Weekly update on San Jose Mortgage Rates and economy news.

The Week That Was:

  • Freddie Mac in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.97 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 4, 2010. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.15 percent.
  • The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.11 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.16 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.08 percent.
  • Jan personal income was less than expected, up 0.1% while personal spending was strong at +0.5%.
  • Feb auto sales were expected to have increased, and they did; the only company that reported a decline was Toyota.
  • On the housing front; Jan pending home sales (the number of homes, placed under sales contract) jumped 12.3% from January 2009, but down 7.6% compared to December. According to National Association of Realtors, the drop was mainly because of harsh winter weathers.

The Week That Will Be:

  • There are only a few data points that will garner attention; they do not appear until Thursday and Friday when retail sales, weekly jobless claims and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index hit.
  • The key this week is Treasury auctions; a total of $74B in 3 yr and 10 yr notes and a 30 yr bond on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Although the mortgage markets are presently holding well, if treasury rates break out to an up-trending move (3.75% on the 10 yr) mortgage rates will follow quickly. Unless there is a major shift in sentiment about the strength of the economic rebound, to the view of a double dip coming, interest rates won’t likely decline much more. The overall view is for increasing rates this year; estimates from 4.15% on the 10 yr note to as high as 5.00%; we don’t see 5.00%, more likely 4.25%. That would mean 30 yr mortgage rates at 5.50% to 5.60%.

 

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