While mortgage rates either held steady or improved in four of the last five sessions, they still ended last week higher than where they began it. The only day of excessive weakness was Thursday and although a good portion of that weakness was recovered on Friday morning following a worse than expected Retail Sales report, the gains were not enough to allow all lenders to reprice for the better (a few did).
This left consumer borrowing costs about 50 basis points more expensive (discount points) heading into the weekend, but the par 30 year fixed mortgage rate was still seen at 4.50% for well-qualified consumers.
No economic data was released today. Here is a look at the week ahead:
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey (low to medium impact)
- Import and Export Prices (low to medium impact)
- National Association of Home Builder's Confidence Index (medium impact)
- Weekly Mortgage Applications Index (low to medium impact)
- Housing Starts (medium to high impact) Estimates how much new residential real estate construction occurred in the previous month
- Producer Price Index (medium impact) PPI measures inflation at the producer level.
- Industrial Production (medium to high impact) Measure of the strength of the manufacturing sector by measuring the output at U.S. factories, utilities and mines. Higher industrial production would be a positive economic indicator which would benefit the stock market at the expense of the fixed income sector.
- Consumer Price Index (medium to high impact) CPI measures inflation on the consumer level. Rising price levels would force the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates earlier than expected.
- Jobless Claims (medium impact)
- Leading Indicators (low to medium impact)
- Philadelphia Fed Survey (low to medium impact) Measures the strength of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region.
- Treasury Announcement for next week's auction of 2 year, 5 year and 7 year Treasury notes. (medium impact)
- No Data
HERE is the full economic calendar including economist forecasts
HERE is more perspective on the week ahead in the markets
Reports from fellow mortgage professionals indicate the par 30 year conventional rate mortgage remains in the 4.50% to 4.75% range for well qualified consumers. To secure a par interest rate you must have a FICO credit score of 740, a loan to value of 80% or less and pay all closing costs including an estimated one point loan origination/discount/broker fee. If you plan to remain in your current home for less than 3 years, you should consider a no cost refinance. A no cost refinance is when the loan originator pays your closing costs for you by placing you in a higher interest rate loan. The current rate for a no cost loan is around 5.25%.
Rates continue to hold at the best levels and lenders are once again reluctant to move them any lower. If you are within 30 days of closing, lock now and secure a great rate. Like last week, the only loans I would consider floating are ones a day away from a shorter lock term which offers better pricing or those loans closing in more than 30 days.