U.S. mortgage rates remained unchanged on Friday, ending the week at stable levels, following increases during the earlier part of the week. The upward cycle began in early May after a relatively uneventful April, when mortgage rates were mostly flat. Now, we are again at the point, where there’s a chance that we see some kind of consolidation for interest rates, especially that this week looks particularly light on economic data. This also means that news and rumors from the Eurozone could have a bigger influence on U.S. mortgage rates this week. Thurday’s improvements suggested, that there might be some room for mortgage rates to remain stable for a while, but only time will tell if that’s indeed the case.
As we mentioned above, this holiday-shortened week is going to be rather light on economic data. Still, we will get some important batch of housing data, new report on durable goods orders, as well as the second estimate on Q1 GDP. On Tuesday morning the Commerce Department is set to release the durable goods orders report for April, which is a key data for business investment. Excluding airfact and defense orders, the majority of economists are projecting a modest increase of 0.3% for April compared to March’s 0.5% uptick.
Last week saw the release of some mixed housing market data. April’s housing starts data was one of the bright spots of recent weeks’ domestic economic reports, signaling a strong rebound in the industry in terms of housing starts and new building permits. However, April’s existing home sales data, showed a contrasting picture, as it declined unexpectedly. With the mixed nature of the past week’s housing data, now economists will be closely watching new home sales figures for April, which is scheduled for release on Tuesday. Sales of new single-family homes dipped 11.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 484,000 in March. For April’s reading the consensus expectation is a rebound of 4.%, which would translate to an annualized rate of 500,000.
A separate housing report, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index for March is scheduled for Tuesday. Analysts expect that the data will show a slowdown in house price growth for March.
On Thursday, we will get the latest weekly jobless claims data, which will give us some information on the current state of the labor market. The most recent data signaled a strength in the job market, as the four-week average for jobless claims dropped to 266, 250 in the week ended May 16, from the previous 271, 250.
Completing this week’s economic calendar, the second estimate for the Q1 GDP will see the light of day on Friday. Economists believe that the second estimate of the economy’s performance in Q1 will point to a contraction (0.9%). The initial estimate for this key indicator was showing an expansion of 0.2%.
With regards to national mortgage rates, Freddie Mac published its weekly mortgage survey last Thursday. According to the federal agency’s report, the 30-year fixed loan averaged a rate of 3.84% last week, a decrease of 1 basis point compared to the prior week’s data. The highest rate on record from this year is 3.86%, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped 2 basis points to 3.05% last week.
In order to search for live mortgage rate quotes from some of the top U.S. lenders, please click on the link below. To calculate your monthly mortgage payment, feel free to use our featured mortgage calculator.