Last week mortgage rates were exactly flat confirming my forecast that rates may not rise for the third week in a row. The week started off strong but ended with a whimper for 2 main reasons:
- Wells Fargo’s announcement of record $ 3 Billion in earnings
- Mike Mayo’s downgrade of the banking sector. Mike has a history of making accurate bank predictions
This week there is plenty of good hard data for markets to sink their teeth into.
Tuesday, we’ll get a look at Retail Sales. Because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy, a lower-than-expected figure for Retail Sales would dampen Wall Street’s current optimism for the U.S. and that would likely lead mortgage rates lower.
Then, on Thursday, Housing Starts is released.
Housing Starts measures the number of new homes on which the nation’s builders broke ground last month. If starts are up, it may mean that builders are optimistic for housing — a good sign for the economy. However, if starts are down, it should help reduce housing inventory over the next few months — also a good sign for the economy. I know that sounds like a “heads I win-tails you lose” statement, but both can be positive in the right light.
With many people–including myself seeing signs of a housing stabilization happening in some of the hardest hit markets, and all the incentives to purchase the spring buying season promises to be an interesting one!
(Image Courtesy of: Arizona Mortgage News)