What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 21, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 20, 2022Last week’s economic news included reporting on home builder confidence in national and regional housing markets, a post-meeting statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference. The National Association of Home Builders released its national and regional housing market indices. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

NAHB Housing Market Indices Reflect Slowing Growth in Housing Markets

June readings from the National Association of Home Builders showed slower growth in builder confidence in current and future U.S. housing markets. The NAHB reported the lowest reading in two years for June’s housing market indices as builder confidence fell for the sixth consecutive month. June’s index reading for the National Housing Market index fell two points to 67 and matched analysts’ forecasts. Readings over 50 indicate a majority of home builders are positive about housing market conditions.

NAHB chair Jerry Konter said, “Six consecutive monthly declines in home builder confidence is a clear sign of a slowing housing market in a high inflation, slow growth economic environment.” Mr. Konter also noted the impact of rising mortgage rates on entry-level and moderate-income home buyers: “Entry-level markets were particularly affected by declines in housing affordability…builders are adopting a more cautious stance as demand softens with higher mortgage rates.” Rising mortgage rates added to builders’ ongoing concerns with high materials costs and shortages of skilled workers.

NAHB’s regional homebuilder indices also declined with homebuilder sentiment in the West falling by nine points; the Midwestern regional index dropped by six points. Home builder sentiment decreased by two points in the South and by one point in the Northeast.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced that it would raise its benchmark interest rate range by 0.75 percent in its attempts to slow inflation. The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate of maintaining inflation at or near two percent and achieving maximum employment. The Fed is expected to raise its key rate range into 2024 in its efforts to ease inflation.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported a jump in average mortgage rates last week after the Fed announced its decision to raise its benchmark interest rate range to 0.75 to 1.00 percent. This was the highest federal funds range increase since 1981. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 55 basis points to 5.78 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 43 basis points to 4.81 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 21 basis points to 4.33 percent. Discount points averaged 0.90 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 229,000 first-time claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 232,000 first-time claims filed and the expected reading of 220,000 new jobless claims filed. Last week’s reading for continuing jobless claims was unchanged with 1.31 million ongoing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of previously owned homes and testimony by Fed chair Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. The University of Michigan will release its monthly index reading on consumer sentiment and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released. 

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 13, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 13, 2022

Last week’s economic reporting was highly focused on inflation, which grew at its fastest pace since 1981. Rising fuel and food prices boosted inflation in the U.S. and abroad; Analysts said the Ukraine War and supply chain problems continued to drive inflation. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Hits Highest Level in 41 Years

The government’s Consumer Price Index, which tracks inflation, rose at a month-to-month pace of 1.0 percent in May compared to the expected reading of 0.70 percent and April’s reading of 0.30 percent growth. May’s Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.60 percent month-to-month.

Year-over-year readings for inflation also increased in May as inflation rose by 8.60 percent compared to an expected reading of 

8.30 percent growth that matched April’s reading for year-over-year inflation. The year-over-year core Consumer Price Index rose by 6.0 percent in May compared to expectations of 5.90 percent and April’s year-over-year reading of 6.20 percent growth in consumer prices. Consumers felt the most pain paying higher rents and dealing with rising food and fuel prices. These categories represent a significant portion of household expenses and there was no immediate relief in sight. The Federal Reserve plans to raise its key interest rate range every month as it attempts to slow rapid inflation.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 14 basis points to 5.23 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged six basis points higher at 4.38 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages loans were eight basis points higher at 4.12 percent. Discount points for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.90 percent and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. Ongoing shortages of available homes and rising materials costs continued boosting home prices and eroding affordability for first-time and moderate-income home buyers.

Initial jobless claims increased last week with 229,000 first-time claims filed compared to the prior week’s reading of 202,000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were unchanged last week with 1.31 million ongoing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on housing markets, building permits issued, and housing starts. The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee will release its post-meeting statement and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will give a post-meeting press conference. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 6, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 6, 2022Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, The Federal Housing Finance Agency on home prices for homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and reporting on Construction spending. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller: Home Prices Rise in March, but Affordability May Slow Future Gains

National home prices grew at a year-over-year pace of 20.60 percent in March according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. The 20-City and 10-City Composite Indices also showed continuing growth in home prices, but analysts cautioned that rising home prices and mortgage rates would soon slow gains in home prices.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage nearly doubled year-over-year from 2.75 percent last fall to approximately 5.25 percent currently. Ongoing high demand for homes continues to drive prices up as buyers compete for short supplies of available homes. This continues to create obstacles for first-time and moderate-income home buyers who cannot compete in bidding wars or qualify for mortgages needed to finance inflated home prices.

