I do not anticipate that mortgage rates will change much today. The primary economic report today showed that retail sales increased by 0.4% in January, while expectations were for a 0.7% increase. So while the economy is growing marginally, it is growing less than expected, and stocks are down slightly this morning as a result (I also question how significant a 0.4% increase is when the confidence interval for this data is +/- 0.5%, but I digress). This report is unlikely to have any major impact on mortgage rates today.
In addition to this, Moody’s downgraded several European countries, (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia), but the market hasn’t really moved accordingly. It is possible that this move is past due, and the risk is already baked into prices, and that Moody’s is just telling us what we already know. As usual, events in Greece loom large, and I think we are all tired of hearing about Greece, and there is really no way of predicting exactly what is going to happen with Greece, at least in the short term (in the long term they’re probably out of the Eurozone and back to the Drachma). The interesting thought experiment here is to imagine what will happen if Italy, Portugal, and Spain start having Greek-style problems. Portugal is relatively small, but Italy and Spain’s economies are huge in comparison to Greece, and problems with their debts are soon going to be the European problem du jour. Anyway, barring a major curveball, I don’t think rates will change much in light of events in Europe today.
Tomorrow we will see a number of reports released, including industrial production and the housing market index. If these reports are strong we could run the risk of seeing increased mortgage rates tomorrow, but for today, I think the market will be little changed.
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***Mortgage rates change often. The above rates were quoted at 1:10 P.M., on February 14, 2012. Call 877-868-2503 for more details.***
Today’s News and Links:
Census Bureau/Department of Commerce: Retail sales increased by 0.4% (+/- 0.5%) percent in January, up 5.8% (+/-0.7%) year-over-year. The anticipation was for growth of 0.7%, so this is less than expectations.
NYT: 6 European nations get downgrades. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia all get downgraded by Moody’s. Britain, France, and Austria were all revised to a negative outlook.
Yves Smith: Quelle surprise! Administration and state attorneys general lied, mortgage settlement release described as “broad”. I’ve been avoiding writing about this myself because I find the whole thing appalling, and frankly, Yves Smith has it totally covered.
Adam Levitin via Credit Slips: Austerity hits Greece. “Among the most devastating [austerity measure] is the prohibition on the use of Corinthian and Ionic columns.
BBC : America’s homeless resort to tent cities.
Dave Dayen: There is no foreclosure fraud settlement term sheet. This happened over the weekend and I forgot to link to it yesterday. Unreal.
Edward Harrison: How and why Greece will leave the Eurozone. Great read.
Washington Post: Obama budget: price tag for Wall Street bailout goes up. I would be willing to bet this doesn’t even count the myriad of backdoor bailouts.
Financial Times: Greece is far from safe even after debt swap.
Washington Post: Israeli defense chief accuses Iran of being behind Bangkok blast. I think the very last thing that we need right now is war with Iran.
Housing Wire: Military members may get six-figure payday for wrongful foreclosures. Good. Now let’s extend this to everybody else who was wrongfully foreclosed upon, and maybe the banks will learn to keep better paperwork.
* All rates shown are for 30 day rate locks. Longer locks are available. The APR for conventional loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $417,000, 1 point, a $495 application fee, $400 appraisal fee, $799 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. The APR for jumbo loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $500,000, two points, a $495 application fee, $400 appraisal fee, $799 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. The APR for FHA loan amounts is calculated using a loan amount of $295,000, two points, a $495 application fee, $450 appraisal fee, $715 underwriting fee and a $16 flood certification fee. Some rates and fees may vary by state. All interest rates listed are for qualified applicants with 720 or higher FICO and 80 LTV and are subject to mortgage approval with full documentation of income. All rates are subject to change without notice. All rates shown are for 30 day rate locks with 1 point unless otherwise noted.