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Wouldn’t it be amazing to have access to your own Massachusetts mortgage broker who could advise you how to get the best mortgage for your needs?

The Massachusetts Mortgage Broker Blog is the creation of a real honest-to-goodness Massachusetts mortgage broker here to help you. As a nationally acclaimed mortgage professional certified by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, my passion is to educate and empower consumers like you so you make an informed decision when shopping for a mortgage.

So take advantage of this website and stay up-to-date with the latest Massachusetts mortgage news below by reading the Massachusetts Mortgage Broker Blog daily. And if you find this information to be of value to you, please consider contacting me for your mortgage needs.

Whether you are a first time home buyer purchasing Cape Cod real estate or an existing homeowner looking to refinancing your current mortgage with an affordable home loan, I strive to provide the most valuable, friendliest service around and would love the opportunity to take care of you.

P.S. I am also licensed in several other states and can offer extremely competitive Connecticut mortgage rates, Florida mortgage rates, New Hampshire mortgage rates, Rhode Island mortgage rates and Washington state mortgage rates as well as refer you to other expert mortgage professionals elsewhere.

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Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on March 4, 2013 10:41:48 AM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

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Monday’s bond market has opened down slightly even though the major stock indexes are showing early losses. The Dow is currently down 55 points while the Nasdaq has lost 8 points. The bond market is currently down 3/32, which may push current Massachusetts mortgage rates slightly higher than Friday’s morning pricing. However, the increase should be minimal if your lender actually does move higher.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

There is nothing of importance scheduled for release today that is likely to influence Massachusetts mortgage rates. The rest of the week has five economic reports for the markets to digest, but one is considered to be highly important. The remaining reports are moderately important to the markets, meaning they have the potential to affect mortgage rates but usually don’t cause a noticeable change. The most important data comes late in the week, but sizable moves in stocks can impact bond trading and Massachusetts mortgage rates any day.

The week’s first data comes Wednesday with the release of January’s Factory Orders report during late morning hours and the Fed Beige Book during afternoon trading. The Factory Orders report will give us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength while the Beige Book details economic activity throughout the country by Federal Reserve region. There are also some private sector employment-related reports due to be posted Wednesday morning that could affect bond trading enough to move Massachusetts mortgage rates if they show significant surprises.

Overall, look for a fairly active week in the markets and Massachusetts mortgage rates, especially the middle and latter days. I suspect there will be some optimism leading up to Friday’s Employment report, which could lead to support in stocks and pressure in bonds as we get closer to Friday. That day is undoubtedly the biggest of the week, but Wednesday’s events and some central bank news from overseas early Thursday morning could also heavily influence Massachusetts mortgage rates. Please be careful this week if still floating an interest rate, especially the latter part of the week.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

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Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on March 3, 2013 10:02:09 PM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

This week has five government-compiled economic reports for the markets to digest. Only one is considered to be highly important, but it is a big one. The rest of the reports are moderately important to the markets, meaning they have the potential to affect Massachusetts mortgage rates but usually don’t cause a noticeable change. The most important data comes late in the week, but sizable moves in stocks can impact bond trading and Massachusetts mortgage rates any day.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

The week’s first data comes Wednesday with the release of January’s Factory Orders during late morning hours, which will give us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength. This data is similar to last week’s Durable Goods, except this report covers orders for both durable and non-durable goods. Current forecasts are calling for a drop in new orders of approximately 2.2%. A larger than expected drop would be good news for the bond market and could lead to an improvement in Massachusetts mortgage rates since it would point towards economic weakness.

The Fed Beige Book is the next report scheduled for release and it will be posted Wednesday afternoon. This report details economic activity throughout the country by Federal Reserve region. The Fed relies heavily on this data during their FOMC meetings, so look for a potential reaction during afternoon trading Wednesday. It probably will not cause a major sell off in the stock or bond markets, but it is still worth watching it.

Wednesday also has a couple of private sector employment-related reports due to be posted. The biggest one comes from payroll processor ADP who will announce their change in payrolls processed last month. Since it is not a government agency report, it isn’t considered to be highly important, but as with any employment-related data, it does draw some attention. This is especially true for this report because it is posted just a couple days before monthly employment figures are released by the Labor Department.

Thursday has two reports scheduled for release, but neither is considered to be highly important. The first is the revised Productivity index for the 4th Quarter of last year. The preliminary reading posted last month showed a decline of 2.0% in worker output. Analysts are expecting to see an upward revision of 0.4% to last month’s initial reading. Employee productivity is watched fairly closely because a higher level of output per hour is believed to mean that the economy can expand without inflation concerns. However, since this data is quite aged now, it likely will have little impact on Thursday’s Massachusetts mortgage rates unless it shows a significant change.

