Our Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates (1/12/2011)

January 13th, 2011 2:57 PM by Lehel S.

Wednesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory again following early stock strength. The Dow is currently up 75 points while the Nasdaq has gained 12 points. The bond market is currently down 16/32, but we will still likely see a small improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates due to strength late yesterday.

There was no relevant economic data posted this morning, but we will get Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report at 2:00 PM ET today. This report, which is named simply after the color of its cover, details economic conditions throughout the U.S. by region. Since the Fed relies heavily on it during their FOMC meetings, its results can have a fairly big impact on the financial markets and mortgage rates if it reveals any surprises, particularly regarding inflation, unemployment or future hiring. However, it is common for this release to have no impact on the markets or mortgage rates if nothing of importance is revealed.
< br />Today is also the first of two Treasury auctions that may influence mortgage rates. 10-year Notes are being sold today and 30-year Bonds tomorrow. Today’s sale is the more important of the two as it will give us a better indication for demand of mortgage-related securities. If the sales are met with a strong demand from investors, we should see the bond market move higher during afternoon hours. But a lackluster interest from buyers, particularly international investors, would indicate a waning appetite for longer-term U.S. securities and lead to broader bond selling. The selling in bonds would result in upward revisions to mortgage rates.

Tomorrow has two monthly pieces of data scheduled, with one being much more important to the markets than the other. That would be the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI) at 8:30 AM ET. The PPI is important to the markets and mortgage rates because it measures inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. Analysts are expecting to see a 0.8% increase in the overall reading and a 0.2% increase in the more important core data reading that excludes volatile food and energy prices. A larger than expected increase in the core reading could mean higher mortgage rates tomorrow since inflation is the number one nemesis of the bond market. It erodes the value of a bond’s future fixed interest payments, making them less attractive to investors. Accordingly, they are sold at a discount to offset the drop in value, which drives their yields higher. And since mortgage rates follow bond yields, this means higher rates for borrowers.

November’s Goods and Services Trade Balance is the second report of the day Thursday, but is the week’s least important data. It measures the size of the U.S. trade deficit and is expected to show a $41.0 billion deficit. This data usually does not directly affect mortgage rates, but it does influence the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies. A stronger dollar makes U.S. securities more attractive to international investors because they are worth more when sold and converted to the investor’s domestic currency. But unless we see a significant variance from forecasts, I don’t believe this data will lead to a change in mortgage rates tomorrow.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers. 
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Posted by Lehel S. on January 13th, 2011 2:57 PM

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