Mortgage markets worsened last week as nuclear meltdown concerns eased across Japan, and the war within Libya moved closer to a potential finish.
Wall Street voted with its dollars, and a return to risk-taking emerged. "Safe haven" buying softened last week and, as a result, conforming mortgage rates in Georgia made their biggest 1-week spike since late-January.
Mortgage rates remain historically low, but well above their November 2010 lows.
This week, rates could run higher again. Friday's jobs report is a major story and it will affect mortgage rates in Marietta and across the country. Jobs are a key component of the nation's economic recovery, and as the economy has improved, mortgage rates have tended to rise.
Economists expect that 190,000 jobs were created in March. If they're correct, it will raise the 12-month tally to 1.3 million net new jobs created nationwide. This is still less than the 2 million jobs lost in the 12 months prior, but it's a positive step that suggests sustained growth.
A positive net new jobs figure for March would mark the first time since June 2007 that jobs growth was net positive 6 months in a row. If March's final figures are better than expected, expected mortgage rates to rise. If the figures are less, look for rates to fall.
The Unemployment Rate is expected to stay sub-9.0 percent, too.
Other news that could change rates this week include Monday's Pending Home Sales report, Tuesday's Consumer Confidence data, and any one of the 4 speeches from members of the Fed. In general, data and/or rhetoric that suggest more growth in 2011 will cause mortgage rates to rise.
If you are still floating a mortgage rate and have yet to lock one in, this week may represent your last chance for low rates. Good news about the economy will put pressure on mortgage rates to rise.