Mortgage markets were flat last week overall, although mortgage rates were somewhat volatile from day-to-day.
For rate shoppers, the best pricing was available Monday morning and Friday afternoon — everything in between was slightly elevated.
It’s the second consecutive week in which rates finished unchanged.
There was a string of good news last week about the economy, led by housing. New Home Sales, Existing Home Sales, and the Case-Shiller Index all surprised to the high-side and consumer confidence numbers came in higher-than-expected, too.
In prior weeks, strong data like this would have caused mortgage rates to rise. Last week, however, it didn’t. Mostly because foreign demand for mortgage-backed bonds has remained strong.
This week, there’s only one major data release and its timing may prove to be problematic.
Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the August Non-Farm Payrolls report. With housing’s rebound seemingly underway, the jobs report takes on added significance. Joblessness can undermine consumer confidence and spending and cause harm to the recovering U.S. economy.
This is one reason why rate shoppers should be cautious toward the end of the week — the jobs report will move markets. The other reason to be cautious is because Friday is the day before Labor Day and Wall Street will be short-staffed.
Fewer traders means more volatility — if rates start to pop, they’ll really pop.