Mortgage Rates: an Update and Explanation

Newton, MA.  Homes For Sale. I’d like to share this article….a must read for everyone looking for a mortgage….

BY ADAM QUINONESA scary setback early in the week had us on the edge of our seats but home loan borrowing costs managed to recover thanks to a “flight to safety” in the bond market. This helped mortgage rates end the week near the same levels they closed at last Friday.

A “flight to safety” happens when investors are nervous about owning risky assets like stocks, but do not want to miss out on earning a return on their funds, so they allocate their money into risk-free government guaranteed U.S Treasury debt to provide a safe-haven and an investment return. As benchmark Treasury yields fall on “flight to safety” buyer demand, prices of mortgage-backed securities move higher in unison. This allows lenders to reprice their rate sheets for the better and gives originators an opportunity to offer fence-sitting borrowers lower mortgage rates or more competitive closing costs.

In the chart of Consumer Rate Quotes below, if the line is moving up, closing costs are rising.  If the line is moving lower, costs are getting cheaper. Sideways mortgage rate behavior followed by an abrupt drop followed by another spell of mostly sideways activity can be seen when looking closer at the chart . More recently however a slight uptrend is noticeable, this is the “scary setback” we referenced above. Costs have however corrected from that slight spike.   Loan pricing is not as aggressive as it was on June 3rd (best day to lock all year so far), but we’re getting closer to those levels again…


The chart above compares the average origination costs (as a percentage of loan amount) for several available mortgage note rates as quoted by the five major lenders. Each line represents a different 30 year fixed mortgage note rate.  The numbers on the right vertical axis are the origination closing costs, as a percentage of your loan amount, that a borrower would be required to pay in order to close on that note rate. If the note rate graph line is below the 0.00% marker, the consumer may potentially receive closing cost help from their lender in the form of a lender credits. If the note rate line is above the 0.00% marker, the consumer should expect to pay additional points at the closing table to cover permanent buydown costs and origination fees. PLEASE SEE OUR MORTGAGE RATE DISCLAIMER BELOW

CURRENT MARKET: The “Best Execution” conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 4.50%. Some lenders may be quoting 4.50% with increased closing costs in the form of origination fees. Some lenders may also be quoting 4.375%, but those offers will definitely carry additional closing costs.  These costs could be worth it to applicants who plan to keep their new mortgage outstanding for long enough to breakeven on the extra upfront costs.  On FHA/VA 30 year fixed “Best Execution”  is 4.25%.  15 year fixed conventional loans are best priced at 3.75%. Five year ARMs are best priced at 3.125% but the ARM market is more stratified and there is more variation in what will be “Best-Execution” depending on your individual scenario.

PREVIOUS GUIDANCE:  This recovery rally is encouraging from a big picture perspective as it keeps the door open for our longer-term bullish mortgage rate bias to extend deeper into the summer months. Still, short-term scenarios should take caution. The past few days provide a perfect example of how quickly unfriendly corrections can occur in the mortgage market. Hopefully these back-ups illustrate why we normally urge defensive short-term stances, even as rates improve.  We may have dodged a bullet, but we’re not out of the woods yet. More bouts of volatility are very possible.

CURRENT GUIDANCE:  There’s a weird feeling in the air. Stocks are teetering on a major technical breakdown and bonds smell fear but are waiting for new guidance to be offered. If stocks fail to mount a recovery rally in the near future, we could be looking at another leg lower in Best Execution mortgage rates. While this “feeling” ties together well with our long-term outlook, it’s still speculative in nature. We say that because the timing of such a move is “at any moment”. And until it happens, stocks are gonna put up a fight. This “scratching and clawing” in equities implies the potential for loan pricing volatility remains high. Remember, it was only three days ago when Best Execution Mortgage Rates were teetering on a shift higher because stocks had put together a decent intraday rally effort. We may have dodged a bullet this week, but we’re not out of the woods yet. The past few days provide a perfect example of how quickly unfriendly fluctuations can occur in the mortgage market.

What MUST be considered BEFORE one thinks about capitalizing on a rates rally?

1. WHAT DO YOU NEED? Rates might not rally as much as you want/need.
2. WHEN DO YOU NEED IT BY? Rates might not rally as fast as you want/need.
3. HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS? Are you ready to make tough decisions?

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“Best Execution” is the most cost efficient combination of note rate offered and points paid at closing. This note rate is determined based on the time it takes to recover the points you paid at closing (discount) vs. the monthly savings of permanently buying down your mortgage rate by 0.125%.  When deciding on whether or not to pay points, the borrower must have an idea of how long they intend to keep their mortgage. For more info, ask you originator to explain the findings of their “breakeven analysis” on your permanent rate buy down costs.

Important Mortgage Rate Disclaimer
: The “Best Execution” loan pricing quotes shared above are generally seen as the more aggressive side of the primary mortgage market. Loan originators will only be able to offer these rates on conforming loan amounts to very well-qualified borrowers who have a middle FICO score over 740 and enough equity in their home to qualify for a refinance or a large enough savings to cover their down payment and closing costs. If the terms of your loan trigger any risk-based loan level pricing adjustments (LLPAs), your rate quote will be higher. If you do not fall into the “perfect borrower” category, make sure you ask your loan originator for an explanation of the characteristics that make your loan more expensive. “No point” loan doesn’t mean “no cost” loan. The best 30 year fixed conventional/FHA/VA mortgage rates still include closing costs such as: third party fees + title charges + transfer and recording. Don’t forget the fiscal frisking that comes along with the underwriting process

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