Yesterday saw some improvement in mortgage rates, and I expect rates will remain flat or improve slightly again today. Despite a favorable employment report this morning, stocks are selling off at least partly due to concerns that the Chinese economy is slowing. There is a paucity of economic data for the remainder of the week, so I expect that the main influences on rates in the short term will be rumors/news about China and the ongoing debt situation in Europe.
During the Greek debt crisis, I maintained two things: that Greek would have to eventually leave the Eurozone (which I still believe), and that even a nominal resolution to the Greek debt issue would only soothe the markets until the spotlight turned to Spain, Portugal, Italy, or Ireland. All of the aforementioned countries have debt problems similar to those of Greece, and the Spanish and Italian economies are much larger than Greece’s, and pose larger problems to the wider Eurozone.
Right now, we are seeing unrest in Portugal over austerity measures, and it seems likely that Portugal will need additional bailouts. I think it is likely that fears over the situations in Europe and China will prevent rates from rising until next week, when U.S. economic data will likely take the forefront again.
I still believe that the longer-term trend points to higher rates (of course this goes out the window if the Fed announces more stimulus next month), so if you are looking to refinance your mortgage, you might be wise to lock a rate now while we have a temporary reprieve on rising rates.
A Few of Our Popular Rates and Products*:
|Mortgage Product||Mortgage Rates||APR|
|30 Year Fixed Conventional Mortgage||3.750%||3.865%|
|20 Year Fixed Conventional Mortgage||3.500%||3.661%|
|15 Year Fixed Conventional Mortgage||3.125%||3.329%|
|30 Year Fixed FHA Mortgage||3.750%||5.092%|
|15 Year Fixed Conforming Jumbo||3.500%||3.670%|
|30 Year Fixed Conforming Jumbo||4.375%||4.474%|
|5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage||2.500%||2.476%|
|5/1 Adjustable Rate Conforming Jumbo Mortgage||2.750%||2.711%|
***Mortgage change frequently. These rates were quoted at 12:35 P.M., on March 22, 2012. Call 877-868-2503 for more details.***
Today’s News, Links, and Things I’m Reading:
Department of Labor: Initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 17 fall by 5,000 to 348,000. The four-week moving average is down 1,250 from the previous week. The four week moving average is close to the lowest point since 2008.
Calculated Risk: Housing: “Signs of Life”. Foreclosures are scheduled to rise in 2012, I am far from convinced that housing is coming back anytime soon.
Bloomberg: Record China Bank Profits to Be Overshadowed by Bad Loans. A slowdown in China plus renewed recession in Europe would spell bad news for the U.S. economy.
ABC: Mysterious Booms and Trembles Plague Wisconsin Town, Baffle Scientists. Very strange.
Naked Capitalism: Dallas Fed’s Fisher Criticizes Dodd Frank as Not Going Far Enough on TBTF. Fisher doesn’t mince words, and has blasted the TBTF banks in the past.
ProPublica: If TV Stations Won’t Post Their Data on Political Ads, We Will.
CNBC: Jobseekers Get Asked for Facebook Passwords. The correct answer a request for your Facebook password is “go pound sand”.
AP: Marmageddon: New Zealand Runs Out of Unique Spread. There was a run on Marmite yesterday, and some sort of disruption in the supply chain for Marmite due to an earthquake. We live in a strange world.
Popular Mechanics: The 110 Best DIY Tips Ever. There is some really good stuff in here.
Dealbook: Tesla’s Ambitions Fueled by Customer Down Payments.
Slate: Student Debt May Land Double Whammy on U.S. Growth. Not the mention that student debt is most likely holding back household formation, which hurts the housing market.
Boston Real Estate Now: Closing Disclosures to Change Again.
Yahoo: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About NERF. ”NERF” is an acronym for non-expanding recreational foam. I had no clue about that one.
* All rates shown are for 30 day rate locks. Longer locks are available. The APR for conventional loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $417,000, 1 point, a $495 application fee, $400 appraisal fee, $799 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. The APR for jumbo loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $500,000, two points, a $495 application fee, $400 appraisal fee, $799 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. The APR for FHA loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $295,000, two points, a $495 application fee, $450 appraisal fee, $715 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. Some rates and fees may vary by state. All interest rates listed are for qualified applicants with 720 or higher FICO and 80 LTV and are subject to mortgage approval with full documentation of income. All rates are subject to change without notice. All rates shown are for 30 day rate locks with 1 point unless otherwise noted.