Mortgage Rates Are NOT Lower This Week

Financial markets were intently focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine today.  Such things tend to push interest rates lower and today was no exception, but the details matter.

There are all sorts of interest rates, and there’s a lot that happens in the bond market before mortgage lenders translate bond prices/yields into lockable mortgage rates.  Moreover, there are many hours of trading that have occurred on any given day by the time lenders issue mortgage rates.  Sometimes that trading makes suggestions as to how things will be around 10-11am ET when most mortgage lenders publish rates.

That overnight trading suggested a big drop in rates as late as 9am ET.  Things began to deteriorate after that, but not enough to prevent lenders from dropping the average mortgage rate just a bit.  Even after those improvements, this week’s rates are nowhere near last week’s (depending on one’s definition of “near” perhaps). 

Either way, this week’s rates are higher.  That runs counter to numerous news stories today.  At issue is the weekly Freddie Mac rate survey.  It’s a widely-cited source for mortgage rate movement, but unfortunately stale any time the market is experience day to day volatility (which is most of the time!).  Freddie’s last survey came out just before rates improved at the end of last week.  This week’s survey accurately captures THOSE (Thu/Fri) improvements, but fails to capture the rate spike seen at the beginning of the new week.  

Long story short, and to reiterate.  Today’s rates are slightly lower than yesterday’s, but definitely higher than last week’s.  The average lender is still quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates well over 4%.

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