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Mortgage Market in Review – January 4, 2016

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week near unchanged which held rates steady. Trading started on a slightly positive note amid no data Monday. The 2-year Treasury auction Monday was met with weak demand. Consumer confidence printed at 96.5 versus the expected 93.5. Thin trading was evident throughout the week. The 5-year Treasury auction Tuesday and 7-year auction Wednesday were also met with poor demand both domestically and abroad. Weekly jobless claims were 287K versus the expected 269K. The MBS market closed early Thursday and was closed Friday for the New Year’s Holiday. Mortgage interest rates finished the week better by 1/8 of a discount point.


Date & Time

ISM Index Monday, Jan 4,
10:00 am, et
49.2 Important.  A measure of manufacturer sentiment.  Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Construction Spending Monday, Jan 4,
10:00 am, et
Up 1.2% Low importance.  An indication of economic strength.  Significant weakness may lead to lower rates.
ADP Employment Wednesday, Jan. 6,
8:30 am, et
222K Important.  An indication of employment.  Weakness may bring lower rates.
Trade Data Wednesday, Jan. 6,
8:30 am, et
$44B deficit Important.  Affects the value of the dollar.  A falling deficit may strengthen the dollar and lead to lower rates.
Factory Orders Wednesday, Jan. 6,
10:00 am, et
Up 0.6% Important.  A measure of manufacturing sector strength.  Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Jan. 7,
8:30 am, et
266K Important.  An indication of employment.   Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Employment Friday, Jan. 8,
8:30 am, et
Payrolls +212K
Very important.  An increase in unemployment or weakness in payrolls may bring lower rates.
Consumer Credit Monday, Jan. 8,
3:00 pm, et
$9.56B Low importance.  A significantly large increase may lead to lower mortgage interest rates.

The Year Ahead

The future of the economy will continue to be debated.  There is no certainty in predictions but the recent data and Fed statements clearly show continued signs of improvement.  The Fed is now talking about raising rates again possibly early 2016 depending on the data.  The effect on the housing sector, which remains a vital part of the economy, remains uncertain.  However, the last thing the housing market needs is higher rates.


What we can be certain of is the likeliness that mortgage interest rates will become volatile as we get closer to the next Fed rate hike.  Historically, mortgage interest rates seem to improve slowly.  In contrast, when rates increase, they often do so quickly and furiously.  One negative day often erases a week of positive improvements.


The Fed isn’t the only player in the financial markets and there are many others buying and selling securities.  Remember that the Fed does not directly dictate that mortgage interest rates will be at a certain rate.  Rates are determined by the supply and demand for mortgage-backed securities and can change rapidly hour to hour.  Now is a great time to take advantage of mortgage interest rates at these still favorable levels.


Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.