Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary: Monday, November 21st 2011

by Alex Stenback on November 21, 2011

Last Week:

Mortgages chugged sideways last week.  From Monday through Friday there was actually some modest improvement in raw pricing of mortgage bonds, but not enough to impact consumer facing rates, which remained virtually unchanged all week.

Why the drama free week?  Moderately OK economic data points in the US (weekly jobless claims average slipped under 400K, jobless claims 7 month low, decent print from retail sales, optimistic permits/starts data from home builders, you get the idea…) and a Eurozone financial crisis that everyone knows is coming, but is being obfuscated and delayed by Eurozone politicians and bankers who’ve taken to continually pumping chaff into the jetstream rather than deal directly with the problem.

This Week:

Anything meaningful that happens this week will need to happen in 3 days – Thanksgiving looms, and markets are closed outright on Thursday, open for a half-day Friday but you can probably guess the level of activity expected.

The focus will continue to be on Eurozone finance, but the US is about to get a second debt ceiling debacle:  1.  The “Supercomittee” to save the US will fail.  2.  The cuts set during the last debt-ceiling deal will not happen.  Both of these events, in a Macro sense, are mortgage rate friendly in that they are recessionary, and nothing sends rates lower, faster, than a failed recovery.

Problem is, rates are already very, very low (30 yr fixed trending at or below 4%, on average) so it is unclear how much room there is for mortgages to tumble here, and it would be a mistake to underestimate how difficult it is to predict the timing of any further drops, if they happen at all, no matter how ugly the timing might be.

As for the economic calendar proper, we have:

Monday: Existing home sales (expected to dip)

Tuesday: Real GDP 3Q (unchanged expected), Fed Minutes from 2 Nov meeting

Wednesday: Durable goods orders (expected to fall), Personal Income/outlays (inflation measure PCE within expected to rise .1%), weekly jobless claims

Thursday: Markets closed

Friday: Markets close 2PM, no data scheduled.
Watching mortgage rates? Need a rate quote? Follow me on Twitter for a leg up as mortgage-related news breaks, and if you are actively shopping for a mortgage, feel free to drop me a line with a few bullet points about your situation.   I answer my own email and reply to all inquiries promptly.

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