Mortgage Rates Almost Perfectly Unchanged This Week
Mortgage rates were almost perfectly unchanged today. That leaves them right in line with last Friday's levels. I devoted a considerable number of words in yesterday's article to explaining why most other articles about mortgage rates were inaccurate yesterday. Suffice it to say that the absence of change compared to last Friday fully drives home the point I was making. In short, due to the primary source data that most news organizations use for their big mortgage story each week, the average article proclaimed a nice drop in rates. In actuality, that drop happened at the end of last week. From there, rates have barely budged. These rates aren't the worst we've seen and they're not the best. They're pretty comparable to most of the past few months. You'd have to go back to May 2018 to seeMortgage Rate Misinformation Run Amok!
Be careful what you read--or perhaps, who you trust--about mortgage rates today. There's a lot of misinformation out there. Don't be mad. No one is out to get you. No one is out to intentionally deceive you (at least not when it comes to today's mortgage rate news. Rather, the misinformation is a byproduct of a few unfortunate realities that we contend with on a regular basis. The first reality is that Freddie Mac's weekly rate survey is widely relied upon by media outlets. There's nothing wrong with Freddie's data as long as you understand what you're getting. It is a stale, loosely accurate report of what a few lenders are offering on a few days of any given week. Over time (preferably, a LONG time), it does a nearly perfect job of capturing the ups and down in mortgage rates. The problemMortgage Rates Edge Higher Ahead of Retail Sales Data
Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher today, depending on the lender. With the exception of the past two days, this leaves us at the best levels in more than 3 weeks. In general, that move was made possible by financial drama in Turkey, but caveats abound. It's taken a massive amount of pain in Turkish markets/currency to result in a fairly modest move for US interest rates in the bigger picture. Moreover, US rates continue paying attention to multiple sources of inspiration. Turkey was just one among many in that regard, and even then, only when Turkish market movement was its most extreme. More so than yesterday, today brought some hope that the worst is over for Turkey. While that's good for Turkey, it's not good for rates in the US, all other things being equal. That said, itMortgage Rates Hold Steady at 3-Week Lows
Mortgage rates stayed steady at the lowest levels in more than 3 weeks as financial markets are still accounting for additional risks relating to Turkey. Simply put, Turkey is in the midst of a debt/currency/banking crisis and investors are worried about some sort of domino effect among banks that are heavily invested in Turkish banks. All this is worth a bit of "safe-haven" demand for US Treasuries, which offer essentially risk-free returns and a liquid place to park money temporarily. When investors buy more bonds--all other things being equal--it causes bond prices to rise . When bond prices rise, investors are technically willing to accept lower interest payments, and it's that part of the equation that speaks to lower interest rates on US Treasuries and mortgage rates. Bottom line: dramaMortgage Rates Noticeably Lower on Global Market Drama
Mortgage rates , and indeed most interest rates, are tied to movement in the bond market. In turn, bonds tend to benefit when big, scary stuff is shaking global economic confidence. In today's case, the debt crisis in Turkey did just that. Investors sought safe haven in bonds, and rates moved to the lowest levels since July 20th. Lest you think that Turkey is a constant arrow in the quiver of potential market movers for rates, understand that things have had to get pretty bad for US markets to unequivocally respond. This has been a festering for several days (even months, depending upon how nervous or clairvoyant you might be by nature). Today was really the first day that where there's no doubt that Turkey is in the drivers' seat for global financial markets. See how weird that sounded? You