Mortgage markets worsened terribly last week. Amid more reports of an improving economy and fears of pending inflation, mortgage rates skyrocketed to their highest levels since April 2010.
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates made their largest 1-week jump in more than a year last week, tacking on 0.24 percent and bringing the average national 30-year fixed mortgage rate up to 5.05%.
In some markets, rates are even higher.
Since bottoming out in Freddie Mac's November 11 survey, conforming, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are now higher by close to a full percentage point. Home buyers in Oak Lawn and across the nation have lost more than 10% of their purchasing power during that time.
Rates have also been on a historic run higher, increasing over 9 consecutive days for the first time in almost a decade. That streak ended Friday with rates dropping slightly, and rate shoppers are hopeful the momentum lower continues into this week.
It's not likely. The week is loaded of housing data and housing has been trending better. More strong figures will bolster stock markets at the expense of bonds, driving mortgage rates higher for the 4th week in a row.
In addition, inflation-related figures will be released. That, too, can have a negative impact on mortgage rates.
- Monday : NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Survey
- Tuesday : Retail Sales, Consumer Confidence
- Wednesday : Building Permits, Housing Starts, Producer Price Index, FOMC Minutes
- Thursday : Consumer Price Index
Markets should increase in volatility as the week progresses because of the looming 3-day weekend. Volume will be light Friday in advance of President's Day.
If you haven't yet locked your mortgage rate, the time to act is soon -- possibly now. Mortgage rates are well off their historical lows, but still relatively inexpensive. Before long, that may no longer be the case.