The 30 year mortgage rate has been in a lower, tighter range compared to just a few weeks ago. For several months, Freddie Mac’s average 30 year mortgage rate floated between 4.10% to 4.20% for several weeks. On October 23, 2014, the rate fell through the 4.00% barrier and came to rest at this week’s level of 4.01%.
Recent Fed statements indicated the employment and job creation figures are still on track, with consistent 200,000+ monthly non-farm payroll jobs created. The unemployment rate has also fallen to 5.8% as of October. But labor participation rate is stubbornly high, meaning may have simply given up looking for work. This trend leads to a misleadingly rosy unemployment rate.
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The Fed also announced last week the retirement of one of the more hawkish members, Fed board member and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Richard Fisher will step down as will Charles Plosser, current president of the Philadelphia Reserve Bank. Both have consistently called for higher rates but their voices alone are not enough to sway the remainder of the committee.
Reports to Watch This Week
This will be a rather busy week for economic reports, one week before the Thanksgiving holiday. Economists expect inflation to fall which could be good for mortgage rates.
Here are other important reports to watch:
- Wednesday: Housing Starts. Rates could rise if builders start construction on more homes than expected.
- Thursday: Consumer Price Index. Watch for rising rates if prices increase, signaling inflation.
- Thursday: Existing Home Sales. Strong home sales signal an improving economy and higher rates.
While economic reports are important, world events could be even more so. Updates on the conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine as well as economic health in Europe might move rates more than any economic report.
Should You Lock In Now?
While there is potential for rates to rise this week, we don’t expect much movement. Still, if you’re looking to buy or refinance, it’s always a good idea to lock in a rate.