Current Interest Rates – Week of 5/29/12
Food for thought…Interest rates were a staggering 1% higher at this time last year. Sure, sounds like a big swing, but what does this mean to someone in the market for a home loan? The current low interest rates allow someone looking in the $225k price range to afford an extra $25,000 in loan amount compared to a year ago. The same loan amount with a point higher rate would be over $133 more per month. While interest rates may not go up immediately, the chart below illustrates how quickly interest rates can move.
What happened with interest rates last week?
After reaching all time lows with interest rates on multiple occasions in weeks prior, interest rates were not able to push lower. Instead, we saw mortgage backed securities sell off and have started to make a pretty good case that rates are about as good as they’re going to get for the near term.
The eco-drama continues over in Europe with Spain trying to get a grip on their financials. It’s your choice on who to thank, but Spain, Greece and the rest of the European Union have, without question, helped move our interest rates to where they are and have kept them from going higher. Fear based selling drives money into longer term bonds, helping interest rates.
Markets closed early last Friday and were closed no Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
What’s coming up this week on the economic calendar and what’s the impact on interest rates?
Coming up during this holiday shortened week is the ADP Employment Report on Thursday 5/31 at 7:15 CT and Chicago PMI at 8:45 CT, both of which could cause interest rates to move.
Rounding out the week is one of the more action/news filled days we typically see on the calendar. This will be kicked off on Friday morning, starting at 7:30 CT prior to the market open. The first item worth highlighting is the release of Core PCE, a popular measure of inflation. The Fed likes to see this number within a target range of 2%. Should this figure come in higher than expected, interest rates could suffer due to fear of inflation, the arch nemesis of bonds/rates.
Perhaps the largest report of all is the Jobs Report, estimating non-farm payrolls to be at 155,000. A number reported higher than expected means a potential for rates to suffer as the warm and fuzzies of a growing economy fill the air and investors move their money out of bonds and into stocks.
Here’s our strategy for the days and weeks ahead…
Home mortgage interest rates have gone up over the last few weeks since reaching all time lows. Will interest rates get that low again? It wouldn’t be a surprise if they did, but based on the data and tools that we have on hand, interest rates are more likely to go up over the next year than they are to go lower. Take a look at the chart above and imagine the market moving the other direction, causing rates to increase over 1%. It’s not a matter of if they’ll go up, but when, so talk with your mortgage planner to put a plan in place to take advantage of these rates while they’re still around.