In the past two weeks, we have seen a large upward spike in mortgage rates and a corresponding downward correction. If you have followed our column, you know that the upward spike came after a prolonged run of stock gains and positive U.S. economic news, especially on the employment front. With the horizon relatively settled, investors turned to higher-risk stocks rather than bonds, and when money leaves the bond market, mortgage rates tend to rise.
The calm horizon was unsettled by more European debt issues. As we wrote about last week, Cyprus needs a bailout, and as part of the plan, the country will be levying a tax on bank accounts above a minimum amount. European debt drama has spooked markets over the past several years, and pushed investors into the safety of the U.S. bond market – a move that results in downward pressure on mortgage rates.
To begin this week, rates are relatively unchanged after last week’s 1/2 point drop. We have revised the 15-year fixed rate up to 2.500 percent (2.667 percent APR) after an 1/8 point rise in cost. The FHA Manufactured rate was revised downward about 3/8 of a point in rate. Otherwise, the 30-year fixed, VA, USDA, and FHA mortgage rates were all unchanged. See the complete list of March 25 rates HERE.
Last week, it was announced that jobless claims reached a recovery-low level. The Federal Reserve announced its continued commitment to stimulus measures known as quantitative easing (as expected). Moving forward, this will be a busy week for economic statistics and indicators, which could have some effect on the market – and mortgage rates. Check in with the Central Coast Lending Newsroom for updates on the top real estate, mortgage, and economic news throughout the week:
- Durable Goods Orders – March 26
- New Home Sales – March 26
- Consumer Confidence – March 26
- S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index – March 26
- Mortgage Applications – March 27
- Pending Home Sales Index – March 27
- GDP Report – March 28
- Weekly Jobless Claims – March 28