Mortgage Market Guide Weekly – October 26, 2014
Posted by Kathy King /
Last Week In Review
It’s been said that “opportunity comes knocking.” And that’s certainly the case for people looking to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates remain near 18-month lows.
In recent weeks, investors have moved into the safe haven of the Bond markets for several reasons, including weak economic data here at home, concerns about Ebola, and economic and geopolitical uncertainty overseas. This has helped Mortgage Bonds reach 18-month highs, and since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, rates have reached 18-month lows.
In addition, Stocks have been volatile due to the upcoming end of the Fed’s Bond-buying program. The Fed has been slowly tapering its purchases throughout the year, and every indication is that the Fed will completely end the program at its meeting on October 28 to 29. The key takeaway is that Stocks performed terribly after the first and second rounds of the Fed’s Bond-buying program ended. If Stocks worsen, Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates could continue to improve.
In other news, key housing reports showed mixed results for the sector. September Existing Home Sales reached its highest pace of the year, showing gains in all major regions except for the Midwest. September New Home Sales also reached a six-year high. However, New Home Sales for August, which were originally reported at 504,000, were revised to 466,000. Sales in June and July were also revised lower.
The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near some of their best levels of the year, and now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance.
Forecast for the week
A packed economic calendar is in store this week. Plus, the Fed meeting could cause volatility in the markets.
- Housing news kicks off the week with Pending Home Sales on Monday, followed by the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index on Tuesday.
- Durable Goods Orders will also be released on Tuesday.
- We’ll get a read on how consumers are feeling with Consumer Confidence on Tuesday and the Consumer Sentiment Index on Friday.
- Thursday’s reports feature Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and the first reading on Q3 Gross Domestic Product.
- Friday brings Personal Income, Personal Spending, Personal Consumption Expenditures (inflation index), the Employment Cost Index, and Chicago PMI (a regional manufacturing report).
In addition, the Fed’s next two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee begins Tuesday, with the Monetary Policy Statement being released on Wednesday. Investors will be watching closely to see if the Fed fully tapers its ongoing Bond-buying program. This announcement has the potential to create volatility in the markets.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving–and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.
To go one step further–a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds remain near 18-month highs, helping home loan rates reach 18-month lows. I’ll continue to monitor them closely.