January’s Goods and Services Trade Balance report will also be released at 8:30 AM ET Thursday morning, but it will likely draw little interest from market participants. It will give us the size of the U.S. trade deficit, which does not directly impact Massachusetts mortgage rates and is the week’s least important piece of news. Current forecasts are calling for a $43.0 billion trade deficit during January, but we will need to see a large variance from this estimate and little surprise in the productivity figures for this news to influence bond trading enough to affect Massachusetts mortgage pricing. It is highly likely that this report will be a non-factor in Thursday’s pricing.

The biggest news of the week comes early Friday morning when one of the single most important monthly reports we see will be posted. The Labor Department will release February’s Employment report at 8:30 AM ET Friday. Some of the important portions of the report will give us the unemployment rate, number of new jobs added or lost and the average hourly earnings reading. The best combination for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates would be an increase in the unemployment rate, a much smaller increase in payrolls than expected and little or no increase in earnings. Current forecasts are calling for no change in the unemployment rate of 7.9% and approximately 165,000 new jobs added to the economy. Stronger than expected readings will likely fuel a stock market rally and selling in bonds that would cause a sizable upward revision to Massachusetts mortgage rates. On the other hand, disappointing numbers would raise concerns about the economy’s ability to continue to grow that would have an opposite impact on the markets and Massachusetts mortgage pricing.

Overall, look for a fairly active week in the markets and Massachusetts mortgage rates, especially the middle and latter days. I suspect there will be some optimism leading up to Friday’s Employment report, which could lead to support in stocks and pressure in bonds as we get closer to Friday. That day is undoubtedly the biggest of the week, but Wednesday’s events and some central bank news from overseas early Thursday morning could also heavily influence Massachusetts mortgage rates. It appears that either tomorrow or Tuesday will be the least important days. Please be careful this week if still floating an interest rate, especially the latter part of the week.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

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Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on March 1, 2013 11:05:29 AM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

Friday’s bond market has opened in positive territory again with stocks in negative territory and mixed economic results. The Dow is currently down 41 points at 14,013 while the Nasdaq has lost 20 points as investors grow more concerned about the automatic budget cuts that kick in today. The bond market is currently up 7/32, which should improve current Massachusetts mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

The first of today’s three economic reports that are relevant to Massachusetts mortgage rates was January’s Personal Income and Outlays data 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department said that personal income fell 3.6% last month, the biggest monthly drop since January 1993. Although the figure is heavily distorted due the Fiscal cliff-related jump in December, it still was a much larger decline than the 2.4% that expected. The spending portion of the report revealed a 0.2% increase in spending that matched forecasts. This means consumers had less money to spend last month than many had thought and didn’t spend more than expected, making the data good news for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Up next was the University of Michigan’s revision to their Index of Consumer Sentiment for February just before 10:00 AM this morning. They announced a reading of 77.6 that was a little larger than the 76.3 that was posted in mid-February. The upwardly revised reading indicates that surveyed consumers were a little more optimistic about their own financial situations than previously thought. It also hints that consumers are more likely to make a large purchase in the near future than the preliminary reading indicated, making the data slightly negative for the bonds market and Massachusetts mortgage pricing.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their manufacturing index for February at 10:00 AM ET, giving us an indication of manufacturer sentiment about business conditions. They said that the index rose to 54.2 last month, exceeding forecasts of 52.4. This means that more surveyed manufacturers felt business improved during the month than in January and that total was a little higher than many had expected. Therefore, we need to consider this data unfavorable for bonds and Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Next week is fairly light in terms of the number of economic reports and other events scheduled that could influence Massachusetts mortgage rates. However, one of those releases is the almighty monthly Employment report that often causes much volatility in the markets. There is nothing of importance currently scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, so look for weekend news and budget cut talks to drive the markets and Massachusetts mortgage rates until we get to Wednesday. Look for details on next week’s schedule in Sunday’s weekly preview.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

Read this article…

Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on February 28, 2013 10:27:16 AM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

Thursday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following a weaker than expected GDP reading. The stock markets are showing minor gains after an afternoon rally yesterday pushed the Dow higher and allowed it to close above 14,000. The Dow is currently up 8 points while the Nasdaq has gained 13 points. The bond market is currently up 4/32, but due to afternoon weakness yesterday we will likely see little change from yesterday’s morning Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

