Rate Update March 15, 2010

Mortgage rates are unchanged from Friday.

Mortgage rates have remained amazingly range bound for the past 3 months.  The chart below shows average 30 year fixed rates over the past 3 years.  Since the beginning of the year rates have been seemingly unchanged.  At no other time in the past 3 years have rates been this flat for this long.

Avg. 30-yr fixed rates dating back 3 years

The bond market is fairly quite this morning ahead of tomorrow’s Fed meeting.  The Fed is expected to announce that they will leave short-term rates unchanged in tomorrow’s policy statement.  Traders will be listening to see if they keep the term “extended period” in the statement when talking about monetary stimulus.  Frankly I don’t think it will make too big of a difference in the mortgage markets.

Over the weekend China’s Premier made some strong statements regarding the Chinese currency.  You can read more about the issue HERE but should China allow their currency more flexibility in the marketplace it would hurt the US dollar and likely cause long-term interest rates to rise.

Looking ahead for the week the meat of the economic calendar comes Wednesday and Thursday when inflation figures are released.  For now I’ll continue to recommend a locking bias.

Current outlook: locking bias