Releases Mortgage Rates Update - How Will Consumers Affect Rates?

Share Article weekly mortgage interest rate report provides information on today's rates, analyzes mortgage rate activity, looks at what is effecting rates and forecasts movement in the market.

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The moderate decline was due solely to a less favorable short-term outlook, consumers feel the economy is not losing momentum.

Last week predicted that rates would move sideways or drop slightly and that's just what they did. On the tail of mixed economic news the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell 6 basis points while the 15-year fixed rate mortgage fell 4 basis points.

Current mortgage interest rates are:

         4.23% - average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage
         3.44% - average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage

The barrage of housing reports last week showed that existing home sales, while down slightly, were up in price and lower in inventory signifying more buyers entering the market. Although builder confidence was up, the sales of new homes were down.

This week's economic reports are focused on consumer activity. And with consumer spending driving two thirds of the U.S. economy, it could have an effect on mortgage rates. Here's the most important reports for this week.

  •     Tuesday: Consumer Confidence report
  •     Wednesday: Durable Goods report
  •     Friday: Personal Income and Outlays report
  •     Friday: Consumer Sentiment Gauge

Consumer reports show that while people may not be exactly optimistic about the economy yet, they are a lot less pessimistic. Earlier in the week Consumer Confidence was measured at 70.2 for March, a 1.4 decline from February. Director of the Conference Board consumer research center, Lynn Franco, said that data suggested, "the moderate decline was due solely to a less favorable short-term outlook, consumers feel the economy is not losing momentum." Hikes in gas prices are a likely culprit of the short-term misgivings.

Consumer Sentiment on the other hand is higher than it's been in more than a year. March's reading ended at 76.2 which is almost a full point higher than last month. Sentiment suggests possible consumer spending behaviors. So it should come as no surprise that the Personal Income and Outlays report found a 0.8% increase in spending and 0.2% increase in personal income this month compared to February. is predicting mortgage rates will inch upward around 5 basis points next week. After a week of reports that signify Americans are willing to spend more, lenders will probably assume buyers aren't going to be dissuaded by having to pay a few more basis points.

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