Mortgage rates inched higher in the latest survey but remain at historically low levels. The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose three basis points to 3.23% with 0.43 in points for the week ended March 5, 2021. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 1.3% while the Purchase Index increased 7%. The Refinance Index declined by 5% and is down 43% from a year ago. Spokesperson Joel Kan said, "With the spring buying season at the doorstep, the purchase market had its strongest showing in four weeks, with gains in both conventional and government applications."
Consumer inflation was mixed in February as the markets look for any signs of upside pressure. The inflation reading Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February rose by 0.4%, inline with expectations while the Core rate, which strips out food and energy, increased 0.1%, below the 0.2% expected. Core CPI rose 1.3% annually, down from 1.4% in January while the headline number was up 1.7% from 1.4%. This hot headline CPI was offset by a soft Core rate which gave a boost to the U.S. stock markets.