Higher interest rates and the possible impact on housing
The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly purchase application index dropped 6.4% to 357.30 in the week of April 18. This index has only been lower once this year -- 356 in the week of March 28. The MBA also said its measure of 30-year fixed-rate loan rates popped back above 6% (6.04%) for the first time since the beginning of March.
Now I don't want to make too big a deal out of this. But if we were to break down out of the recent range in purchases (let's say, below 350) and/or break out to the upside in interest rates (let's call it above 4% in the 10-year Treasury note yield, or 6.4% on 30-year mortgages), it'll be something to pay attention to.
The culprit for this recent upside move appears to be inflation fears, spurred by record-high commodity prices, and the flight of money out of bonds and into stocks, spurred by greater risk-taking behavior on the part of investors.