CT Mortgage Rate Update February 23, 2010

By
Mortgage and Lending with MBC Interactive

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices fell last week pushing Connecticut mortgage rates considerably higher. The bond market took a hit as inflation concerns emerged after the stronger than expected producer price index data. Producer prices surged in January amid higher energy costs to almost double expectations. The Fed made a surprise rate hike to the discount rate that also resulted in CT mortgage rate increases. The only positive was the tame consumer inflation reading Friday morning but we were unable to rebound from the earlier losses. Unfortunately rates rose over a full discount point for the week.

The consumer confidence data Tuesday will set the tone for trading this week. New home sales, weekly jobless claims, and the gross domestic product data also may move the financial markets. The Treasury will auction $118B in 2/5/7-year notes starting Tuesday. The additional supply may cause interest rate volatility.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator

Release
Date & Time

Consensus
Estimate


Analysis

Consumer Confidence

Tuesday, Feb. 23,
10:00 am, et

55.0 Important. An indication of consumers' willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower CT mortgage rates.
2-year Treasury Note Auction

Tuesday, Feb. 23,
1:00 pm, et

None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower CT mortgage rates.
New Home Sales Wednesday, Feb. 24,
10:00 am, et
Up 2.3% Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. Weakness may lead to CT lower rates.
5-year Treasury Note Auction Wednesday, Feb. 24,
1:00 pm, et
None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Durable Goods Orders

Thursday, Feb 25,
8:30 am, et

Up 1.5% Important. An indication of the demand for "big ticket" items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims

Thursday, Feb 25,
8:30 am, et

460k Important. Higher jobless claims may lead to lower mortgage interest rates.
7-year Treasury Note Auction

Thursday, Feb 25,
1:00 pm, et

None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Q4 GDP second estimate

Friday, Feb. 26,
8:30 am, et

Up 5.6% Important. The aggregate measure of US economic production. Weakness may lead to Connecticut rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

Friday, Feb. 26,
10:00 am, et

73.9 Important. An indication of consumers' willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower CT mortgage rates.
Existing Home Sales

Friday, Feb. 26,
10:00 am, et

Up 0.9% Low importance. An indication of mortgage credit demand. Significant weakness may lead to lower rates.

Fed Action Causes Uncertainty

The Federal Reserve caught market participants by surprise with their 25 basis point discount rate hike last week. While analysts were split on whether the Fed would raise rates this year, that question has now been answered. The move resulted in volatility in most of the US financial markets.

The discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks on loans they receive from the Fed. The rate hike is an effort to pull back the aid provided by extraordinary low rates amid the global economic decline. The Fed specifically noted the move was needed "in light of continued improvement in financial market conditions." Many analysts noted the earlier warnings from Fed Bernanke that rate hikes were coming but very few, if any, expected the move this soon.

While the rate hike resulted in Connecticut mortgage rates falling in the short-term, the long-term outlook is less certain. Most analysts believe inflation remains in check, but at the same time the Fed purchasing of MBS will soon be over. A cautious approach to "float" and "lock" decisions is prudent taking the current market conditions into consideration.

For more news and information about purchasing a home or refinancing and existing property visit www.ToMortgageServices.com.

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