Lock and load? Mortgage rates on the rise again

Flat screens and espresso makers? No, turns out that consumers should have been buying mortgages on Cyber Monday. By the end of the day, the average rate on the commonly used 30-year-fixed mortgage was 4.5 percent, its highest point since mid-September, according to Mortgage News Daily. It was 3.36 percent a year ago.

“Investors are hesitant to move lower in rates ahead of the important data coming up throughout the week, and most importantly on Friday with the employment report,” said Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of MND.

Data on new-home sales are set to be released Wednesday, along with manufacturing and payroll data. Jobless claims are out Thursday, and then the big monthly nonfarm payrolls (NFP) report.

“It’s been increasingly the case that we see these leadoffs, starting ahead of NFP, because investors don’t want to get caught offsides after a fast NFP move,” Graham said.

That’s why those who are considering a refinance or a home purchase might want to lock in Tuesday, as rates come slightly off Monday’s highs before a possible surge.

(Read more: Robert Shiller on housing: Don’t trust momentum)

“I convinced my entire pipeline to lock today,” said one mortgage originator on MBS Live, an online data platform and industry community.

It could all go the other way, of course, but not much. While 4.5 percent may not yet be a floor, it is increasingly clear that 4.25 percent is. These moves may seem small, but consumers need to pay attention.

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101242878

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