The 20-City Home Price Index saw Phoenix, Arizona lose its long-held first-place position to Tampa, Florida, which reported a  year-over-year gain of 34.80 percent; Phoenix, Arizona reported year-over-year home price growth of  32.40 percent, and home prices in Miami Florida rose by 32.00 percent.

Craig Lazzara, a Managing Director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said, “Those of us who have been anticipating a deceleration in the growth of U.S home prices will have to wait at least a month longer.” Analysts expect affordability to slow rapid home price growth as high home prices and mortgage rates erode affordability, but Mr. Lazzara said that there was no way to know exactly when home price growth would start to slow down.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that home prices for single-family homes owned or financed by the two government-sponsored enterprises rose by 19.00 percent year-over-year.

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady, Jobless Claims Decline

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.09 percent and were one basis point lower; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 4.32 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 16 basis points to 4.40 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell last week to 200,000 initial claims filed; 211,000 first-time claims were filed in the previous week. Fewer continuing jobless claims were filed last week with 1.31 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 1.34 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The Commerce Department reported slower construction spending in April, with month-to-month growth of 0.20 percent as compared to the March reading of 0.30 percent and the expected reading of 0.50 percent growth.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes several readings on consumer price inflation and the University of Michigan’s reading on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 31, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 31, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings on new and pending home sales, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and data on inflation. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

New and Pending Home Sales Fall

The annual pace of new home sales fell in April according to the Commerce Department. Year-over-year sales of new homes fell to a pace of 591,000 sales as compared to the March reading of 709,000 sales of new homes. Analysts expected a year-over-year pace of 750,000 new home sales in April. Rising home prices and mortgage rates challenged first-time and moderate-income home buyers, which caused falling sales.

Readings for pending home sales fell by -3.90 percent in April; analysts expected a reading of -2.00 percent based on the March reading of -1.60 percent. High home prices and recently rising mortgage rates cooled prospective buyers’ interest as concerns over rising inflation and economic conditions sidelined low and moderate-income home buyers. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, said that rising mortgage rates have increased monthly mortgage payments by as much as $500. A secondary effect of fewer home sales is fewer sales of goods and services associated with home ownership.

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes documented the Fed’s decision to raise its key interest rate range to 0.75 to 1.00 percent. FOMC members expect ongoing rate range increases as the Fed continues its efforts to control inflation.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates for the second consecutive week. Rates for 30year fixed rate mortgages fell by 15 basis points to 5.10 percent and rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell by 12 basis points to 4.31 percent.  The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 12 basis points to 4.20 percent. Discount points averaged 0.90 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims fell to 210,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 218,000 initial claims filed. Analysts expected 215,000 new jobless claims. Continuing jobless claims rose to 1.35 million ongoing claims filed as compared to 1.32 million ongoing claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell to an index reading of 58.40 in May as compared to April’s reading of 59.10. Readings over 50 are considered positive.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home prices and construction spending along with labor sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 16, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 16, 2022Last week’s economic reporting included readings and forecasts on inflation and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment survey. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Reports: Mixed Results for April

Commerce Department readings on consumer inflation showed mixed results in April; the Consumer Price Index dropped to 0.30 percent growth from the March reading of 1.20 percent inflation. Analysts expected 0.30 percent growth from March to April. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.60 percent in April as compared to the March reading of 0.30 percent growth. Analysts expected April’s reading for the Core Consumer Price Index to rise by 0.40 percent.

Year-over-year inflation dipped to 8.30 percent in April as compared to the March reading of 8.50 percent. This was the first decline in eight months and was caused by lower fuel prices. Analysts expected a year-over-year inflation rate of 8.10 percent for April. The year-over-year reading for the Core CPI, which excludes food and fuel sectors, showed  6.20 percent growth as compared to the March reading of 6.40 percent. The University of Michigan forecasted an inflation rate of 3.00 percent in the next five years.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by three basis points to 5.30 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 4.48 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 3.98 percent. Discount points averaged 0.90  percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 203,000 new claims filed last week as compared to 202,000 initial claims filed in the prior week. Continuing jobless claims were lower last week with 1.34 million ongoing claims filed; 1.39 million claims were filed during the prior week.

The University of Michigan released the preliminary edition of its Consumer Sentiment Index for May; consumer sentiment dropped to an index reading of 59.10 percent for May as compared to April’s reading of 65.20 percent. The war in Ukraine and high fuel prices continued to contribute to consumer skepticism about current economic conditions.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include homebuilder readings on housing market conditions, Commerce Department reports on building permits issued and housing starts are also scheduled. The National Association of Realtors® will release data on sales of previously-owned single-family homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 9, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 9, 2022Last week’s scheduled economic reports included readings on construction spending, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee statement, and the Fed Chair’s press conference. Readings on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate were released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Construction Spending Slows in March, Fed Raises Key Rate

Construction spending fell in March according to the Commerce Department. Spending increased by 0.10 percent as compared to the expected reading of 0.80 percent and February’s reading of 0.50 percent. Less construction spending could indicate a slowdown in building as builders face rising operations and materials costs. 

