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If you are considering locking in an interest rate for a New York mortgage or a Florida mortgage, read this post.
The Commerce Department reported early this morning that April's Retail Sales rose 0.1% when analysts were expecting a 0.2% increase. The reading that excludes more volatile auto sales also rose 0.1% compared to forecasts of 0.2%. Technically, the data is slightly favorable for bonds and mortgage rates because consumers spent less than expected last month. However, the variance wasn’t enough to raise much concern in the stock markets or optimism in the bond market.
April's Consumer Price Index (CPI) was posted early this morning also, but by the Labor Department. They announced that the overall reading did not change from March’s level and that the core reading rose 0.2%. Both readings pegged forecasts, indicating that inflationary pressures remained near expectations last month. That makes the data neutral for bond trading and mortgage pricing.
Tomorrow has three of this week’s reports scheduled, starting with April's Housing Starts at 8:30 AM ET. This data measures housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand by tracking newly issued permits and actual starts of new home construction. It is expected to show an increase in new starts from March's readings. Since this report is not considered to be of high importance to the bond market, it likely will have little impact on mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts.
The second report of the day is April's Industrial Production at 9:15 AM ET. It measures manufacturing sector strength by tracking output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. It is expected to show a 0.5% increase in production, indicating that manufacturing activity is growing. A smaller than expected increase in output would be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates because it would indicate that the manufacturing sector is not as strong as thought. This report is just a bit more important to the markets as the earlier housing report, so they both will likely need to show unexpected strength or weakness for them to cause movement in mortgage rates.
Tomorrow's third release is the minutes of the last FOMC meeting. Market participants will be looking for how Fed members voted during the last meeting and any comments about inflation concerns in the economy and economic growth. The goal is to form opinions about the Fed being able to wait until late 2014 to make a move to either boost economic activity or slow growth to ease inflation concerns. Since the minutes will be released at 2:00 PM ET, if there is a market reaction to them it will be evident during afternoon trading tomorrow.
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... Float 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.
Empire Home Mortgage Inc. is a registered Mortgage Broker with the New York and Florida State Banking Departments and our loans are arranged through third party providers.