Rate Lock Advisory

Tuesday, March 20th

Tuesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory, erasing gains from late yesterday. Stocks are rebounding from yesterday’s 335-point drop in the Dow, pushing it higher by 101 points so far while the Nasdaq is up 17 points. The bond market is currently down 6/32 (2.87%), which should keep this morning’s mortgage rates very close to yesterday’s morning pricing. As stocks dropped late yesterday, bonds improved and many lenders revised rates lower. If your lender did improve pricing before the end of the day, you should see an increase in this morning’s rate by the same amount.



30 yr - 2.87%







Mortgage Rate Trend

Trailing 90 Days - National Average

  • 30 Year Fixed
  • 15 Year Fixed
  • 5/1 ARM

Indexes Affecting Rate Lock



Existing Home Sales from National Assoc of Realtors

There is no relevant economic data set for release today. The first report of the week will come at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow when February's Existing Home Sales report is posted by the National Association of Realtors. It will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand. It is expected to reveal an increase in home resales, meaning the housing sector strengthened last month. Ideally, bond traders would prefer to see a large decline in sales, pointing towards a rapidly weakening housing sector. Bad news would be a sizable increase in sales, indicating that the housing sector is gaining momentum. That could be troublesome for the bond market and mortgage rates because housing strength makes broader economic growth more likely.



Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Statement

Tomorrow also has a couple Fed events scheduled that are very important to the financial and mortgage markets. They start with the adjournment of the two-day FOMC meeting that begins today. There is a pretty wide consensus that new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and friends will raise key short-term rates by a quarter point at this meeting. Since the move won’t come as much of a surprise if they do act, market participants will be focused on the Fed’s timetable for future rate hikes. The markets are currently expecting them to make three bumps this year, including this week’s. If the post-meeting statement gives any hints of a fourth rate hike this year, expect the bond market to react negatively and mortgage rates to spike higher.



Misc Fed

The FOMC meeting will adjourn at 2:00 PM ET, which is when the statement will be released. That is also when we will get the Fed's updated economic projections. Those events will be followed by a press conference by Chairman Powell at 2:30 PM, his first as head of the Fed. There is a high probability of seeing an active afternoon in the financial and mortgage markets tomorrow.

Float / Lock Recommendation

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.