Mortgage Rate Update April 24, 2012

Mortgage rates are unchanged today.

Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands were all able to successfully sell government debt at regularly scheduled bond auctions earlier today (click HERE to understand why the Netherlands is all of a sudden important).  Had demand for their auctions been week it would have stoked concern and likely helped US interest rates move lower.  The US is up next with $35 billion in 2-year notes scheduled to be auctioned this afternoon.  Click HERE to understand how government borrowing can impact mortgage rates.

There were a couple significant housing related economic reports released today.  The S&P Case-Shiller home price index was released for February and showed continued declines on a year-over-year basis.  However, on a seasonally adjusted basis home prices in the PDX-metro region increased modestly (the non-seasonally adjusted figure fell slightly).

In a separate report the Commerce Department reported that new homes sales decreased sharply last month from the month before.  However, compared to a year ago new homes sales were up by 7.5%.  Furthermore, they revised previously released figures for January and February higher.  All in all the report was healthy which is a good signal for the hosing market but all else being equal bad news for mortgage rates.

All eyes are now focused on tomorrow’s Fed monetary policy statement and news conference.  I’ll discuss that in tomorrow’s ‘rate update’.

Current Outlook: locking bias