Housing Starts Jump! Rates Move Higher.

The Commerce Department reported on Friday that Housing Starts jumped 9.7% from December to an annual rate of 1.326 million units, above the 1.240 million expected. That was the highest level since October 2016 and up 7.3% from January 2017. Multi-dwelling starts, five or more units, surged 19.7% from December. Single-family starts, which account for the largest share of the market, rose 3.7% from December, up 7.6% from January 2017. Housing Starts rose in the Northeast, South and West but declined in the Midwest. 90
Fannie Mae reported on Thursday that it has increased this year’s 30-year fixed mortgage rate forecast by 30 basis points to an average of 4.40% as a result of the unexpected jump in long-term interest rates at the beginning of the year. However, Fannie Mae doesn’t expect mortgage rates to play much of a role in total home sales, especially with anticipated stronger disposable household income growth. The ongoing inventory shortages should continue to constrain sales despite positive home buying conditions.
Consumer Sentiment surged in early February as tax cuts outweighed the drop in Stock prices early in the month. The Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 99.9 from the January reading of 95.7 and above the 95.5 expected. It was the second highest level since 2004. Consumers were upbeat on the economy, rising incomes and rising employment figures. The largest proportion of households reported an improved financial situation since 2000, and expected larger income gains during the year ahead.


Mortgage Rates Coming Down, a bit.


In relative terms, today’s rates are as low as they’ve been in 3 weeks.  We’ve only been able to say that one other time  since the election (early to mid January), and that turned out to be a good time to consider locking vs floating.  Past precedent doesn’t guarantee a similar outcome, but the longer the winning streak continues, the more it makes sense to look for tactical opportunities to take advantage of the gains.

To read the full article on Mortgage News Daily, click the link below.

Mortgage Rates in Line With 3-Week Lows