Interest Rate Roundup

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Key week for housing data

Just as a reminder, or a heads up for those of you who don’t know, August national existing home sales will be released this coming Monday, with August national new home sales coming out Wednesday. Fasten those seat belts because this COULD be the first time in ages we see a national median price decline across the board (condos are already negative, according to the National Association of Realtors, but SFH hadn’t crossed that threshold as of July).

One other important thing worth noting: Interest rates have fallen in the past couple of weeks, most notably long-term rates. Bonds had a big bounce price wise, and corresponding drop in yields. So now it’s gametime — DO buyers start responding to these lower rates? Will the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly purchase mortgage application index start RISING as rates fall (It hasn't really responded so far to the decline in rates since July)? OR does mortgage demand continue to slump despite the fall in rates because people are afraid to buy due to negative publicity, declining prices, etc. Hopefully, we’ll get answers to these questions this week.


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