Market Insight, Mortgage Rates

The Week Ahead for Mortgage Rates: February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Gas prices risingMortgage markets worsened last week as the Eurozone moved closer to a bailout agreement with Greece, and the U.S. economy displayed more signs of growth.

In response, mortgage rates climbed last week.

Rate shoppers should not be surprised that rates ticked north. Since mid-2011, weakness in Greece has helped keep mortgage rates low and the same is true for a weak U.S. economy. Wall Street has sought “safe assets” as protection from the risk and that’s driven mortgage rates down.

Now, the safe haven buying that served to anchor low rates appears poised to reverse.

Click here to see today’s mortgage rates.

Last month, it was shown, consumer spending rose to record levels and the housing market surpassed analyst expectation again. Homebuilder confidence is now at a 4-year high and Single-Family Housing Starts topped one-half million units for the second straight month.

Conforming mortgage rates in Northwest Indiana rose for the first time in a month last week. Unfortunately, few shoppers knew because Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey failed to capture the change. The survey deadline was Tuesday. Rates started rising Wednesday morning.

Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey put the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage unchanged at 3.87% for borrowers willing to pay 0.8 discount points plus a full set of closing costs.

Mortgage rates are higher today.

Click here to see today’s mortgage rates.

Beyond Greece and the U.S. economy, inflation is another reason mortgage rates are up. Inflation is the enemy of mortgage rates and, an on annual basis, the core Consumer Price Index registered 2.3% — it’s highest reading since 2008. The Fed expects inflation to ease later this year but if gas prices stay high, the Fed’s forecast may be wrong.

This week is holiday-shortened. Look for Greece to dominate headlines (again) and watch for housing data toward the end of the week. Existing Home Sales is released Wednesday. New Home Sales is released Friday.

For now, mortgage rates remain low. It’s a safe time to lock a long-term rate.

Click here to see today’s mortgage rates.

Quick general rule of thumb when keeping an eye on mortgage rates.

Strong Economic News: $$$ from Bonds —> Stocks = Home Loan Rates Go Up

Weak Economic News: $$$ from Stocks —> Bonds = Home Loan Rates Go Down

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying a home, the combination of low home loan rates and affordable home prices make this an ideal time to buy a home. Want to know if you can afford a new home? Call or text me at 512-522-7284 to discuss your personal situation and your home loan options!

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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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