This week is extremely light on economic reporting. Mortgage rates today are primarily determined by global events like attacks n Europe, tweets in the US, and today's data (see below). Per Federal Reserve policy, Fed speakers are refraining from comment for the next week-and-a-half before it releases its announcement.
In addition, many American investors are frozen as we all await the results of former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony on Thursday. Unless something crazy happens, expect mortgage rates to move within a fairly narrow range.
|Conventional 30 yr Fixed||3.625||3.625||-0.13%|
|Conventional 15 yr Fixed||3.000||3.000||Unchanged|
|Conventional 5 yr ARM||3.000||3.635||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.250||4.200||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed FHA||2.750||3.602||Unchanged|
|5 year ARM FHA||2.750||3.964||+0.04%|
|30 year fixed VA||3.375||3.515||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA||2.875||3.171||-0.01%|
|5 year ARM VA||3.125||3.292||+0.06%|
The US economy this morning points to falling interest rates.
Thursday: Weekly Unemployment claims -- how many people filed new claims for benefits. The report shows strength and weakness in the jobs market, which is very important, but it's only a weekly report, so it gets little attention unless the actual number of claims deviates crazily from estimates.
This week, analysts expect 238,000 claims.
All indicators this morning show that rates could drop today. If I were in process with a mortgage, I'd be tempted to float and see if I could do better. However, everyone's needs and tolerance for risk are different. If you are risk-averse and can secure a satisfactory rate this morning, you might want to grab it.
Mortgage interest rates depend on a great deal on the expectations of investors. Good economic news tends to be bad for interest rates, because an active economy raises concerns about inflation. Inflation causes fixed-income investments like bonds to lose value, and that causes their yields (another way of saying interest rates) to increase.
For example, suppose that two years ago, you bought a $1,000 bond payingÂ five percent interest ($50) each year. (This is called its â€ścoupon rate.") Thatâ€™s a pretty good rate today, so lots of investors want to buy it from you. You sell your $1,000 bond for $1,200.
The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest that you were getting. However, because he paid more for the bond, his interest rate is not five percent.
TheÂ buyer gets an interest rate, or yield, of only 4.2 percent. And thatâ€™s why, when demand for bonds increases and bond prices go up, interest rates go down.
However, when the economy heats up, the potential for inflation makes bonds less appealing. With fewer people wanting to buy bonds, their prices decrease, and then interest rates go up.
Imagine that you have your $1,000 bond, but you can't sell it for $1,000, because unemployment has dropped and stock prices are soaring. You end up gettingÂ $700. The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest, but the yield looks like this:
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2017 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)