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Mortgage Rates Friday, Feb. 10: Turning Higher; Lock or Float Your Rate?

Feb. 10, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year and 15-year fixed rates, as well as 5/1 ARM rates, are all nominally higher today, according to a NerdWallet survey of current mortgage rates published by national lenders Friday morning.

Though subtle, the downturn in the bond markets Thursday was enough to cause some analysts to recommend that borrowers take the risk of rising rates out of their near-term plans. They advise locking in a mortgage rate rather than continuing to let rates “float” in hopes of securing an even lower one.

Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, Feb. 10

(Change from 2/9)
30-year fixed: 4.36% APR (+0.04)
15-year fixed: 3.71% APR (+0.02)
5/1 ARM: 3.83% APR (+0.02)

Mortgage rate analysts go into full lockdown mode

There has been little news or economic reports issued recently significant enough to move them, and yet mortgage rates have slowly sagged to three-week lows. But a sudden weakness in the bond market yesterday was enough for some mortgage rate analysts to go into full lockdown mode.

Al Bowman, with Mortgage Commentary Services in Tampa, Florida, issued an advisory to clients Thursday suggesting borrowers lock in their mortgage rates on loans that would close anytime from within seven days to 60 days out or more.

“I think it was time to shift to a more conservative stance on locking or floating a rate,” Bowman tells NerdWallet via email. “The Dow broke 20,000 and seems able to hold it for the time being. In the meantime, mortgage-related bonds had made a nice move higher, pushing yields and mortgage rates lower. In my opinion, both cannot continue in the short term.”

>> MORE: Calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Though he doesn’t expect rates to spike higher, Bowman says floating a rate doesn’t justify the risk right now.

“There is little possibility of seeing a noticeable drop in rates in the immediate future, while there is a decent chance of seeing them move higher from current levels,” Bowman adds.

However, he notes that there is semiannual Federal Reserve congressional testimony scheduled for next week.

“Fed Chair Janet Yellen can rewrite everyone’s theories and predictions with just a few sentences,” Bowman says.

Ted Rood, a senior loan officer in St. Louis, told Mortgage News Daily he’s also advising clients to take a cautious approach.

“There’s still no apparent long-term trend here, and any short-term trends seem to last a few days at most,” Rood said in an analysis posted late Thursday. “In situations like this, I tell borrowers if they’re happy with current pricing, might as well lock and take uncertainty out of the equation, presuming they’re within 30 days of closing.”

Of course, borrowers should confer with a mortgage professional to determine the right strategy for their individual needs.

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @halmbundrick.