How Rates Move:
Conventional and Government (FHA and VA) lenders set their rates based on the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) which are traded in real time, all day in the bond market. This means rates or loan fees (mortgage pricing) moves throughout the day, being affected by a variety of economic or political events. When MBS pricing goes up, mortgage rates or pricing generally goes down. When they fall, mortgage pricing goes up. Tracking these securities real-time is critical. For more information about the rate market, contact me directly. I’m among few mortgage professionals who have access to live trading screens during market hours.
Rates Currently Trending: Neutral
Mortgage rates are trending sideways this morning. Last week the MBS market worsened by -1bps. This caused rates to move mostly sideways for the week. We saw a bit of elevated rate volatility last week.
This Week’s Rate Forecast: Neutral
Three Things: These are the three areas that have the greatest ability to move rates this week. 1) Central Bank, 2) Geo-Political, and 3) Domestic
- Central Bank: We hear from the Central Banks from 3 of the 6 largest economies in the world. The Bank of Japan (with a fresh new PM) and Bank of England (with Brexit looming) will be interesting this week, but it will be our Federal Reserve on Wednesday that will be the week’s biggest market driver. We get their interest rate decision (no suspense there, they have already beaten us over the head with the idea that they are not going to touch rates for a very long time), live press conference with Fed Chair Powell, and we’ll get their Economic Projections (the famous “dot plot” chart).
- Geo-Political: Brexit is back in the spotlight as they have an important Parliamentary procedural vote today as the Brexit FINALLY concludes this month. Domestically, we have movement on keeping our government open past the end of the month and no movement on a new COVID stimulus bill.
- Domestic: We get some key economic releases this week to focus on, including retail sales, which is expected to moderate into more realistic levels now that the $600 weekly “helicopter” money has stopped. Also, Initial Weekly Jobless Claims will continue to get a lot of attention.
This Week’s Potential Volatility: Average
Rate markets last week ended mostly unchanged; however, we did see volatility spike. This week we get retail sales and jobless claims numbers that will help determine the medium-term direction of rates and could once again spike rate volatility.
If you are looking for the risks and benefits of locking your interest rate in today or floating your loan rate, contact your mortgage professional to discuss it with them.
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