Mortgage markets worsened last week on a mixed bag of economic data. Inflation data came in soft, but so did the start of the holiday shopping season.
For the first time in a month, mortgage rates worsened last week, adding roughly 0.125 percent on conforming fixed-rate products, and a little bit more on ARMs.
Despite rates worsening, there was still some good news for home buyers and would-be refinancers. Mortgage rate volatility was markedly lower than in recent weeks. You could shop for mortgage rate last week and actually take your time about it.
This is in stark contrast to the last month or so over which mortgage rates changed every few hours, on average.
This week, though, because a heavy data calendar is combining with a holiday-shortened trading week, rates aren’t likely to stay as tame.
- Monday: Existing Home Sales
- Tuesday: Consumer Confidence, Home Price Index, Fed Minutes
- Wednesday: New Home Sales, Personal Income and Outlays
Each of these data points are market-movers by themselves. In tandem, however, they could really shake things up. Then, at the tail end of the week, markets will react to Black Friday.
If stores look full Friday and initial receipts appear high, stock markets should rise at the expense of bonds, leading mortgage rates higher.
Additionally, expect that mortgage rate changes will be amplified because of low trading volume. This could work in your favor, or out of your favor — depending on the market direction.
With mortgage rates at such low levels and unlikely to fall much further, locking a rate is advisable. If you choose to float, though, keep your loan officer on speed dial because when rates do rise, they’re going to rise quickly.