In this week’s mortgage rate summary, we’ll touch on the MBS market movements, their effect on volatility, and how COVID-19’s impact on the world is shaping the mortgage market.

First, let’s review how mortgage rates move.

Mortgage Rate Movements

Mortgage lenders — both conventional and government — base their home loan rates on the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). MBS are traded in real-time, all day, in the bond market.

Since MBS are traded throughout the day, rates and loan fees can be influenced throughout the day. Additionally, MBS pricing and mortgage pricing may be affected by a variety of economic or political events.

Generally speaking, when MBS pricing goes up, mortgage rates move down. When they fall, mortgage pricing goes up. Tracking these securities in real-time is very important. For more information about the rate market, contact my team directly. We’re among few mortgage professionals who have access to live trading screens during market hours.

Rates Currently Trending: Neutral

Rates are trending sideways to slightly lower this morning.  Last week the MBS market worsened by -28bps.  This was enough to move rates higher last week. We saw high rate volatility through the week.

This Week’s Rate Forecast: Neutral

Three Things: Here are the three areas that have the greatest ability to impact rates this week. 1) Coronavirus, 2) The Fed, and 3) Domestic.

1) Coronavirus: Concerns over the prolonged economic impact of the Covid Pandemic has risen recently as the news and data continues to get worse globally. Here are few headlines to the start the week:

  • U.S. Deaths are just under 200K (should reach by the end of the day), and Global deaths approaching a grim milestone of 1M (currently 961K).
  • The U.K. is expected to announce another lockdown within 24 hours as the “second wave” pounds Europe.
  • Former FDA Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb said, ” I think we have at least one more cycle with this virus heading into the fall and winter.”

2) The Fed: We will hear from Fed Chair Powell several times this week and many other Fed representatives and our Treasury Secretary (who is not part of the Fed, but we will lump him into this same category). Here is this week’s schedule:

  • 09/21: John Williams, Robert Kaplan
  • 09/22: Jerome Powell
  • 09/23: Jerome Powell, Loretta Mester, Eric Rosengren, Randall Quarles, Mary Daly
  • 09/24: Jerome Powell, Steven Mnuchin, James Bullard, Charles Evans

3) Domestic: We get a lot of housing data this week with Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales and some other lower-level reports, but its Thursday’s Initial Weekly Claims and Friday’s Durable Goods Orders which will get the most attention from bond traders.

This Week’s Potential Volatility: Average

Rate volatility has spiked over the last couple of weeks. We don’t expect too much volatility this week, but of all of the areas that can move rates, we’ll be paying very close attention to weekly jobless claims.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for the risks and benefits of locking your interest rate today or floating your loan rate, contact your mortgage professional to discuss it with them. And if you’re still searching for a mortgage lender in the state of Texas, please connect with us to learn more about our services, products and pricing.