THE BASIS POINT

Mortgage Rates: Week Ended March 22

It was a volatile week, but rates ended even as MBS markets digested two offsetting doses of macro uncertainty.

Rates fell early- and late-week as a banking crisis in Cyprus rekindled fears of eurozone debt contagion and fueled mortgage bond (MBS) rallies. But rates rose sharply mid-week as MBS sold on concern the Fed won’t maintain it’s agressive pace of MBS buying (aka quantitative easing).

The former may outweigh the latter early next week, which would mean good rate locking opportunities for home shoppers who get into contract in the coming days, and for refinance shoppers who have provided enough documentation to be properly pre-approved by their lenders.

Links below to my daily commentary with the MortgageNewsDaily MBS team (which is more action oriented for rate shoppers each day), and Barry Ritholtz’s quick list of last week’s good and bad U.S. economic events/data.

CONFORMING RATES ($200,000 to $417,000) 0 POINT:
30 Year: 3.625% (3.745% APR)
FHA 30 Year: 3.25% (3.37% APR)
5/1 ARM: 2.5% (2.62% APR)

SUPER-CONFORMING RATES ($417,001 to $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINT:
30 Year: 3.75% (3.87% APR)
FHA 30 Year: 3.375% (3.495% APR)
5/1 ARM: 2.75% (2.87% APR)

JUMBO RATES ($625,501 to $2,00,000) 1 POINT:
30 Year: 3.5% (3.62% APR)
10/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.245% APR)
5/1 ARM: 2.5% (2.62% APR)

Lower or higher rates apply to specific borrower and property profiles. Lower or higher rates available using tax deductible points or zero-cost transactions. These rates assume full doc pricing on Single Family Home purchase loans for borrower with 740 FICO score or greater, at least 20% equity (unless FHA), and 6-12 months reserves left over after close (retirement assets counted at 60% of value for reserves). ARM rates adjust the first month after initial fixed period shown, and once per year thereafter until year 30. Adjusted rate calculated by adding 2.25% margin to 1yr LIBOR index at time of adjustment. At first adjustment LIBOR+margin cannot exceed start rate+5%, subsequent yearly adjustments can never be greater than 2% per year, total of all adjustments for 30yr life of loan can never exceed start rate+5%. Jumbos shown as range since they’re less market sensitive and change randomly based on lender pricing competition. Rates based on loan amount ranges shown and rates available at the time of production. Rates aren’t a loan commitment nor a loan guarantee, and are subject to change without notice.

*Conventional Super-Conforming cap = $625,500. FHA Super-Conforming cap = $729,750.
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Reference:
Mortgage Rates Stay Flat Despite Market Volatility (MortgageNewsDaily)

Succinct Summation Of The Week’s Events (Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture)

$MBB, $TLT