Economic Reports, Market Insight

December Retail Sales Drop and Now Mortgage Rates Follow

January 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Mortgage rates are dropping this morning on weaker-than-expected Retail Sales data from December. Lower rates means more bang for your home-buying buck.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, December’s “ex-auto” sales receipts were down roughly $500 million from November. Analysts had expected receipts to grow.

The relevance of Retail Sales to home affordability isn’t obvious, but it’s definitely logical.

Retail Sales is directly related to consumer spending and consumer spending accounts for the majority of the U.S. economy. When consumer spending slows, the economy often does, too. It leads investors to seek out “safe” investments.

It’s the reason why stock markets often drop on weak economic data — stocks are among the riskiest investment classes available.

Conversely, the best place to find safety is in the market of government-backed bonds.  This world includes products like U.S. Treasuries and many of the mortgage-backed bonds that help set mortgage rates.  Weak economic data puts mortgage bonds in demand.

For a rate shopper in Northwest Indiana, this is good news.  More demand for mortgage bonds causes mortgage rates to fall.  Mortgage rates are lower this morning because Wall Street is shedding some risk.

December’s Retail Sales report closes out a year of generally-weak data. 2009 marks just the 2nd time that Retail Sales fell year-over-year since the government started tracking it 40 years ago. The other year was 2008.

For home buyers around the country and especially in Northwest Indiana, though, today may represent an opportune time to lock a mortgage rate.  Housing data is still improving and other economic indicators are showing strength.  Soon, Wall Street will shift from a “safe” mentality and move toward risk.

When it does, mortgage rates will rise.

Need more expert advice? Ask the team of Certified Mortgage Planning Specialists at Benchmark Mortgage.

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James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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