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Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Ahead of Yellen Testimony

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates stood at their lowest levels in more than 2 months as of last Wednesday, but have since moved higher for 3 straight days.  This leaves them roughly in the middle of their recent range--seemingly ready to move in either direction depending on this week's motivation. Investors will be looking for that motivation first and foremost from Fed Chair Yellen's congressional testimony, which begins tomorrow morning and continues on Wednesday morning.  Although not an official Fed policy statement, these testimonies often serve as a venue for the Fed Chair to confirm, deny, or tweak prevailing policy expectations.  In other words, […]

Rates Remain Lower vs Last Week Despite Rising Today

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates continued higher today, bringing them back in line with Monday's levels.  Part of the rise was due to weaker trading levels in bond markets.  Just as important is the fact that many lenders didn't raise rates yesterday afternoon as the bond weakness began (weaker bond markets imply higher rates).  In other words, unless bond markets improved overnight, this morning's rates were already destined to be a bit higher than yesterday's.   Even though today's increase was far more substantial than yesterday's, it leaves rates at levels that are still slightly better compared to last Friday.  Many lenders continue to offer […]

Winning Streak Ends For Mortgage Rates

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates finally moved higher after three straight days of solid improvement.  If it's any consolation, today's rise wasn't on par with even one of the past 3 days of gains, although that could change by tomorrow morning.  Weakness in the bond market primarily affected US Treasuries today, as opposed to the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate mortgage rates.  That allowed many lenders to make it through the day without recalling rate sheets and "repricing" for the worse.  If trading levels in bond markets don't change between now and tomorrow, it's likely that several lenders will be offering slightly higher rates in the morning. […]

Mortgage Rates Doing Very Well This Week

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates fell for the third straight day today.  Each day has seen moderate improvement.  Taken together, they add up to a strong move lower from last week's levels (which were roughly in the lower-middle of the post-election range).  The result is that some lenders are at or near their lowest rates in nearly 3 MONTHS (yesterday it was 3 WEEKS).  The average lender has only had 3 days during that time where rates were any better.   There are plenty of opinions about what's behind this week's falling rates ranging from politics to last week's jobs report causing a shift in […]

Mortgage Rates in Line With 3-Week Lows

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates moved lower again today as investors remained cautious amid political uncertainty at home and abroad.  Stocks began the day higher but lost ground throughout the day--indirectly helping rates.  That's not to suggest mortgage rates routinely take cues from stocks.  Rather, slumping stocks and falling rates speak to the same underlying trends.  Caution, fear, and the like tend to increase demand for less risky assets like bonds.  As demand for bonds increases (sometimes, at the expense of stocks--like today), rates fall. In and of itself, today's improvement was mild to moderate.  But taken together with yesterday, the gains were more meaningful […]

Mortgage Rates Drop to 2-Week Lows

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates moved lower today as investors sought safe haven from global political risk in the bond market.  When investor demand for bonds increases, rates generally fall, all things being equal.  Today's improvement was fairly healthy, too.  You'd have to go back to January 23rd--exactly 2 weeks ago--to see anything better at the average lender. 4.25% has been the most common conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios.  While that's still technically true, stronger lenders are increasingly moving down to 4.125% on days like today.  Keep in mind that the difference between 4.125% and 4.25% isn't quite as simple as 0.125%. […]

Mixed Day Leaves Rates Slightly Higher

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates were noticeably lower this morning as bond markets responded favorably to the important jobs report.  While the headline job growth was stronger than expected (typically bad for rates), wages came in much lower than expected and were revised lower for the previous report as well.  That was enough for most lenders to offer lower rates with today's first set of rate sheets.   Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) stayed strong throughout the morning.  Things changed in the afternoon when a member of the Fed (Williams) said the Fed may hike in March.  ...(read more) Forward this article via email:  Send […]

Mortgage Rates Edge Lower Ahead of Jobs Report

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates fell modestly today, but not enough to make it back to the lows seen earlier this week.  4.25% is still the most prevalent 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios, meaning day-to-day movement has been limited to upfront costs (sometimes referred to as "points," depending on the source of information).   Since last Friday, the range has been exceptionally narrow leading up to tomorrow's Employment Situation (the big "jobs report").  This is the most important scheduled economic report each month.  While its impact can vary, it always has tremendous potential to move markets in either direction.  Given that today's rates […]

Mortgage Rates Higher Despite Help From The Fed

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates were higher to end the day, but not as high as they might have been without the Fed Statement.  The day began with a series of strong economic reports.  The ADP Employment Report was much stronger than expected, as was the employment component of the ISM Manufacturing report.  Investors connect those dots to increased risk of a strong number in this Friday's all-important Employment Situation Report (the big jobs report).   But jobs are good, right?  So why is this bad?  It's not bad for the economy.  It's merely bad for rates. ...(read more) Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of […]

Mortgage Rates Just a Bit Lower as Data Falls Short

by Trevor Sines
Mortgage rates moved just a bit lower today, bringing them to their best levels in exactly 1 week.  Most borrowers will see little-to-no difference between yesterday and today's loan quotes with the exception, perhaps, of a modest reduction in upfront costs.  That means 4.25% remains intact as the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios.  Bond markets (and thus, rates) responded favorably today to a series of weaker economic reports.  In general, weaker economic data tends to help bonds and hurt stocks.  Some of the positivity was also motivated by the calendar as certain traders are required to hold […]