenders put out the first rate sheet) were roughly in line with yesterday's.  

As the day progressed, however, bonds began to improve steadily.  This improvement was enough for many lenders to issue positive reprices in the afternoon (i.e. new, lower rates for the day).  While every little bit helps, we're only talking about a token change in most cases.  The average borrower will see the improvement in the form of slightly lower upfront costs, with no change in the actual note rate.

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Mortgage Rates Steady to Higher, Depending on Lender
Posted on Monday December 04, 2017

Mortgage rates were distinctly mixed today, with some lenders clearly moving higher while others were effectively unchanged.  The deciding factor is both simple and obvious.  It has to do with Friday's wild action in the bond market (following the Flynn/Russia news in the morning).  That market movement resulted in a handful of lenders reissuing lower rates on Friday afternoon.  Those lenders had to move rates back up today because underlying bond markets weren't able to maintain the improvements that resulted in the better rate sheets.  Lenders who didn't adjust rates on Friday ended up being in fairly ideal territory for today's bond trading range and thus didn't need to make noticeable adjustments.

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Mortgage Rates Recover After Flynn Headlines
Posted on Friday December 01, 2017

Mortgage rates were at their highest levels in roughly 1 month as of yesterday afternoon.  That ran counter to many of the mortgage rate news stories that came out throughout the day due to said stories using Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey as source material (a longstanding survey that accurately tracks rates over time, but often fails to account for near-term volatility). 

Accounting for near-term volatility is tricky business for mortgage lenders this week--especially over the past 3 days.  Wednesday and Thursday saw rates spike quickly higher as the Senate's version of the tax bill looked increasingly likely to pass.  In general, the tax bill is good for stocks and bad for bonds. 

...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Hit 1-Month Highs
Posted on Thursday November 30, 2017

There are several news stories out today that reference LOWER rates this week. These all rely on stale survey data that failed to account for changes over the past 2 days. Mortgage rates actually continued higher today at the same quicker pace seen yesterday.  Due to the relatively narrow range during November, rates are now in line with their highest levels in more than a month whereas they were at 2-week lows just 2 days ago.  The average lender is now quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.0% on top tier scenarios, with a few outliers at 3.875% and 4.125%.  A few days ago, 3.875% was nearly as prevalent.

...(read more)

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