Mortgage Time

Julie C. Nichols General

Rates Improve Again
Over the past week, concerns increased about President Trump’s ability to deliver pro-growth policy changes as quickly as expected. This was favorable for mortgage rates. The economic data had little impact. Mortgage rates again ended the week lower.
Since the election, stocks have performed very well, while bonds yields have risen. This was due to expected policy changes under the Trump administration which would boost economic growth. Stronger growth is good for the economy and for stocks, but it raises the outlook for future inflation, which is negative for mortgage rates. Over the past week, President Trump encountered resistance to a health care bill. This increased investor concerns about the ease with which Trump will be able to deliver his pro-growth policy changes in areas such as tax cuts, deregulation, and infrastructure spending. As investors questioned whether the policies might be smaller in scale or might take longer to implement, some of the "Trump Trade" reversed this week, which was good for mortgage rates.

The housing sector data released this week revealed that home sales activity remained at very good levels. New homes sold in February rose to the best level in months. Sales of previously owned homes did slip from January’s strong pace, but according to the National Association of Realtors, this was due to a shortage of inventory in many regions.
Demand remained very strong. The median time properties were on the market fell to just 45 days in February, down from 59 days last year at this time.
Looking ahead, the outcome of the health care bill vote scheduled for late Friday afternoon might influence mortgage rates. After that, Pending Home Sales will be released on Wednesday. The core PCE price index and Personal Income will come out on Friday. Core PCE is the inflation indicator favored by the Fed. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. There will be Fed speakers every day next week as well.

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