One might be that investors are responding to recent developments in Europe, where the stronger members of the euro zone are at work hammering out the latest effort to shore up the balance sheets of the weaker ones. The outgoing president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, reminded the world, and the Americans in particular, over the weekend that the euro remains one of the world's strongest global currencies and that the continental currency union has succeeded in promoting economic growth despite the initial skepticism of many American economists.
Another may be moves on the part of lenders to reduce the torrent of applications for mortgages, especially refinancings, that has swamped shrunken back-office staffs. As Bankrate.com has reported on several occasions during the current mortgage rate swoon, many lenders have kept rates higher than they could be in order to lower the incoming tide of applications.
A third may simply be "It's time." For several weeks, lenders surveyed by Bankrate have indicated that they see mortgage rates as at or near a bottom and ripe for an upward correction. That correction keeps failing to occur. But with 30-year fixed mortgage rates now below 4% on average on one of the most widely cited national weekly surveys, more lenders may be coming into line with that view.
Today's mortgage rates sharply higher on overnight surveys
The sharp jumps for both the day and the week in today's average mortgage rates on the national overnight surveys indicate that some sort of psychological change is occurring in the market, regardless what explanation one chooses.
This morning's average mortgage rates on the Bankrate.com overnight survey, with changes from yesterday and one week ago, are: 30-year fixed, 4.12% (+8 points, +9 points); 15-year fixed, 3.45% (+7 points, +10 points); 5-year ARM, 3.07% (+5 points, +7 points); 30-year fixed refinance loan, 4.23% (+8 points, +10 points).
Yesterday's average afternoon mortgage rates on the Zillow.com National Mortgage Marketplace, with changes from Thursday and Oct. 4, are: 30-year fixed, 3.98% (+14 points, +19 points); 15-year fixed, 3.36% (+14 points, +18 points); 5-year ARM, 2.97% (+24 points, +25 points). Today's real-time rates as of 8 a.m., with changes from yesterday morning and afternoon, are: 30-year fixed, 3.95% (+8 points, -3 points); 15-year fixed, 3.37% (+13 points, +1 point); 5-year ARM, 2.97% (+11 points, unchanged).
One basis point equals one hundredth of a percentage point. Rates reported in this article assume good credit (FICO score of 650 or higher) and a 20% down payment. Morning rates from Zillow.com are for loans for the most creditworthy borrowers (FICO score of 720 or higher).