Mortgage rates inched lower in the latest week and remain near lows seen in September 2017. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell three basis points to 4.04% with an average 0.37 in points. The jumbo rate rose three basis points to 4.03% with 0.27 points while the FHA 30-year was unchanged at 3.97% with 0.30 in points.
The MBA also reported that the Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 2.4% while the Refinance Index decreased 6.5% and the purchase index gained 2.3%. Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting said, "Borrowers have been less sensitive to low rates as many borrowers have either recently refinanced or are likely waiting for rates to fall even further.
"Inflation pressures remain muted, global growth continues to be a concern," were the remarks from Fed Chair Powell this morning prior to his testimony on Capitol Hill. Those words from Fed Chair Powell's opening statement this morning was virtually identical to what he was saying back in early January when he did a 180 degree turn to the dovish side. Mr Powell also added, "Since then (the June Fed meeting), based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook." Mr. Powell's remarks lifted both the stock and bond markets this morning and propelled the closely watched S&P 500 Stock Index to an all-time high of 3,000.