Improvement In Today's Mortgage Rates 3-22-2017
By James Brooks
The bond market is up 8/32 (2.39%), which should improve today's mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
February's Existing Home Sales report was released by the National Association of Realtors at 10:00 AM ET this morning. They announced a decline in home resales of 3.7% last month. That was a larger decline than many had expected, meaning the housing sector weakened more than many had thought. Because a softening housing sector makes broader economic growth less likely, we can consider today's news favorable for bonds and mortgage rates.
Tomorrow has two minor pieces of economic data set for release. The first is February's New Home Sales figures at 8:30 AM. The Commerce Department is expected to announce a small increase in sales of newly constructed homes. This report tracks a much smaller percentage of home sales than today's housing report did, so it should have a much weaker influence on the markets and mortgage pricing. A large increase in sales would be negative for the bond market and mortgage pricing because it would point towards economic strength.
The other report coming early tomorrow morning will give last week?s unemployment figures. They are expected to show that 240,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week?s 241,000 initial claims. Since rising claims hints at employment sector weakness, the higher the number the better the news it is for mortgage rates. However, because this is only a weekly report, it likely will have little impact on tomorrow?s mortgage rates unless it shows a significant variance.
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.