The revised 4th Quarter GDP reading was posted early this morning, showing that the economy grew slightly during the last three months of the year. The 0.1% annual rate of growth was an upward revision to the preliminary reading that showed a 0.1% contraction, indicating that the economy was just a bit stronger than previously estimated. Still, this was the weakest quarterly rate of growth since early 2011 and was short of expectations that called for a 0.5% growth rate. In other words, the economy was a little stronger than previously announced but not as strong as many had thought. Therefore, we should consider this news favorable for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Today’s second piece of data came from the Labor Department who said 344,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was down from the previous week’s revised total of 366,000 and well below the 350,000 that was forecasted. That makes the data bad news for bonds and Massachusetts mortgage pricing because declining initial claims indicates a strengthening employment sector of the economy. Fortunately, since this data tracks only a single week’s worth of new claims, its impact on the financial and mortgage markets has been fairly minimal this morning.

Tomorrow has three more pieces of economic data that is likely to influence Massachusetts mortgage rates. The first is January’s Personal Income and Outlays data 8:30 AM ET, which gives us an indication of consumer ability to spend and current spending habits. Forecasts are calling for a decline in income of 2.4% while spending is expected to rise 0.2%. The expected sizable decline in income is a result of the 2.6% spike we saw last month in December’s data that was attributed to Fiscal Cliff worries. Many large companies paid dividends and bonuses in December instead of January as they traditionally do in case the Fiscal Cliff issue did not get resolved. This allowed those payments to be taxed at the expected lower rates of 2012 instead of the 2013 rates that would have kicked in had there been no resolution. This means that we will see income fall sharply from December’s inflated level. Lower levels of income mean consumers have less money to spend. And weaker levels of consumer spending helps limit overall economic growth, making long-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds, more attractive to investors.

The University of Michigan’s revision to their Index of Consumer Sentiment for February will be announced just before 10:00 AM ET tomorrow. Current forecasts show this index unchanged from its preliminary estimate of 76.3. This index is fairly important because it helps us measure consumer confidence that translates into consumer willingness to spend, but is not considered to be a major market mover. This means it will probably not have a significant impact on Massachusetts mortgage rates, especially with other important data being released tomorrow morning.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) will release their manufacturing index for February at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow. This index measures manufacturer sentiment and can have a pretty large impact on the financial and mortgage markets if it varies from forecasts. It is expected to show a small decline from January’s 53.1 to 52.4 this month. This is important because a reading above 50.0 means more surveyed manufacturers felt business improved during the month than those who felt it had worsened, meaning growth is likely in the manufacturing sector. If we see a weaker than expected reading, the bond market could rally. But, a higher than forecasted reading could lead to major selling in bonds, causing Massachusetts mortgage rates to rise tomorrow morning. One of the reasons this data is considered so important is the fact that it is usually the first monthly report posted that covers the preceding month. Its posting date is the first business day of the month, allowing for a current snapshot of economic conditions.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

Read this article…

Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on February 27, 2013 10:21:19 AM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

Wednesday’s bond market has opened in positive territory again even though this morning’s only economic data gave us mixed results. The stock markets are showing early gains with the Dow up 44 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 7/32, but due to weakness in bonds late yesterday, we will likely see little change in current Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Today’s only relevant economic data was January’s Durable Goods Orders early this morning. The Commerce Department announced that new orders for big-ticket products fell 5.2% last month, indicating manufacturing sector weakness. Analysts were expecting to see a 3.5% drop, meaning the sector was softer than many had thought. That headline number would be good news for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates. However, a secondary reading that excludes orders for more volatile transportation-related products such as airplanes, showed a 1.9% increase when it was predicted to rise only 0.2%. That reading offsets the headline number, making the data neutral for bond trading and Massachusetts mortgage pricing.

Day two of Fed Chairman Bernanke’s semi-annual economic update to Congress is also taking place this morning. He is speaking to the House Financial Services Committee today, but I don’t believe we will see too much of a reaction in the markets because his prepared statement should be nearly identical to yesterday’s opening statement. If we hear anything new, it will likely come from the Q&A with committee members that will follow.

Later today we will get the results of the 7-year Note auction. Yesterday’s 5-year Note sale was fairly uneventful with many benchmarks used to gauge investor demand showing an average level of interest. That doesn’t give us much to be concerned with or optimistic about in today’s 7-year Note sale. Results of the auction will be posted at 1:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during early afternoon hours. I am leaning towards this being a fairly decent auction, meaning we could see some strength in bonds later today and possibly another small improvement to pricing.

