Mortgage markets improved last week to the delight of rate shoppers.
Against a sparse economic calendar, Wall Street turned its attention to geopolitics in Greece and the Eurozone. It didn’t like what it saw. Safe haven buying buoyed mortgage bond markets last week as pricing recaptured two-thirds of its monumental losses from the week prior.
Despite last week’s surge, however, conforming and FHA mortgage rates remain near their worst levels of the year and appear poised to increase throughout the summer months.
The U.S. economy is improving. From last week:
- Pending Home Sales posted a strong monthly improvement
- Wholesale Trade data pointed to higher consumer spending ahead
- Inflationary threats on the economy are receding, according to the Fed
Furthermore, continuing jobless claims were down again.
Good news for the economy is generally bad news for mortgage rates. Last week, that wasn’t the case because of Wall Street’s want for “safe” assets right now. This includes mortgage bonds and is helping to keep consumer rates low. When the safe haven buying eases, rates should climb.
Meanwhile, this week, the calendar is back-heavy.
There’s no real data until Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index, and then there’s a flurry of new releases through Friday’s market close including Retail Sales, Consumer Confidence and Housing Starts.
Strength in these issues should push mortgage rates back up.
If you’re floating or shopping a loan right now, be wary of market volatility. Rates have been jumpy since April 1 and mortgage rates are changing quickly. This week, locking in before Wednesday may be your safest, near-term rate locking strategy.