‘Doldrums’ lead to flat mortgage rates

Below is an excerpt from of our latest Market Trends newsletter, Keith Gumbinger’s weekly examination of the economic conditions that influenced mortgage rates. Sign up to receive the Market Trends in your inbox Friday evening.

Mortgage and down paymentWith only a light calendar of new information to work from last week, mortgage markets had what might be considered the first week of “doldrums” this summer.

There were few new clues as to whether the economy is moving closer to escaping the present pattern of modest growth, and nothing to suggest that the Fed is more or less committed to trimming QE supports after the close of the next FOMC meeting in September.

This still seems a likely starting point to us, but coming data will likely provide much greater clarity in that regard.

For now, mortgage rates remain nearer to multi-year highs than not.

Mortgage rates flat last week

The last few weeks all have featured little move in rates at all:

  • The overall average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (conforming, non-conforming and jumbos) slipped by single basis point (0.01 percent) to 4.58 percent.
  • The overall average interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages (conforming, non-conforming and jumbos) eased by two basis points (0.02 percent), landing at 3.66 percent for the week ending August 9.
  • FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages shed a lone basis point, wandering back to 4.22 percent.
  • The overall 5/1 Hybrid ARM failed to move at all, holding steady at 3.32 percent.

Will mortgage rates rise this week?

There are a few additional bits of valuable data out this week, including Retail Sales, measures of Consumer and Producer Prices, worker productivity estimates and a couple of regional views on manufacturing.

However, we’ll be most closely evaluating the latest report from the National Association of Homebuilders, to see is there has been a diminishment of enthusiasm, and also whether June’s fall off in housing starts and building permits was a one-month blip or something more.

At the moment, odds favor that mortgage rates won’t move by very much this week, when we could wobble a few basis points up or down by the time Friday rolls around.

HSH Associates Financial News Blog

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