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Mortgage Market in Review – May 1, 2017


Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week lower which pushed rates higher. Rates spiked higher early in the week as stocks hit record levels. The data was mixed. New Home Sales were 621K versus the expected 590K. Consumer confidence was 120.3 versus the expected 122.3. The FHFA House Price index rose 0.8%. Analysts looked for an increase of 0.2%. Q1 Gross domestic product rose 0.7% versus the expected 1.1% increase. Durable goods orders were weaker. Lower economic output supported the argument the Fed should wait to raise rates and helped buffer some of the earlier losses. Q1 Employment cost index rose 0.8% versus the expected 0.6% increase. Consumer sentiment was 97 versus the expected 98 reading. Mortgage interest rates finished the week worse by approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of discount point.


Date & Time

Personal Income and Outlays Monday, May 1,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.4%,
Up 0.1%
Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
PCE Core Inflation Monday, May 1,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.1% Important. A measure of price increases for all domestic personal consumption. Weaker figure may help rates improve.
ISM Index Monday, May 1,
10:00 am, et
57.5 Important. A measure of manufacturer sentiment. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
ADP Employment Wednesday, May 3,
8:30 am, et
265K Important. An indication of employment. Weakness may bring lower rates.
Fed Meeting Adjourns Wednesday, May 3,
2:15 pm, et
No rate changes Important. Few expect the Fed to change rates, but some volatility may surround the adjournment of this meeting.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, May 4,
8:30 am, et
245K Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Preliminary Q1 Productivity Thursday, May 4,
8:30 am, et
Up 1.1% Important. A measure of output per hour. Improvement may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Factory Orders Thursday, May 4,
10:00 am, et
Up 1.1% Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Employment Friday, May 5,
8:30 am, et
Payrolls +125K
Very important. An increase in unemployment or weakness in payrolls may bring lower rates.


Keep a sharp eye on the various employment related data this week. Last week’s weekly jobless claims hit levels not seen in some time. The data showed 257,000 new applications for unemployment. Analysts expected a number around 245,000. It is not uncommon for the weekly figures to miss estimates but the sharply higher figure was a bit of a surprise. The Fed is in a difficult spot with so much mixed data.

The weekly data remained below 300,000 for over 100 weeks despite the recent uptick. However, growth figures disappointed as of late which supports further delays. Now is a great time to get a low interest rate mortgage ahead of potential volatility..


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