Mortgage rates fell again, this according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey. The 15 year rate lowered by 10 basis points, with two weeks in a row of double digit basis point drops. The 15 year rate pegged at 3.08%, down from 3.18% the previous week. The 30 year note dropped from 3.97% to 3.92% while the 1-Yr ARM rose slightly from 2.38% to 2.41%.
The last week of the month is chock full of economic data with Durable Goods, Consumer Confidence, initial Q3 GDP as well as the FOMC meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. The final edition of the Fed’s quantitative easing program comes to an end as well. A little over a year ago, markets took it hard when then Chair Ben Bernanke announced an ultimate end to the program. Ironically, rates have fallen now that the end is here.
Some believe the Fed will not put a permanent grave stone above QE3 but instead could hint at a resurrection of the rate-suppressing program should the economy need it. That might very well be the case given weakness in foreign markets, primarily Europe and Asia.
Stock markets recovered well last week which is typically bad for rates. While mortgage rates did attempt a move upward as the stock markets rallied, rates continued in the sub-4.00% range. One of the reasons for the recovery on Wall Street looked at new home sales.
According to the Commerce Department, single family home sales hit a six-year high last September, after a revision downward for August. At the same time, the Conference Board reported the Leading Economic Indicators increased nicely, showing moderate growth.
Going into the end of the year, there doesn’t appear to be very much that could cause rates to break the 4.20% ceiling. Mortgage rates have been at or below that mark since early May and with the fall through the 4.00% barrier and drifting lower still, we could see interest rates stay below 4.00% into early next year.