Archive for the ‘Financial Reports’ Category

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 16th, 2019

September 16, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 16th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings on inflation, core inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Lower Gas Prices Dampen August Inflation Rate

Consumer prices fell in August; analysts attributed the decline to lower gasoline prices. August’s reading matched expectations, but was 0.20 percent lower than July’s reading. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.30 percent and matched July’s reading.

Analysts expected an August core inflation reading of 0.20 percent. Rising housing and healthcare costs indicated that overall inflation would rise in coming months. Core inflation rose to its highest level in 13 months and was 2.40 percent higher year-over-year.

Mortgage Rates, Rise; New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.56 percent and were two basis points higher than in the prior week. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.09 percent and were nine basis points higher on average.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate rose six  basis points to an average rate of 3.36 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell last week with 204,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 213,000 new claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of 219,000 initial claims.

The University of Michigan reported a jump in consumer sentiment in September;  August readings fell due to consumer concerns over the impact of tariffs on imported goods. September’s consumer sentiment index reading rose to 92.00 as compared to August’s index reading of 89.80.

Analysts predicted a September index reading of 91.40. Analysts said that while confidence in general economic conditions rose, consumers continued to be worried about the effects of tariffs.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued and a statement by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee statement.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will also give a press conference. Sales of pre-owned homes will be reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 3rd, 2019

September 3, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 3rd, 2019Last week’s economic news included  readings on home price trends, pending home sales and weekly readings on average mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims. The University of Michigan also released consumer sentiment report.

Case-Shiller Reports Slower Home Price Growth in June

According to Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for June, home prices gained an average of 2.10 percent year-over-year. This was the slowest growth of home prices since 2012. Analysts said that home prices grew at one-third the 6.30 percent that home prices grew last year.

Home prices grew fastest in Phoenix, Arizona with year-over-year growth of 5.80 percent; Las Vegas, Nevada home prices rose 5.50 percent and Tampa, Florida reported 4.70 percent growth in home prices.

West coast cities led home price growth in recent years when home prices were rapidly increasing, but growth has slowed and Seattle, Washington reported negative year-over-year growth of home prices in June.Potential obstacles to home price growth include rising materials costs due to tariffs on imported building materials and concerns over slowing economic growth.

Pending Home Sales Lower in July

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in July as compared to June. Pending sales, which are defined as sales for which purchase contracts have been signed, but sales not closed, fell by -2.50 percent in July as compared to 2,80 percent growth in June. Real estate pros said that the peak home-buying season slows as summer progresses.

All four regions reported fewer contract signings for previously-owned homes in July; the Northeast reported -1.60 percent fewer pending sales, the Midwest had -2.50 percent fewer pending sales and the South reported -2.40 percent fewer sales contracts signed. The biggest dip in contracts signed was in the West with sales contracts -3.40 percent lower than for June.

Analysts and real estate pros expected falling mortgage rates to boost home sales, but current homeowners took advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance their mortgages as would-be home buyers were unaffected by low mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates for fixed rate loans; rates rose three basis points on average for 30 and 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.58 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.06 percent and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged 3.31 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

Initial jobless claims rose from the prior week’s reading of 211,000 to 215,000 new jobless claims filed last week. Analysts expected 214,000 new claims to be filed. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dropped to an index reading of 89.8 as compared to the expected reading of 92.3 and July’s reading of 92.1. August’s reading was the lowest measurement of consumer sentiment since 2012.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on construction spending and data on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 26th, 2019

August 26, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 26th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings  from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and July readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on initial jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

NAHB: Home Builder Sentiment Remains High

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in housing market conditions rose one point to an index reading of 66 for August. Housing Market Index readings showed that builder sentiment has held steady with readings of 64 to 66; any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment.

Analysts said that despite strong readings for builder confidence in recent months, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued did not reflect high builder confidence readings. Reports on housing starts and building permits issued fall one month behind the NAHB Housing Market Index.

Housing Starts Falter as Building Permits Increase

Commerce Department readings for July showed mixed results for housing starts and building permits issued as starts fell from June’s  downwardly revised reading of 1.24 million starts to 1.19 million starts in July. Housing starts are calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

July building permits rose from June’s reading of 1.232 million permits to 1.336 million permits issued. Analysts expected a reading of 1.287 million housing starts for July. This was the second consecutive positive reading for housing starts after a post-recession period of fewer starts.

