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Mortgage rates (3/8/2009)

March 9th, 2009 1:14 PM by Lehel Szucs

week brings us the release of three economic releases for the bond and mortgage markets to digest along with 10-year Treasury Note and 30 year Bond auctions. All of the data will be posted the latter part of the week. Only one of the three reports is considered to be of high importance to the markets, but this does not mean that we can expect to see a quiet week in mortgage rates. We could very well see the most movement in rates the latter part of the week, but rates are likely to move several days this week.

The most important of the three reports will be posted Thursday morning when February's Retail Sales data is released. This report is extremely important to the financial markets because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, data that is related usually has a big impact on the financial markets. This month's report is expected to show a decline in sales of approximately 0.4%. If it reveals a larger decline in sales, the bond market should rise and mortgage rates will likely fall. If it reveals an increase, I expect to see bond prices fall and mortgage rates rise Thursday morning.

There will be two economic reports posted Friday morning. The first is the release of January's Goods and Services Trade Balance. This report gives us the size of the U.S. trade deficit. It is the week's least important piece of news and likely will not influence mortgage rates much.

Also on tap Friday is the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for March at 9:45 AM. This index gives us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. If confidence is rising, then consumers are more apt to make large purchases. This helps fuel consumer spending and economic growth. A drop in confidence will probably hurt the stock markets and boost bond prices, leading to lower mortgage rates. If the index rises, indicating that confidence is rising and spending w ill likely rise, we may see mortgage rates move higher late Friday morning. It is expected to show a reading of 56.3.

Overall, it will likely be another active week in the mortgage market. Thursday will probably be the most important day of the week with the Retail Sales report due. The 10-year Treasury Note auction is scheduled for Wednesday while the 30-year bond sale will be held Thursday. Results of both sales will be posted at 1:00 PM ET on the sale days. If investor demand was high, we may see bonds rally during afternoon trading, however, weak demand could lead to selling and an increase to mortgage rates. But I am expecting to see the most movement in rates the latter part of the week regardless of the auction results.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 an d 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.

©Mortgage Commentary 2009

Posted in:General
Posted by Lehel Szucs on March 9th, 2009 1:14 PM



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