Rate Update

Rates costs got a bit worse as the week wore on, and by Friday, February 17, we saw about a quarter (0.25) price decline across the board. The pricing might have been affected by a few of the strong economic numbers that came out last Thursday, as money moved out of bonds and back into stocks. In this case, concern about European (Greek) debt took a back seat to optimism about the U.S. economy.  At the time of this writing on Friday at noon, the Dow had edged up about nearly 50 points to 12,952.56.

January housing starts exceeded expectations and improved 1.5 percent from December. The 699,000 unit pace marked a 9.9 percent jump year-over-year from January 2011.

Yet again, weekly jobless claims dropped. For the week ending February 11, initial claims decreased by 13,000 to 348,000 overall. The four-week average fell for the 10th time in 11 weeks to 367,000.

With the cost increase, we are highlighting the 3.5 percent rate for the 30-year fixed (3.602 percent APR) and the 3.0 percent rate for the 15-year fixed (3.239 percent APR).

Lastly, we just want to highlight a great piece written by Central Coast Lending loan officer Jason VanDyke about refinance. We writes about the somewhat surprising notion that at times it can be better NOT to take the lowest available interest rate. Make sure that when you are shopping for a loan officer, they are putting together a plan customized to your individual situation and needs.