The National Association of Realtors released its Pending Home Sales report and it showed that signed contracts on existing homes increased by 8.1% in January. This came in much stronger than the 1% gain anticipated and follows a 1.1% increase in December. Year over year, sales are down 24%, but this is a nice improvement over the negative 33% in the previous report.

There was most definitely a big pick-up in activity in January. Normally, January is not known to be a strong month for housing, but rates did temporarily move a bit lower and piqued buyer interest. Rates did move back up a bit in February due to the much stronger than expected Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Report. There is a good chance that rates will improve upon the release of the upcoming March 10th BLS Jobs Report. The report will likely be weaker and probably will not have any of the adjustments we saw in the January BLS Jobs Report.

Another report to look forward to would be the March 14th CPI Report. This report has a great chance to have a lower inflation reading which would in turn, be kind to bonds. As we keep saying, the arch enemy of the bond market is inflation. When inflation increases, mortgage bond pricing decreases and mortgage rates typically go up. On the flip side, when inflation decreases, mortgage bond pricing increases and mortgage rates typically improve. As rates move lower into the spring home buying season, we should see activity increase as well as opportunity.

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A Family

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