Mortgage markets worsened last week in see-saw trading. By the time Friday’s market closed, mortgage rates were higher across the board — ARMs, fixed rates, FHA and conventional.
The biggest stories of last week were actually non-stories.
First, the ash cloud from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano dissipated, allowing warehouses to move inventory, airlines to move people, and businesses to move product. In addition, Greece moved closer to securing emergency funding that will help it stave off default.
When these two issues were threats earlier in the month, mortgage bonds rallied on safe haven buying, driving rates down. As the threats lessened over the course of last week, however, mortgage bonds sold off and mortgage rates rose.
By contrast, this week features lots of stories. Economic data will be at the forefront, as will the Federal Reserve which meets for one of its 8 scheduled meetings of the year.
- Monday : Greece is expected to announce an aid package
- Tuesday : Case-Shiller Index reports on home values from February
- Wednesday : Fed adjourns from its 2-day meeting
- Thursday : Initial Unemployment Claims are released
- Friday : GDP and consumer confidence numbers are released
Furthermore, Wall Street will have its eye on the Senate’s questioning of key Goldman Sachs employees in the wake of the SEC’s fraud charge.
In general, news that’s “good” for the U.S. economy will be bad for mortgage rates, and vice verse. And with mortgage rates changing as quickly as they have been, rates could really rise in a hurry.
The best defense against rising mortgage rates is to execute a rate lock. If you’re nervous about rates moving higher, call your loan officer and execute your rate lock today.