Mortgage markets improved last week, buoyed by two days of out-sized gains. Mortgage rates bounced off their 8-week highs on much weaker-than-expected inflation data, and debt concerns abroad.
It's an abrupt change in mortgage rate momentum.
Since the Federal Reserve's March 2011 meeting, in which the Fed said rising energy costs are "putting upward pressure on inflation", inflation chatter has figured big for Kennesaw mortgage rates. With each tick higher in gas prices; in every conversation on U.S. debt load; as fruits and vegetables get more expensive at the supermarket, Wall Street's fears of inflation have grown, and rate shoppers have suffered.
The connection between inflation and mortgage rates is straight-forward. Inflation is the devaluation of the U.S. dollar -- the currency in which mortgage bonds are denominated. As the dollar loses values, so do mortgage bonds, therefore, leading mortgage rates to rise, inevitably.
Leading up to last week, concerns peaked and rates did, too. And then, a strange thing happened. The government's March inflation report showed inflation well under control.
The results surprised Wall Street and the trades that had previously served to pump rate up, last week, ran in reverse.
The biggest gains were made Friday.
This week, inflation takes back-seat to housing data. There's a lot of it coming.
- Monday : Homebuilder Confidence Index
- Tuesday : Housing Starts and Building Permits
- Wednesday : Existing Home Sales
- Thursday : Housing Market Index
There's no data due Friday with markets closed for Good Friday.
This is a holiday-shortened week so expect low trading volume to render rates more erratic than typical. If you're not yet locked in to a mortgage rate with your lender, consider doing it this week.