Well, it looks like optimism in the markets, thanks to the strong jobs report, sent mortgage rates a little higher, according to last week’s survey published by Freddie Mac. Prior to this latest report, rates had been dropping for six consecutive weeks. Despite the minimal .10 percent rise in interest rate for the average 30-year fixed mortgage, rates remain at particularly low levels, offering widespread opportunities to buy or refinance.
Interestingly…the average American’s mortgage makes up 70 percent of their debt load with the remaining 30 percent made up of various consumer debt. To me, this points to enormous opportunity for just about anyone that’s got a mortgage to refinance and wipe out that likely higher interest rate debt. Home values have risen enormously which means YOU may have more equity to access and use to lower payments, pay off higher interest debt, or get rid of mortgage insurance. Make sure you reach out to me if you haven’t refinanced in the last year.
As for economic data for this week, we saw Retail Sales fall 1.1 percent in July, a larger contraction than the 0.2 percent decline expected by market consensus.
The housing market index, a measure of home builder sentiment, fell 5 points in the August reading to completely miss the consensus range. This is the lowest showing of the pandemic boom.
On Wednesday we get a look at the housing market’s leading indicator, the report on new housing starts and building permits. A slightly lower 1.61 million annual rate is expected for July starts versus June’s 1.64 million rate. Building Permits are seen a little higher at 1.620 million versus 1.594 million. Permits and starts have been cooling with both missing expectations in the last three reports.
We’ll also get a look at the Fed’s Meeting minutes released Wednesday. Traders will be looking for clues as to the Fed’s next move and when. There have been rumblings of tapering the massive bond buying the Fed is doing to stimulate the economy, however most believe no major changes will happen soon.
I will be watching the yield percentage on the U.S. 10-year Treasury. If it stays below 1.37, rates will likely remain steady, however any break above that level could push rates higher.
Of course I’ll be keeping an eye on all of it for you and report back next week!