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Mortgage Market in Review – May 23, 2016

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week lower which pushed rates higher.  Rates were steady to start the week but rose midweek and continued higher through the end of the week.  Concern emerged about the timing of the next Fed rate hike.  The release of the minutes from the last Fed meeting indicated the governing body believed a June rate hike may be warranted.  A spate of stronger than expected data released recently including retail sales, CPI, industrial production and housing starts kicked the debate into high gear.  This is a cycle we saw before and can expect to continue for the foreseeable future.  Oil prices traded in the high 40s for most of the week.  Mortgage interest rates finished the week worse by approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of a discount point.


LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator
Release
Date & Time
Consensus
Estimate

Analysis
New Home Sales Tuesday, May 24,
10:00 am, et
525K Important.  An indication of economic strength and credit demand.  Weakness may lead to lower rates.
2-year Treasury Note Auction Tuesday, May 24,
1:15 pm, et
None Important.  Notes will be auctioned.  Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
FHFA House Price Index Wednesday, May 25,
10:00 am, et
Up 0.6% Moderately Important.  A measure of single family house prices.  Weakness may lead to lower rates.
5-year Treasury Note Auction Wednesday, May 25,
1:15 pm, et
None Important.  Notes will be auctioned.  Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, May 26,
8:30 am, et
272K Important.  An indication of employment.   Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Durable Goods Orders Thursday, May 26,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.5% Important.  An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items.  Weakness may lead to lower rates.
7-year Treasury Note Auction Thursday, May 26,
1:15 pm, et
None Important.  Notes will be auctioned.  Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Q1 GDP Second Estimate Friday, May 27,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.6% Very important.  The aggregate measure of US economic production.  Weakness may lead to lower rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, May 27,
10:00 am, et
95.5 Important.  An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend.  Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

New Home Sales

New Home Sales data is compiled monthly by the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau and is gathered from builders throughout the country. The data represents new home sales for the nation as well as four areas of the country: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. Information on the average price of a home, the number of homes for sale, and the supply of unsold homes are also provided. The data is an important indicator because it shows any strength or weakness in the housing sector. The housing sector data is valuable because when consumer spending changes, it appears in this sector first. Consequently, a chain reaction typically occurs.  A slowdown in new home sales tends to lead to a slowdown in housing starts, which will continue to affect other indicators possibly continuing the economic worries. New Home Sales data is often volatile and difficult to predict.  Be cautious going into it.

 


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