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee initially considered raising the federal rate to 0.75 percent, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell vetoed that option, and committee members agreed to raise the federal funds rate to 0.50 percent. This increase was the highest in more than 20 years.

Chair Powell said in his post-meeting press conference that he wanted to address the American people and that inflation was too high. “We understand the hardship it’s causing and we’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down. We have the tools we need and the resolve that it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses.” Mr. Powell declined to identify a specific number defining the Fed’s goal of achieving a “neutral” average interest rate.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Data Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 17 basis points to 5.27 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.52 percent and 12 basis points higher than in the prior week. Rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.96 percent and 18 basis points higher. Discount points for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.90 percent and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 0.20 percent.

New jobless claims rose to 200,000 initial claims filed last week as compared to 181,000 new claims filed in the prior week. Analysts expected a reading of 182,000 new claims filed. Fewer continuing jobless claims were filed last week with 1.38 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.40 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

The economy added 428,000 public and private-sector jobs in April; the national unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.60 percent. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 2, 2022

Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, and the Commerce Department on sales of new homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also reported. S&P Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Near-Record Home Price Growth February home prices continued their rapid growth, but analysts hinted at a coming slowdown in-home price growth as would-be buyers were faced with rising mortgage rates and affordability concerns. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.80 percent as compared to January’s national home price growth rate of 19.10 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index reported the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 32.90 percent growth, Tampa, Florida reported 32.60 percent growth in home prices, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent. All cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index had double-digit growth in February and the pace of home price growth was faster for all 20 cities than in January. In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year and were 2.10 percent higher month-to-month.  Pending home sales were lower in March by -1.20 percent, as compared to the expected reading of -1,80 percent and February’s reading of -4.00 percent. Rising inflation and home prices created affordability concerns for first-time and moderate-income homebuyers. Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall Freddie Mac reported a lower average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 5.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.40 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.78 percent and three basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. New jobless claims fell last week with 180,000 initial claims filed as compared to 185,000 first-time claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims held steady with 1.41 million ongoing claims filed and matched the prior week’s reading.  The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell by one-half point in April with an index reading of 65.2. The expected reading of 65.7 matched the March reading. Concerns over rising inflation, fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine contributed to lower consumer sentiment.  What’s Ahead This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on public and private-sector jobs growth, the national unemployment rate, and a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, and the Commerce Department on sales of new homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also reported.

S&P Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Near-Record Home Price Growth

February home prices continued their rapid growth, but analysts hinted at a coming slowdown in-home price growth as would-be buyers were faced with rising mortgage rates and affordability concerns. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.80 percent as compared to January’s national home price growth rate of 19.10 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index reported the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 32.90 percent growth, Tampa, Florida reported 32.60 percent growth in home prices, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent. All cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index had double-digit growth in February and the pace of home price growth was faster for all 20 cities than in January.

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year and were 2.10 percent higher month-to-month. 

Pending home sales were lower in March by -1.20 percent, as compared to the expected reading of -1,80 percent and February’s reading of -4.00 percent. Rising inflation and home prices created affordability concerns for first-time and moderate-income homebuyers.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported a lower average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 5.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.40 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.78 percent and three basis points higher. Discount points averaged  0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims fell last week with 180,000 initial claims filed as compared to 185,000 first-time claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims held steady with 1.41 million ongoing claims filed and matched the prior week’s reading.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell by one-half point in April with an index reading of 65.2. The expected reading of  65.7 matched the March reading. Concerns over rising inflation, fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine contributed to lower consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on public and private-sector jobs growth, the national unemployment rate, and a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

Case-Shiller, FHFA Post New Records for Home Price Growth

Case-Shiller, FHFA Post New Records for Home Price GrowthS&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index rose by 19.80 percent year-over-year in February and was the third-largest pace of home price growth since the National Home Price Index’s inception. The 20-City Home Price Index reported that Phoenix, Arizona held its first-place ranking with year-over-year home price growth of 32.90 percent. Tampa, Florida maintained its second-place standing with year-over-year home price growth of 32.60 percent. Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent year-over-year. Home prices rose faster for all 20 cities in February than in January.

