Home Loan Rates
Mortgage rates are at the best levels in six weeks in response to a rise in geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran.
Last week a top Iranian official was assassinated by a US airstrike. Iran has characterized the attack as an act of terrorism and has vowed a retaliation. I hope and pray that diplomatic efforts can ease the tension between the two countries.
However, the fear over a heightened conflict is causing uncertainty in the financial markets and encouraging investors to shift capital out of the stock market into safer havens such as US treasuries and mortgage-backed bonds.
A Flight to Safety
Should tensions continue to escalate then we may see US mortgage rates continue to decline as investors park their money in safer places.
This week’s economic calendar is fairly light until we get to Friday when the all-important jobs report will be released. Analysts are expecting 160,000 new jobs created for the month of December. The previous month saw 266,000 new jobs.
Generally, when the employment report is stronger than expected it is bad for mortgage rates and vice versa.
Closer to home
Here in Oregon job growth in 2019 was slower than the previous six years. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is predicting slow and steady growth for the next two years.
From a technical perspective mortgage rates look like they have more to lose than to gain. Therefore, I will recommend a locking bias. However, should tensions between the US and Iran continue to escalate (and I hope they do not) then we should float.
Current Outlook: Locking bias