Releases Mortgage Rates Update - What the New Year Holds for Interest Rates

Share Article releases update and analyze on how mortgage rates are holding up at the beginning of the new year and what experts expect will drive mortgage rates in the coming months.

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In the first weekly mortgage rate report of 2012 it's clear that some of the factors affecting rates last year will continue on, while new contributing factors are already beginning to crop up. While rates remain low it is unclear whether this year will top 2011 which had the lowest mortgage rates in history, according to

Due to the holidays last week had less economic activity than usual resulting in little affect on mortgage rates, though they did rise slightly last week. However, as of today mortgage rates have dropped back down again despite lagging U.S. bond sales.

Current interest rates are:

         3.94% - average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage
         3.28% - average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage

Last week the Initial Jobless Claims report showed that claims were higher than expected but not enough to cause movement in the mortgage markets. More important for rates was the Pending Home Sales report which showed pending sales were up 7.3%. This came after the National Association of Realtors November Existing Home Sales Report which found the same results and noted that dropping sales prices are causing more activity in many markets.

This week the Fed will release the minutes of their last meeting which may give insight into what they have planned in the near future that could possibly be affecting interest rates. There will also be another Initial Jobless Claims report on Thursday followed by the December Jobs Report on Friday.

Other factors that will affect the movement of mortgage rates this week include ongoing actions to stabilize the EuroZone's economy as well as watching to see whether Iran hinders the flow of oil resources through the Straight of Hormuz which would decidedly affect the U.S. economy. In the first day of trading for 2012 U.S. bond sales were down compared to previous weeks, and as noted in previous reports lower bond sales translates into higher interest rates.

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Ace Elliott
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