Mortgage And Refinance Rates, June 2 | Rates steady-ish today

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates rose sharply again yesterday. And you now have to go back to May 9 to find higher average rates. In other words, all the gains from falling rates over the past three weeks have been lost.

It’s possible we might catch a break this morning as mortgage rates today look likely to hold steady or fall a little. That follows a report that US job growth is slowing. But that might yet be undermined by a later announcement from petroleum-producing countries that they may be prepared to take up the slack as sanctions slash Russia’s oil production.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

Don't lock on a day when mortgage rates look set to fall. My recommendations (below) are intended to give longer-term suggestions about the overall direction of those rates. So, they don’t change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.

Sharp rises on Monday and Tuesday have certainly been sobering. But they may prove as short-lived as the previous three weeks’ falls.

All we really know now is that markets are volatile. At some point, they may move more decisively — either up or down. I suspect they’re more likely to move higher when a trend is reestablished. But that’s far from certain.

Still, because I’m cautious, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term remain:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • LOCK if closing in 45 days
  • LOCK if closing in 60 days
  • >Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate

    Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates

    Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes climbed to 2.93% from 2.85%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mostly modestly lower soon after opening. (Good for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices fell to $116.10 from $117.31 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices increased to $1,869 from $1,844 an ounce. (Good for mortgage rates*.) It is generally better for rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index — edged down to 25 from 27 out of 100. (Good for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones
  • *A movement of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a change of 1% or less. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

    Caveats about markets and rates

    Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won’t achieve its former high levels until things settle down.

    So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, mortgage rates today might edge lower or remain unchanged. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

    Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

    Here are some things you need to know:

    A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.

    Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

    Yesterday evening, CNBC published a story:

    The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield climbed Wednesday on the first day of June, with investors focused on rising inflation and interest rate hikes.

    There’s every reason to believe that day’s rise in mortgage rates was driven by the same focus.

    As I explained in more detail yesterday, markets are struggling to work out whether they’ve adequately priced into bond markets the looming effects of inflation and the Federal Reserve’s coming anti-inflationary actions, including interest rate rises. They were reasonably confident they had over the last two or three weeks of May — except the month’s last day. And that’s why mortgage rates fell over that time. But they appear to be having second thoughts as June dawns.

    One type of bond, the mortgage-backed security (MBS), largely determines mortgage rates. So, bond investors’ fears that they’ve underestimated what’s to come are directly affecting those rates.

    Personally, I suspect those investors’ fears are correct. But neither they nor I can be sure. What I can say is that we should expect more volatility while they make up their minds.

    Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.

    Recent trends

    Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

    The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

    Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they’ve been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022.

    Freddie’s May 26 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.1% (with 0.9 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 5.25%.

    Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.9 fees and points”) on closing that earn you a lower rate. If you don’t do that, your rate would be closer to the ones we and others quote.

    Expert mortgage rate forecasts

    Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

    And here are their current rate forecasts for the remaining three quarters of 2022 (Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first quarter of next year (Q1/23).

    The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on May 19, and the MBA’s on May 16. Freddie’s were released on Apr. 18. But it now updates its figures only quarterly so they’re already looking stale.

    Fannie Mae5.1%5.1% 5.1%5.1%
    Freddie Mac4.8%4.8% 5.0%5.0%
    MBA5.2%5.1% 5.0%5.0%

    Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual.

    Find your lowest rate today

    You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

    “Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”

    Mortgage rate methodology

    The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.

    Mortgage And Refinance Rates, June 2 | Rates steady-ish today