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Posted 05/16/2017

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Mortgage Rates Today, May 16, 2017, Plus Lock Recommendations

mortgage rates today

What's Driving Mortgage Rates Today?

Only one moderately-important report was issued this morning. You'll probably want to look at it and other  mortgage data before making your lock / float decision.

Click to see today's rates (Jun 22nd, 2017)

Housing Starts

The Commerce Department reported that housing starts missed the 1.256 million analysts had predicted. Instead, we got just 1.17 million, significantly fewer. That's a slower pace for the economy, which is good for mortgage rates.

Commerce Department Housing Starts

Mortgage Rates Today

Program Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 yr Fixed 3.875 3.875 Unchanged
Conventional 15 yr Fixed 3.250 3.250 Unchanged
Conventional 5 yr ARM 3.125 3.717 Unchanged
30 year fixed FHA 3.375 4.332 +0.01%
15 year fixed FHA 2.750 3.689 Unchanged
5 year ARM FHA 3.000 4.047 +0.04%
30 year fixed VA 3.500 3.650 -0.02%
15 year fixed VA 3.000 3.307 Unchanged
5 year ARM VA 3.250 3.338 +0.01%

Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

 Today's Data

  • All three stock markets: up (bad)
  • 10-year Treasury yield: down one basis point from 2.34 to 2.33 (slightly good)
  • Oil is up, still below $50: (slightly bad)
  • Gold up (good)
  • Fear & Greed: 67, up three points (greedier, which is bad)

Similar to yesterday, today's indicators were neither super-important, nor did they move much. So I doubt that we'll see earth-shattering movements in mortgage rates either. I'd be okay floating unless I really needed to nail down a specific rate.

This Week

There are several events this week that can affect mortgage rates.

  • Tuesday: Industrial production, expecting a .5 percent increase.
  • Thursday: Weekly unemployment, expected to be 240,000 new claims.

Rate Lock Recommendation

I don't expect rates to move that much this week. If you can grab something you like, especially with no extra charges, go for it.

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 15 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 30 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 45 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 60 days

What Causes Rates To Rise And Fall?

Mortgage interest rates depend on a great deal on the expectations of investors. Good economic news tends to be bad for interest rates, because an active economy raises concerns about inflation. Inflation causes fixed-income investments like bonds to lose value, and that causes their yields (another way of saying interest rates) to increase.

For example, suppose that two years ago, you bought a $1,000 bond paying five percent interest ($50) each year. (This is called its “coupon rate.") That’s a pretty good rate today, so lots of investors want to buy it from you. You sell your $1,000 bond for $1,200.

When Rates Fall

The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest that you were getting. However, because he paid more for the bond, his interest rate is not five percent.

  • Your interest rate: $50 annual interest / $1,000 = 5.0%
  • Your buyer’s interest rate: $50 annual interest / $1,200 = 4.2%

The buyer gets an interest rate, or yield, of only 4.2 percent. And that’s why, when demand for bonds increases and bond prices go up, interest rates go down.

When Rates Rise

However, when the economy heats up, the potential for inflation makes bonds less appealing. With fewer people wanting to buy bonds, their prices decrease, and then interest rates go up.

Imagine that you have your $1,000 bond, but you can't sell it for $1,000, because unemployment has dropped and stock prices are soaring. You end up getting $700. The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest, but the yield looks like this:

  • $50 annual interest / $700 = 7.1% The buyer’s interest rate is now slightly more than seven percent.

Click to see today's rates (Jun 22nd, 2017)

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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2017 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits

Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)