There are two pieces of economic data scheduled for release tomorrow morning. The first of two revisions to the 4th Quarter GDP reading is the more important of the day’s two reports. The GDP is considered the benchmark measurement of economic activity because it is the total of all goods and services produced in the U.S. The initial reading usually causes the most volatility in the markets, but tomorrow’s update could be more influential than usual. Analysts’ forecasts currently call for an annual rate of growth of 0.5%, up from the initial estimate of a 0.1% decline that was posted last month. It will be interesting to see where this figure falls and what its impact on the markets will be. Generally speaking, higher levels of activity are bad news for the bond market, while no change or a downward revision would be good news for bonds and could lead to improvements in Massachusetts mortgage pricing tomorrow.

Also on tomorrow’s calendar is the weekly unemployment update from the Labor Department. They are expected to say that 360,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down slightly from the previous week. Since this data tracks only a single week’s worth of new claims, it often has little importance to the markets unless it shows a surprisingly large decline or increase. The higher the number of new claims for benefits, the netter the news it is for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates because it would point towards weakness in the employment sector.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

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Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on February 26, 2013 12:06:59 PM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

Tuesday’s bond market has opened in positive territory despite stronger than expected economic news, extending yesterday afternoon’s sizable rally that resulted from Italy’s election news. The stock markets are showing relatively sizable gains, rebounding from yesterday’s 216 point loss in the Dow and 45 point drop in the Nasdaq. The Dow is currently up 71 points, still almost 150 points away from 14,000 while the Nasdaq is up 2 points. The bond market is currently up 5/32, which with yesterday’s late strength should improve current Massachusetts mortgage rates by approximately .375 – .500 of a discount point over Monday’s morning pricing.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

There were two pieces of economic data posted this morning that are relevant to Massachusetts mortgage rates. The first was January’s New Home Sales report at 10:00 AM ET. The Commerce Department reported that sales of newly constructed homes rose 15.6% last month, greatly exceeding forecasts. This means that the new home portion of the housing sector was strong last month, making the data negative for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates. Fortunately, the data does not carry enough significance to offset the day’s other news.

February’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) was also posted late this morning with the Conference Board announcing a reading of 69.0. This also exceeded forecasts by a wide margin, indicating consumers were much more optimistic about their own financial situations than many had thought. Therefore, we should consider the data bad news for the bond market because rising confidence usually means consumers are willing to spend more in the near future.

The biggest news of the morning came from Fed Chairman Bernanke’s semi-annual congressional testimony. He is speaking to the Senate Banking Committee this morning about the status of the economy, the Fed’s monetary policy and the impact the pending budget cuts would have on our economic growth. He hasn’t said anything surprising yet and what has been said has been neutral or favorable for bonds and Massachusetts mortgage rates. He reassured committee members that the Fed’s bond buying program has clearly helped the economy and that the longer-term concerns of such a program remained minimal. The latter helps support the theory that the Fed may not end or reduce their stimulus program earlier than previously predicted. He was also quite blunt in warning that the upcoming budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect Friday would create a “significant headwind” for the economy.

Overall, this morning’s economic data was not favorable for the bond and mortgage markets, but Chairman Bernanke’s calming words appear to have eased some concerns and prevented the data from negatively affecting Massachusetts mortgage rates. I would not be completely surprised to see the markets make another move this afternoon, possibly leading to another improvement to Massachusetts mortgage rates. Accordingly, I am holding current recommendations, but there is a decent chance of shifting to a slightly more conservative stance on the topic of locking or floating an interest rate in the immediate future- possibly as early as tomorrow.

Early this afternoon, we will get the results of today’s 5-year Treasury Note auction. If the sale was met with weak investor interest, we could see broader selling in the bond market that leads to upward revisions to Massachusetts mortgage rates later today. However, strong sales usually make bonds more attractive to investors and bring more funds into the bond market. The buying of bonds that follows often translates into lower mortgage rates. The results will be posted at 1:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during afternoon trading.

January’s Durable Goods Orders data will be released early tomorrow morning. This report gives us an important measurement of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders at U.S. factories for items expected to last three or more years. Products such as electronics, refrigerators and autos are examples of these big-ticket items. A larger decline than the 3.5% that is currently expected would be good news for the bond market and Massachusetts mortgage rates as it would point towards manufacturing sector weakness. This data is known to be quite volatile from month-to-month, so large swings are fairly normal. A small variance from forecasts would not cause much concern or joy in the markets.

