Mortgage Rate Update March 20, 2012

Although mortgage note rates are unchanged the accompanying closing costs are higher so overall rates have worsened.

With Europe (temporarily) out of focus mortgage rates are reacting to US economic data and the stock market.  In general, when economic data is reported better than expected it is bad for mortgage rates and vice versa.  Similarly, when stocks rally it typically draws capital out of the bond market which has the effect of pushing rates higher and vice versa.

The Commerce Department reported that home construction fell by more than expectedin February.


However, they also revised the previously released figure for January higher.  According to the report home construction activity was at its busiest pace since October 2008 in January.  Overall the report was mixed.

US stocks were trading lower in early trading.  Investors were likely reacting to cautious remarks by an Australian mining executive who warned about slower Chinese demand for iron ore.  A slowdown in the Chinese economy would likely have global implications.

Current Outlook: neutral