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James Brooks

Today's Mortgage Rates Improve 3-21-2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - Article by: James Brooks - Message

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 6/32 (2.44%), which with yesterday’s afternoon strength should improve today's mortgage rates by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.

Today also has nothing of relevance scheduled for release. This should allow bonds to remain positive unless something unexpected happens. The rest of the week brings us the release of only three monthly economic reports for the markets to digest and only one will draw a lot of attention.

We do have a large number of Fed member speaking engagements scheduled this week. These often are a non-factor for mortgage rates, but do carry the potential to come into play. If their speeches give us any significant surprises, particularly about monetary policy issues, the markets will react. This is particularly true during weeks of little economic data or other events to drive bond trading.

The first report will come at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow when February's Existing Home Sales report is posted by the National Association of Realtors. It will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand. This moderately important release is expected to reveal a decline in home resales, meaning the housing sector softened last month. Ideally, bond traders would prefer to see a large decline in sales, pointing towards a rapidly weakening housing sector. Bad news would be a sizable increase in sales, indicating that the housing sector is gaining momentum. That could be troublesome for the bond market and mortgage rates because housing strength makes broader economic growth more likely.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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