Our Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates (1/14/2011)

January 16th, 2011 10:10 AM by Lehel S.

Friday’s bond market has opened in positive territory after this morning’s economic data gave us mixed results. The stock markets are showing minor gains with the Dow up 12 points and the Nasdaq up 5 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32, which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .250 - .375 of a discount point over yesterday’s morning rates.

The first of this morning’s four economic releases was December’s Retail Sales data. It revealed a 0.6% increase in sales at the retail level of the economy last month. This is a moderate increase, which is not necessarily good news for the bond market because it means that consumers are spending. However, it was a slightly smaller increase than many had thought, making this somewhat of a favorable report for mortgage rates.

The second key report of the day was December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Labor Department reported a 0.5% increase in the overall reading and a 0.1% rise in the core data. The core data is the more important reading because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices, giving us a more stable reading of inflation at the producer level of the economy. Therefore, this data can be considered neutral to slightly negative for mortgage rates.

December’s Industrial Production report was released mid-morning. It showed 0.8% increase in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. This was well above forecasts, meaning that the manufacturing sector may have been stronger last month than many had thought. Since a weak manufacturing sector makes a broader economic recovery less likely, the results of this report were negative for rates.

The fourth and final report of the day was January’s preliminary reading to the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment. They announced a reading of 72.5, falling well short of expectations. This is definitely good news for bonds and long-term securities such as mortgage related bonds because falling consumer confidence usually means that consumers are less likely to make a large purchase in the near future. That translates into less fuel for economic growth, making bonds more attractive to investors.

Next week has only a couple of relevant economic reports scheduled and they come the latter part of the week. The stock and bond markets will be closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. They will not close early today, but we may see trading thin out as market participants head home for the long holiday. However, I don’t suspect this will affect mortgage rates later today. Look for more details on next week’s events in Sunday’s weekly preview.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Float if my closing was taking pla ce 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 16th, 2011 10:10 AM



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