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Mortgage Market in Review – February 22, 2016

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week near unchanged which kept rates in check. Stock strength dominated at the expense of mortgage bonds early in the week. We saw a slight unwinding of the flight to quality which pushed rates lower in the prior weeks. The data was mixed as usual. Headline inflation data was a shock. Producer prices rose 0.1% versus the expected 0.2% decline. The core, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.4% versus the expected 0.1% increase. Consumer prices were unchanged but expected to fall 0.1%. The core rose 0.3% versus the expected 0.1% increase. Housing starts were a weaker than expected 1099K. Weekly jobless claims were a lower than expected 262K. The Philadelphia Fed business conditions index was down 2.8 as expected. Mortgage interest rates finished the week flat.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator
Release
Date & Time
Consensus
Estimate

Analysis
Consumer Confidence Tuesday, Feb. 23,
10:00 am, et
98 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
New Home Sales Wednesday, Feb. 24,
10:00 am, et
555K Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Feb. 25,
8:30 am, et
265K Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Durable Goods Orders Thursday, Feb. 25,
8:30 am, et
Down 2.2% Important. An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
FHFA House Price Index Thursday, Feb. 25,
10:00 am, et
Up 0.4% Moderately Important. A measure of single family house prices. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Q4 GDP 2nd Estimate Friday, Feb. 26,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.8% Important. The aggregate measure of US economic production. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Personal Income and Outlays Friday, Feb. 26,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.2%,
Up 0.1%
Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
PCE Core Inflation Friday, Feb. 26,
8:30 am, et
Unchanged Important. A measure of price increases for all domestic personal consumption. Weaker figure may help rates improve.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, Feb. 26,
10:00 am, et
92 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Busy Week

Economic data is the number one reason mortgage interest rates move on a daily basis. Data is compiled from numerous sources and comes in two flavors, economic growth and inflation. Some releases are more important than others and thus are more likely to cause wider swings in mortgage rates. Rates move in relation to the deviation from expectations. We have significant releases almost each day of this week which is not common. The potential for mortgage interest rate volatility is greater as a result. Volatility is not always the enemy as we saw the beginning of this year with favorable movements after sentiment changed on looming Fed rate hikes. However, any indication of strength in the data will likely result in higher mortgage interest rates so remain cautious.
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. www.ratelink.com The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.