Rapid Home Price Growth Expected to Slow as Rising Mortgage Rates Take Hold

All 20 cities included in the 20-City Home Price Index posted double-digit price growth in February, but analysts cautioned that the two-month lag in reporting didn’t accurately reflect current market conditions.  Recent data on home sales and mortgage applications indicated that demand for homes is slowing due to affordability challenges caused by rapidly rising home prices and mortgage rates. Economists expect the housing market to cool as would-be home buyers face mortgage qualification and affordability challenges.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “The macroeconomic environment is evolving rapidly and may not support extraordinary home-price growth for much longer.” Mr. Lazzara also said that rising mortgage rates have not yet impacted home-price data, but would likely do so soon.

Selma Hepp, a  chief deputy economist at CoreLogic, said: “With diminished buying power and mortgage rates pushing above five percent in recent weeks, home- price growth is likely to take a step back in coming months.” Economists generally expect home price growth to slow as sales volume declines.

FHFA Reports  Record Home Price Growth in February

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that home prices rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year; home prices for single-family homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 1.10 percent from January to February.  FHFA reported higher home prices across all nine census divisions. Home prices grew fastest in the Mountain Division, where home prices rose by 24.30 percent year-over-year in February.

Will Doerner, Ph. D   and Supervisory Economist at FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics, said: “House prices rose to a new historical record in February. Acceleration approached twice the monthly rate as seen a year ago. Housing prices continue to rise owing in part to supply constraints.” Rising materials costs, labor, and lot shortages continued to rein in new home construction.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 25, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - April 25, 2022Last week’s economic reporting included the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, government readings on housing starts and building permits, and data on sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Market Conditions Slips by Two Points

Homebuilder confidence fell by two points to an index reading of 77 in April and was the lowest reading since September. Analysts expected this dip as mortgage rates and building materials costs continued to rise. Index readings over 50 indicate that most builders have positive views of housing market conditions. Index readings haven’t fallen below 50 since the beginning of the pandemic in April and May of 2020.

Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said: “The housing market faces an inflection point as an unexpectedly quick rise in interest rates, rising home prices, and escalating materials costs have significantly decreased housing affordability conditions, particularly in the crucial entry-level market.”

Analysts viewed the combined impact of rising home prices and mortgage rates as obstacles to affordability that would disproportionately affect first-time and moderate-income homebuyers.

Building permits held steady in March with 1.87 million permits issued at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace; analysts expected a reading of 1.82 million building permits issued. Likewise, housing starts were unchanged in March from February’s seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.79 million housing starts. Analysts predicted a reading of 1.73 million housing starts.

The National Association of Realtors® reported a slower pace of sales for previously-owned homes in March.5.77 million pre-owned homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual pace as compared to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.93 million previously-owned homes sold in February. Rising mortgage rates and home prices sidelined some first-time and moderate-income buyers and caused sales of previously-owned homes to fall.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages surpassed five percent last week at 5.11 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 21 basis points to 4.38 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by six basis points on average to 3.75 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell last week with 184,000 first-time claims filed as compared to 186,000 initial claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 1.42 million claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.45 million continuing jobless claims filed. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home prices, new and pending home sales, and reports on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published. 

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 18, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - April 18, 2022Last week’s economic reporting included readings on monthly and year-over-year inflation and the preliminary reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Gas Prices Drive High Inflation in March

Consumers felt near-record pain at the pump in March as gas prices continued to rise. Month-to-month inflation increased by 1.20 percent in March as compared to February’s month-to-month inflation rate of 0.80 percent. Analysts expected inflation to rise by 1.10 percent in March. The extent of rapidly rising gasoline prices on inflation is evident when comparing readings for the Consumer Price Index and the Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and fuel prices. The month-to-month Core Consumer Price Index reading for March was 0.30 percent; analysts predicted a reading of 0.50 percent growth, which matched February’s reading.

Year-over-year Consumer Price Index readings showed 8.50 percent inflation, which exceeded the expected reading of 8.40 percent, and February’s year-over-year reading of 7.90 percent growth in inflation. The year-over-year core   Consumer Price Index rose to 6.50 percent in March and matched analyst expectations based on February’s year-over-year core inflation reading of 6.40 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claim Rise

Freddie Mac reported the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 28 basis points to 5.00 percent last week; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.17 percent and were 26 basis points higher on average. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.16 percent and averaged 13 basis points higher than in the previous week. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose to 185,000 new claims filed, which surpassed expectations of 172,000 new claims filed and the previous week’s reading of 167,000 new jobless claims filed. 1.48 million ongoing jobless claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 1.52 continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan released its Consumer Sentiment Index for April with an index reading of 65.7 as compared to the expected index reading of 64.1 and the March index reading of 59.4.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing markets, federal government readings on housing starts, and building permits issued. Weekly reporting on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.