Momentum carried mortgage markets through a week of low trading volume and few economic releases. Rates were volatile, but ended the week unchanged overall.
Don’t let the word “unchanged” fool you, however.
From day-to-day last week, mortgage rates covered a huge range and it was only coincidence that Friday ended where Monday began.
And it’s the second week in a row that that happened.
Lately, mortgage rates have been highly sensitive to both inflation data and to the U.S. dollar. Lucky for rate shoppers, both were given a boost of support last week by high-profile Americans:
- Ben Bernanke said that inflation should moderate in 2009
- Warren Buffett said that he has no bets against the U.S. dollar
Comments from both of these men attracted buyers to the mortgage market, propping up prices and offsetting those that fled because of lingering trouble at Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac and skyrocketing wholesale prices.
But, for Americans in need of a home loan, know this: As long as there is uncertainty about the U.S. economy, mortgage rate volatility will continue.
And, this week, volatility will get an extra boost because of Labor Day.
Starting mid-day Thursday, trading volume will start to thin and will lead to larger-than-normal movements in mortgage bond pricing. This should cause fits for mortgage rate shoppers because rates will jump heading into weekend.
If you’re currently comparing lenders, consider getting your rate locked in early in the week instead.