What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : October 11, 2011

Unemployment Rate (2008-2011)Mortgage markets worsened last week as safe haven buying eased and demand for mortgage-backed bonds dropped. As in most weeks since March 2011, Greece and U.S. jobs dictated market direction.

Conforming mortgage rates in Ohio rose last week, lifting rates off their all-time lows and causing consternation among the nation’s would-be buyers and refinancers.

Last week’s action may surprise you. After all, Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey said average, 30-year fixed rate mortgages had dipped, dropping to 3.94% — the first time the average rate reported sub-4 percent.

A keen eye, however, revealed the another truth.

Yes, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage did go sub-4 percent, but, in order to get those rates, applicants were suddenly required to pay 0.8 “discount points”. This is an increase of 0.1 discount points from the week prior, a change in loan cost thatr reduces the benefit of falling mortgage rates.

1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

All of that is history now, however,. Rates climbed each day last week and are now at their pre-Labor Day levels. The Refi Boom may not be over, but it may be stalled.

This week, mortgage rates may continue to climb. There is talk within the Eurozone that Germany and France will come to Greece’s aid, and that a plan will be solidified prior to November 3. This would boost stock markets at the expense of bonds, leading to higher mortgage rates.

In addition, last week’s strong employment data has renewed speculation that the U.S. economy is, in fact, healthy so analysts are now watching for Friday’s Retail Sales data. 

Because consumer spending is an economic catalyst, if Retail Sales shows strength, mortgage rates should rise.

And, lastly, there is a 10-year Treasury auction Wednesday. Mortgage bonds don’t mirror the treasuries, but when demand is strong for treasuries, it’s often strong for mortgage-backed bonds, too. Therefore, a strong auction of government debt will help hold mortgage rates down.

A weak auction should lead rates higher.

A Mortgage Rate Strategy Ahead Of Friday's Jobs Report

Estimated NFP results September 2009

Mortgage rates are prepped to make big moves in the next 36 hours. Is it time for you to call in your rate lock?

Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Non-Farm Payrolls report for September. Issued monthly, the “jobs report” offers sector-by-sector job creation figures from the month prior, and reports on the national Unemployment Rate.

Last month, exactly zero net new jobs were created, the government said. This month, economists expect a net 60,000 new jobs created.

Depending on where the actual monthly figure falls, FHA and conforming mortgage rates may be volatile. The jobs reports tends to have out-sized influence on the mortgage bond market.

The connection between the jobs market and the mortgage market is fairly straight-forward. As jobs go, so goes the economy. This is because more working Americans leads to a stronger economic base.

  1. When more people work, consumer spending grows
  2. When more people work, governments collect more taxes
  3. When more people work, household savings increases

Each of these items are strengths to a recovering economy.

For rate shoppers, Friday’s job report could cause mortgage rates to rise — or fall. If the actual number of jobs created exceeded the 60,000 consensus estimate, look for mortgage rates to climb.

Conversely, if new jobs fell short of 60,000, expect that rates will drop.

Home affordability is at all-time highs because mortgage rates are at all-time lows. If you’re under contract for a home or looking to refinance, eliminate some of your interest rate risk. Lock ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

Get your rate lock in today.

A Mortgage Rate Strategy Ahead Of Friday’s Jobs Report

Estimated NFP results September 2009

Mortgage rates are prepped to make big moves in the next 36 hours. Is it time for you to call in your rate lock?

Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Non-Farm Payrolls report for September. Issued monthly, the “jobs report” offers sector-by-sector job creation figures from the month prior, and reports on the national Unemployment Rate.

Last month, exactly zero net new jobs were created, the government said. This month, economists expect a net 60,000 new jobs created.

Depending on where the actual monthly figure falls, FHA and conforming mortgage rates may be volatile. The jobs reports tends to have out-sized influence on the mortgage bond market.

The connection between the jobs market and the mortgage market is fairly straight-forward. As jobs go, so goes the economy. This is because more working Americans leads to a stronger economic base.

  1. When more people work, consumer spending grows
  2. When more people work, governments collect more taxes
  3. When more people work, household savings increases

Each of these items are strengths to a recovering economy.

For rate shoppers, Friday’s job report could cause mortgage rates to rise — or fall. If the actual number of jobs created exceeded the 60,000 consensus estimate, look for mortgage rates to climb.

Conversely, if new jobs fell short of 60,000, expect that rates will drop.

Home affordability is at all-time highs because mortgage rates are at all-time lows. If you’re under contract for a home or looking to refinance, eliminate some of your interest rate risk. Lock ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

Get your rate lock in today.

As Jobs Tally Fades, Mortgage Rates Fall

Net new jobs, rolling average

The U.S. economy is no longer adding new jobs.

Last Friday, in its monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy added exactly zero new jobs in August as the national Unemployment Rate held steady at 9.1 percent.

Despite the “zero” reading, the jobs figures were in the red. This is because the BLS issued revisions to its June and July figures that adjusted the two months of data down by 58,000 jobs.

Economists had expected a monthly reading of +75,000. Their estimates missed.

The weaker-than-expected jobs data fueled a stock market sell-off that pushed stocks down 2.5% and spurred a bond market rally. 

Mortgage bonds — the securities on which mortgage rates are based — improved Friday ahead of Labor Day Weekend, and carried that momentum into Monday. While the U.S. markets were closed, global investors snapped up “safe” assets in fear of a second wave of financial crises. Already this year, markets have grappled with sovereign debt concerns in Greece and Portugal.

Now, Italy is facing similar international scrutiny, forcing markets to question the health of the Eurozone.

Concerns like these tend to benefit home buyers and mortgage rate shoppers and that’s exactly what we’re seeing.

Mortgage rates are falling this week. Rates may reverse quickly, however.

Later this month, the Federal Reserve and White House are each expected to add stimulus to the U.S. economy. If they do, it may push investors back into risky assets including equities at the expense of safe securities. This would spark a bond market sell-off and send rates higher.

Possibly by a lot.

Therefore, if you’re currently looking for home or comparing rates between lenders, consider executing sooner rather than later. Mortgage rates are low today, but low rates may not last. And when rates reverse higher, it will likely happen fast.

With The Jobs Report Looming, Mortgage Rates May Rise

Non-Farm Payrolls (Sep 2009 - est. Aug 2011)

If you’re shopping for a mortgage rate, today may be a good day to lock one down. That’s because Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its Non-Farm Payrolls report for August 2011.

The “jobs report” tends to have a big influence on mortgage bonds and mortgage rates.

The jobs report is a monthly issuance, providing sector-by-sector analysis of the U.S. workforce. It also report the national Unemployment Rate.

Wall Street expects the August Non-Farm Payrolls data to show 75,000 jobs created in August, down from 117,000 in July; and it expects that the Unemployment Rate will remain unchanged at 9.1%.

The jobs report’s connection to mortgage markets is straight-forward — as jobs go, so goes the economy. This is because when the number of working Americans rises :

  1. Consumer spending gets a boost
  2. Government tax collection gets a boost
  3. Household savings gets a boost

These are each good turns in a recovering economy.

For today’s rate shoppers and home buyers, though, it won’t be the actual number of jobs created that matter as much as how close that jobs figure is to Wall Street’s expectations. If the number of jobs created exceeds the 75,000 estimate, look for mortgage rates to rise.

Conversely, if job creation falls short of 75,000 in August, mortgage rates are expected to rise.

Home affordability remains at all-time lows and mortgage rates do, too. If you’ve been wondering whether now is the right time to lock a rate, you can remove some risk by locking ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

The report will be released at 8:30 AM ET.