The last week of 2014 is here. It’s another short week with the New Year holiday and so we may be dealing with traders on vacations, which can translate to lighter volumes and/or more volatility. Markets and financial offices (including ours) will be closed on Thursday, January 1, 2015 to celebrate the New Year.
The last two weeks of this year are short ones due to the holidays. Many traders may be on vacation so you can anticipate the volatility to continue with stock and bond markets, which means we may see mortgage rates bump around a bit as well.
Bond markets will be closing early on Wednesday and will be closed on Thursday, as will Mortgage Master Service Corporation. Friday will be “back to normal” as far as work hours are concerned. Next week will also be a shorter week with the New Year holiday.
Last week, rates bumped along 14 months lows. Those who were in position to lock with a mortgage application started, were able to secure low rates so they will be able to benefit from lower mortgage payments in the New Year. Before a lender locks in an interest rate, they need to have a complete application, including a credit report, so they know how to price the rate (low mid-credit scores are used) and if you actually qualify for the refi. It takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete an on-line application, so if you are toying with refinancing right now, I highly recommend you contact your local lender (I can help you if your home is located in Washington state) so that you can be ready to lock in a very low mortgage rate.
Will this week bring tricks or treats with mortgage rates? The stage is set to be another volatile week for mortgage rates with scheduled economic events/indicators. The Fed is expected to retire QE3 this week, in which they were buying bonds and treasuries to keep mortgage interest rates at artificial low levels. In addition, the economic issues taking place in Europe and other uncertainties in the world, just adds to the drama we may see play out with mortgage rates.
Last week, when mortgage rates for the 30 year fixed dipped below 4%, we saw many home owners jumping at the chance to refinance. Mortgage interest rates were very volatile last week, following the roller coaster ride of the stock market. It was reported we had about 10 different price changes in just one day. The only way you can make sure that you lock in a low rate is to…well…lock it! This basically means that you have provided the lender with an application and have decided on your mortgage program.
Last Friday’s Jobs Report came in better than expected and mortgage rates ticked up a little higher on Friday but are still in a tight range and essentially unchanged compared to last Monday’s rate post (slightly improved). There’s not a lot on the dance card this week for scheduled events that may impact the direction of mortgage interest rates this week. Watch for the Fed Minutes on Wednesday, which has stronger odds of moving mortgage rates. Since this week’s calendar is so light, I’m adding a couple items that will not impact rates…but are eventful!
This week is packed with economic data that may influence the direction of mortgage rates wrapping up with the Jobs Report on Friday. Mortgage rates will also react to world tensions, such as what’s taking place in the Middle East. This is because mortgage rates are based on bonds (mortgage backed securities) and investors often seek the safety of bonds over the potentially higher return found with stocks. Stocks are taking a hit this morning and mortgage backed securities are improved.Here are some of the economic indicators that are scheduled to be released this week: