Monday, July 25, 2016

Tuesday: New Home Sales, Case-Shiller House Prices

by Bill McBride on 7/25/2016 08:54:00 PM

Tuesday:
• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for May. Although this is the May report, it is really a 3 month average of March, April and May prices. The consensus is for a 5.6% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for May. The Zillow forecast is for the National Index to increase 5.0% year-over-year in May.

• At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for June from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for an increase in sales to 562 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in June from 551 thousand in May.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for July.

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Continue Sideways Slide Ahead of Fed

Mortgage rates were unchanged again today, making three out of the past 4 days where rates haven't budged and 6 out of the past 7 days where rates moved by 0.01% or less, on average. That's an exceptionally narrow range, and it speaks to indecision in financial markets ahead of this week's major central bank announcements. That's where the Fed and the Bank of Japan give the official word on their monetary policy, which includes setting short term rates and spelling out various stimulus efforts.

The Fed isn't expected to hike rates this week, but chances increase as the year progresses. As such, it wouldn't be a surprise to see this week's announcement telegraph their intentions for the coming announcements. Although the Fed's policy rate does not directly control mortgage rates, there is typically upward pressure on all interest rates if Fed rate hike expectations increase.

In terms of specific levels, the average conventional 30yr fixed quote moved up to 3.5% for top tier scenarios late last week. Quite a few lenders are still quoting 3.375%, while just a few are up to 3.625%. Keep in mind, "top tier" means there are absolutely no "hits" to loan pricing (i.e. 25% equity, 760+ credit score, etc). Most loans in the real world have some hits (or adjustments to the 'perfect' pricing), meaning that a lot of 3.625-3.75% rates are being quoted. We track the top tier rate because that's the easiest way to capture the true day-over-day movement (especially considering the effect of certain adjustments has varied over time, and to some extent, between lenders).
emphasis added
Here is a table from Mortgage News Daily: