Aug 9, 2013

Mortgage Rates Sharply Higher; More Volatility to Come

Mortgage rates rose abruptly today, moving  highest levels since July 9th as financial markets prepare for tomorrow's important Employment Situation Report.  These preparations refer to several underlying factors including the reaction to this morning's stronger-than-expected economic data as well as concern that similarly stronger data tomorrow could lead rates even higher.  Today's move took 30yr Fixed best-execution to the upper edge of 4.5% with 4.625% very close.  Tomorrow is an extraordinarily important day with the highest prospects for volatility since the last employment report caused the biggest one-day rise in rates of the past 10 years.  It can go either way, depending on the data (which will be released well before any lenders release rate sheets for the day).

To be clear, if the data is weak enough, it would likely result in lower rates, but the range of possibilities is wide, and it's "easier for markets to play defense" against rising rates than it is to try to guess when, and by how much the longer-term trend higher will stop.  It's similar to the popular phrase "no one wants to catch the falling knife."  Traders aren't eager to trade rates aggressively lower in a rising rate environment.  Our only big moves lower in rate since early May have been in response to even bigger moves higher.  There continues to be no organic drive toward lower rates, and that continues to be very scary to anyone hoping to see lower rates any time soon.

Today's Best-Execution Rates
  • 30YR FIXED - 4.5% - 4.625%
  • FHA/VA - 4.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED -  3.625%-3.75%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.0-3.25% depending on the lender

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