By The Time You Read About Low Mortgage Rates, It Was Already Too Late To Get Them

Thursday morning, homeowners in different parts of the country awoke to find similar-sounding newspaper headlines:

  • Rates on 30-year mortgages sink to 4.78%, a new low (LA Times)
  • Mortgage rates at record low for 2nd week (Miami Herald)
  • Mortgages hit another record low (San Francisco)

The underlying story was that Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the lowest, average 30-year fixed rate mortgage in its 38-year, rate-tracking history.

Once again, however, the headlines came too late for homeowners.

Prior to Thursday’s market open, mortgage markets had already worsened from their record-setting levels.  Slowly at first, and then with momentum.  The shift pressured rates higher so that when lenders issued their Thursday morning rate sheets, most showed an 1/8 increase from Wednesday’s close.

The negative momentum carried into the afternoon, too, forcing a second increase of an 1/8 percent.

The Freddie Mac survey may have been accurate when the sun came up Thursday, but by the time the sun went down, it wasn’t even close.  It’s why you can’t do your rate shopping by watching newspaper headlines.  Mortgage markets are volatile and rates often change without notice. 

Thursday, they did it twice.