Mortgage rates are still on a gradual increase and are at their highest levels of the year. Freddie Mac reported the average 30 year fixed rate came in at 3.80%, this up from 3.76% the previous week. The 15 year rate rose two basis points from 3.05% to 3.07%. The last time the 15 year rate was below the 3.00% mark was in mid-February.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave the semi-annual testimony to Congress last week and the stock markets liked what they heard. Some in the investor community had been expecting a rate hike this coming June but Yellen sounded as if that’s not really going to be on the table right now. She said again the Fed will take a “patient” approach as it relates to rates.
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 hit record levels. The NASDAQ also popped the 5,000 mark, the first time it’s broken that barrier in 15 years. At the same time, the benchmark FNMA-30yr coupon fell below 1.20 and the trend appears to continue this week.
Friday Could Be a Big Day for Mortgage Rates
Speaking of this week, the Fed stated they’re still looking at the employment picture in addition to inflation. With no signs of inflation on the horizon, in fact due to the price of oil affecting both wholesale and retail inflation, the unemployment report released Friday will provide more insight.
The unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly from 5.7% to 5.6% with the economy producing another 240,000 nonfarm jobs. Anything closer to 300,000 should send interest rates higher and getting closer to the 4.00% mark.
With all eyes on Friday’s numbers, the multiple economic reports released this week should provide few surprises and even if there are some unanticipated numbers, they should have very little impact.