Another Move In Mortgage Rates 4-18-2018
By James Brooks
The bond market is down 8/32 (2.86%), which should push Raleigh Area mortgage rates to increase by approximately .125 of a discount point.
Today?s only relevant event comes this afternoon when the Federal Reserve releases their Beige Book. This report is named simply after the color of its cover but details economic conditions throughout the U.S. by Fed region. Since the Fed relies heavily on its contents during their FOMC meetings, it can have a fairly big impact on the financial markets and mortgage rates if it reveals any significant surprises. Generally speaking, signs of strong economic growth or inflation rising from the last update would be considered negative for bonds and mortgage rates. Slowing economic conditions with little sign of inflationary pressures would be ideal for mortgage rates. The report will be released at 2:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during mid-afternoon trading.
Tomorrow has two minor pieces of economic data, neither of which are expected to draw much attention. First up is last week's unemployment update at 8:30 AM ET. This report is expected to show that 228,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week's 233,000. Rising initial claims are a sign of employment sector weakness, so the larger the number of claims, the better the news it is for mortgage rates. Although, because this is only a weekly reading we usually need to see a significant variance from forecasts for it to impact mortgage rates.
The Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for March will be released at 10:00 AM ET. This data attempts to predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is expected to show a 0.4% increase from February's reading, meaning it is predicting moderate growth in economic activity over the next several months. A decline would be considered good news for the bond market and could lead to slightly lower mortgage rates.
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.