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Mortgage Rates Jan. 26: Higher Still; What Dow 20,000 Means for Mortgages

Jan. 26, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed and 15-year fixed rates were slightly higher, while 5/1 ARM rates stood firm Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

Mortgage Rates Today,
Thursday, Jan. 26

(Change from 1/25)
30-year fixed: 4.46% APR (+0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.85% APR (+0.02)
5/1 ARM: 3.85% APR (NC)

What does Dow 20,000 mean for mortgage rates?

The stock market and mortgage rates don’t dance in “La La Land” unison. If only they were that perfectly choreographed. However, they do hear the same music — but just choose to make their own moves on occasion.

Mortgage rates are guided by the bond market and demand for mortgage-backed securities, particularly in the short term. The 10-year Treasury often trends with mortgage rates.

>> MORE: Calculate your refinance savings

And again, particularly in the short term, stocks and bonds move in different directions. When stocks move higher, bonds generally sink lower. Lower prices on bonds result in higher yields, and those higher yields push mortgage rates up as well.

Sure, it sounds confusing and perhaps a bit counterintuitive. In reality, it’s even more complicated. But for general purposes, that’s how stocks, bonds and mortgage rates interact.

With the Dow closing above 20,000 for the first time ever, what’s that mean for mortgage rates?

“With stocks rallying through the 20,000 level, bonds are taking it on the chin, and mortgage rates are moving higher,” Hugh W. Page, a mortgage loan officer with Seacoast Bank in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, told Mortgage News Daily. “No sense playing any [interest rate] float games in this environment. So, if you’re in a position to lock in your interest rate, by all means I think you should do so.”

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.