Today's Mortgage Rates Improve 3-17-2017
By James Brooks
The bond market is up 8/32 (2.50%) which should improve today's mortgage rates by approximately.125 of a discount point.
The first of today's three economic reports was February's Industrial Production report at 9:15 AM ET. It showed now change from January's level, falling short of the 0.2% increase that was expected. This means that output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities was lighter than many had thought. Because that indicates the manufacturing sector may be flat, we can consider the data good news for bonds and mortgage rates.
Next up was the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for March. They announced a reading of 97.6, exceeding forecasts of 96.8. This was also an increase from February's 96.3, meaning consumers felt better about their own financial situations than they did last month. Since higher levels of confidence usually translate into stronger consumer spending, this report is a negative for mortgage rates.
The final report of the week was February's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The Conference Board announced a 0.6% rise in the indicators, meaning they are predicting moderate economic growth over the next several months. Analysts were expecting to see a 0.5% rise, so this report also should be considered unfavorable for bonds and mortgage rates.
Next week has only a couple of relevant economic reports scheduled for release,none of which are set for Monday. It is a much lighter week than this one was in terms of data and other events that are likely to influence mortgage rates. Look for details on next week's calendar in Sunday evening's weekly preview.
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