Mortgage markets improved last week on the heels of benign economic data and a non-inspired press release from the Federal Reserve.
Aside from trader momentum, 3 market-moving events helped set the pace last week:
- Housing data hinted at strength
- Jobless data showed softness
- The Fed said growth appears on-track
The combination of the three created volatility that — for just the second time in the last 8 weeks — worked in favor of rate shoppers.
Mortgage rates changed a lot last week, but they trended lower overall.
Already, however, markets are looking ahead to this week’s holiday-shortened trading sessions. There is a ton of data to be released and as the week progresses, the ever-falling market volume could create some wide swings in mortgage rates.
The mystery is whether rates will be getting better or worse.
On Tuesday, markets will get Consumer Confidence and Case-Shiller Index data at 9:00 AM ET. The Case-Shiller Index is a home price measurement and it always gets a lot of press. Strength in either number should lead mortgage rates higher. Weakness should help rates ease.
Then, on Wednesday, Crude Inventories should take the spotlight. Normally, we don’t watch this data point too closely but with gas prices easing last week, rising oil supplies could mean even lower gas prices ahead. This is anti-inflation and a good sign for mortgage rates.
And lastly, on Thursday, the government releases June’s jobs report. This report is always a market-mover — good or bad. And with trading volume low by Thursday, mortgage rates should move more than “normal”.
Be ready to lock at a moment’s notice this week. Mortgage rates continue to be volatile and the holiday-shortened week won’t do anything to counter that. If you’re the nervous type, when you see a rate that fits your budget, consider locking it in.