Rate Lock Advisory

Thursday, August 22th

Thursday’s bond market initially opened in negative territory but has moved to unchanged from yesterday’s close. Stocks are mixed with the Dow up 99 points and the Nasdaq down 1 point. The bond market is currently unchanged (1.59%), but afternoon weakness yesterday may push this morning’s mortgage rates slightly higher than Wednesday’s early pricing.



30 yr - 1.59%







Mortgage Rate Trend

Trailing 90 Days - National Average

  • 30 Year Fixed
  • 15 Year Fixed
  • 5/1 ARM

Indexes Affecting Rate Lock



Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Minutes

Yesterday’s afternoon release of last month’s FOMC minutes didn’t give us many surprises. There was discussion of a half point rate cut instead of the quarter point they made, but the vote came to the quarter point. We saw some movement in bonds after they were released at 2:00 PM ET, but it doesn’t appear that they caused much movement in mortgage rates.



Weekly Unemployment Claims (every Thursday)

Weekly unemployment figures came in lower than expected this morning. Today’s update revealed 209,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week’s revised 221,000 initial filings. Declining claims is a sign of strength in the employment sector. Accordingly, we can consider the data negative for mortgage rates but because this is just a weekly snapshot it has had little impact on this morning’s pricing.



Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) from the Conference Board

Also posted this morning was July’s Leading Economic Indicators. The Conference Board announced a 0.5% increase, meaning the indicators are predicting economic growth over the next several months. That was stronger than expectations. Since bonds tend to thrive in weaker economic conditions, this morning’s release was not favorable for mortgage rates. However, as with the weekly unemployment update, this report doesn’t carry a high level of importance in the markets. That has prevented it from heavily influencing mortgage rates.



New Home Sales

July's New Home Sales data is set for release tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM ET. This report will give us another indication of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand but tracks only a small portion of all home sales. The majority of U.S. home sales were covered in yesterday’s Existing Home Sales report. This data usually doesn't have much of an impact on bond prices or mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for little change in sales of newly constructed homes between June and July. A large increase in sales would indicate housing sector strength, making the data negative for mortgage rates.



Fed Talk

Also worth noting is the annual central banker conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There have been major events to come out of this event in the past while others have been non-factors. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at 10:00 AM tomorrow, which will be watched very closely. This could be a market-moving event if he gives us any surprises. Of particular interest is anything related to the global economy, inflation and the likelihood of needed future Fed rate cuts or hikes.

Float / Lock Recommendation

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.

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