Also tomorrow is day two of Chairman Bernanke’s testimony and the second Treasury auction that has the potential to influence bond trading and Massachusetts mortgage pricing. Chairman Bernanke will be speaking to the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow. His prepared statement should be nearly identical to this morning’s, so it likely will not cause much movement in the markets. Anything unexpected or surprising would likely come from the Q&A portion of the proceedings. And the results of the 7-year Note auction will be posted at 1:00 PM ET tomorrow, so it won’t affect bond trading until early afternoon.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

Read this article…

Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends – Updated on February 25, 2013 11:28:50 AM EST

Mortgage Commentary for Massachusetts Mortgage Rate Trends

Subscribe here to have Massachusetts mortgage rates updates delivered to your inbox automatically.

Monday’s bond market initially opened in negative territory but has since rebounded into positive ground. The opposite can be said for stocks as they first looked to be moving higher today but are now mixed with the Dow down 10 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 3/32, which should improve current Massachusetts mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point from Friday’s morning levels. We did see some strength late Friday, however, I don’t believe it was enough of a move for many lenders to improve rates that late in the week. They most likely opted for this morning’s open to reflect that improvement.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

There is nothing of relevance to Massachusetts mortgage rates in terms of economic releases scheduled for release today. The markets are watching the Italian elections and exit polls are being attributed to the rebound in bond prices this morning. Today is the only day of the week that we don’t have something scheduled here that is expected to influence mortgage rates. The rest of the week brings us the release of seven economic reports to be concerned with in addition to some very important testimony from Fed Chairman Bernanke and two potentially relevant Treasury auctions. One of the reports is considered to be very important, but nearly all of the week’s releases have the potential to affect Massachusetts mortgage rates.

The first piece of data is January’s New Home Sales report at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow. This is the least important report of the week, and is the sister report to last week’s Existing Home Sales data. They measure housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but usually do not have a significant impact on bond trading or Massachusetts mortgage rates unless they show significant surprises. This report is expected to show an increase in sales, hinting at strength in the new home portion of the housing sector. Ideally, the bond market would prefer to see housing sector weakness because it makes a broader economic recovery more difficult.

Tomorrow also has February’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) being posted during late morning trading. This Conference Board index measures consumer confidence in their personal financial situations, giving us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. If consumers are feeling good about their own financial situations, they are more apt to make large purchases in the near future. Since consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the economy, related data is considered important in terms of gauging economic activity. It is expected to show an increase in confidence from 58.6 in January to 62.0 this month. A lower reading would be considered good news for bonds and Massachusetts mortgage rates since it would indicate consumers are less likely to make a large purchase in the near future.

The biggest news of the day tomorrow will be Fed Chairman Bernanke’s semi-annual testimony on the status of the economy at 10:00 AM ET. He will be speaking to the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow morning and the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday. Market participants will watch his words very closely. He is required to deliver this testimony twice a year, which is considered to be of extreme importance to the financial markets. We almost always see the markets move as a result of what he says during this testimony. Look for him to address the unemployment and housing sectors along with our budget stalemate and their impact on the overall economy. His testimony begins with a prepared statement then is followed by Q & A with committee members. I am expecting to see the markets fluctuate greatly tomorrow morning, possibly affecting Massachusetts mortgage rates also. The first day of testimony almost always causes the most volatility because the prepared statement made by the Chairman on the second day usually differs little from that of the first day.

In addition to the economic data and Fed testimony, tomorrow also has the first of two Treasury auctions that can potentially affect bond trading and Massachusetts mortgage pricing. 5-year Notes will be sold tomorrow and 7-year Notes go to auction Wednesday. Neither of these sales will directly impact mortgage pricing, but they can influence general bond market sentiment. If the sales go poorly, we could see broader selling in the bond market that leads to upward revisions to Massachusetts mortgage rates. However, strong sales usually make bonds more attractive to investors and bring more funds into bonds. The buying of bonds that follows usually translates into lower Massachusetts mortgage rates.

Overall, I am expecting tomorrow to be the most important day of the week for Massachusetts mortgage rates. Some of Friday’s data is considered highly important, so we may see a fair amount of movement in the markets and Massachusetts mortgage pricing that day also. We will also be watching progress on the automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to take effect Friday (March 1st) and the major stock indexes (Dow at 14,000) for direction of mortgage rates. There is little doubt that this will be an extremely active week in the markets and likely Massachusetts mortgage rates too. Therefore, please proceed cautiously if still floating an interest rate and closing in the near future.

Massachusetts mortgage rates

Lock or Float Advice for Current Massachusetts Mortgage Rates

If I were considering purchasing or refinancing a home and predicting likely Massachusetts mortgage rates, I would…

Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days…
Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days…
Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

This is only a general opinion of what I would do if I were considering whether to lock or float based on Massachusetts mortgage rate trends. Your individual situation may be different.

Copyright : Mortgage Commentary

Read this article…