Mortgage Rates have risen modestly over the past few days with the average lender now offering the highest rates in roughly 2 weeks. The ground covered during that time is fairly underwhelming unless you make a habit of examining day-to-day rate movement under a microscope. In many cases, a prospective mortgage borrower would be seeing the same “note rate” on a mortgage quote throughout that 2 week period.
Why am I telling you that rates have moved then? Because “note rates” are only one side of the mortgage rate equation. The upfront costs (or credits) determine the other side. An increase in upfront lender costs (or a decrease in lender credit) is the same thing as a higher interest rate. That upfront side of the equation allows for smaller adjustments. Consecutive days with similar adjustments eventually add up to note rates bumping up or down by 0.125% (the typical interval between mortgage rate offerings).
Tomorrow brings the possibility of more volatility in the bond market and thus a slightly bigger change in mortgage rates than we’ve seen in the past few days. At 8:30am, the Labor Department releases the official jobs report for December. The market hasn’t been as keen as normal to react to economic data, but the jobs report has more power to change traders’ minds than any of the other scheduled monthly economic data. A much stronger reading would likely put upward pressure on rates whereas a big miss would help rates maintain their recent range just above record lows.