While building permits for single-family homes traditionally outpace permits issued for multi-family housing, analysts noted that demand for multi-family housing developments is trending higher due to high prices for single-family homes.

Increasing costs for building materials, indications of  global and domestic economic uncertainty and changing consumer priorities were cited as trends impacting housing starts.

Mortgage Rates Hold Near Record  Low, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.60 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.07 percent and were two basis points higher.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell one basis point to 3.35 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 220,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts expected 212,000 claims to be filed last week. Nearly 6000 new jobless claims filed in California boosted last week’s reading for new claims.

The less volatile four-week rolling report on new jobless claims rose by 1000 claims to  213,750 new claims filed. New jobless claims hit their highest level in six weeks, but were lower than average.

Consumer sentiment concerning current economic conditions fell 6.20 points to an index reading of 92.1 according to the University of Michigan monthly survey of consumer confidence in the economy. Concerns over trade wars and the Federal Reserve’s decision to lower its target interest rate range prompted consumer confidence to slip in August.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously owned homes and minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 19th, 2019

August 19, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 19th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings  from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and July readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on initial jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

NAHB: Home Builder Sentiment Remains High

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in housing market conditions rose one point to an index reading of 66 for August. Housing Market Index readings showed that builder sentiment has held steady with readings of 64 to 66; any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment.

Analysts said that despite strong readings for builder confidence in recent months, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued did not reflect high builder confidence readings. Reports on housing starts and building permits issued fall one month behind the NAHB Housing Market Index.

Housing Starts Falter as Building Permits Increase

Commerce Department readings for July showed mixed results for housing starts and building permits issued as starts fell from June’s downwardly revised reading of 1.24 million starts to 1.19 million starts in July. Housing starts are calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

July building permits rose from June’s reading of 1.232 million permits to 1.336 million permits issued. Analysts expected a reading of 1.287 million housing starts for July. This was the second consecutive positive reading for housing starts after a post-recession period of fewer starts.

While building permits for single-family homes traditionally outpace permits issued for multi-family housing, analysts noted that demand for multi-family housing developments is trending higher due to high prices for single-family homes.

Increasing costs for building materials, indications of  global and domestic economic uncertainty and changing consumer priorities were cited as trends impacting housing starts.

Mortgage Rates Hold Near Record Low, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.60 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.07 percent and were two basis points higher.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell one basis point to 3.35 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 220,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts expected 212,000 claims to be filed last week. Nearly 6,000 new jobless claims filed in California boosted last week’s reading for new claims.

The less volatile four-week rolling report on new jobless claims rose by 1,000 claims to  213,750 new claims filed. New jobless claims hit their highest level in six weeks, but were lower than average.

Consumer sentiment concerning current economic conditions fell 6.20 points to an index reading of 92.1 according to the University of Michigan monthly survey of consumer confidence in the economy. Concerns over trade wars and the Federal Reserve’s decision to lower its target interest rate range prompted consumer confidence to slip in August.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously owned homes and minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 12th, 2019

August 12, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 12th, 2019Last week’s economic releases included readings on consumer credit, job openings and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

Consumer Credit Use, Job Openings Slow in June

Consumer credit use slowed in June as credit card use lost ground. Non-revolving credit, which typically includes education and auto loans, grew at its slowest pace in three months. Mortgage loans are not included in the Federal Reserve’s report on consumer credit. Consumer credit use grew by $14.6 billion year-over-year in June as compared to May’s year-over-year reading of $16.0 billion.

Year-over-year credit use fell one percent in June to 4.30 as compared to May’s year-over-year reading of 5.30 percent. Credit card use fell by 0.10 percent in June, which suggested that consumers held off on large purchases. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said ,”households are in pretty good shape overall.” in reference to current economic conditions.

Job openings fell in June, but maintained a 15-month streak of seven million or more job openings. There were 7.35 million jobs open in June as compared to May’s reading of 7.38 million jobs open. Job openings rose in retail and real estate, but were lower in construction, leisure and hospitality categories.

Analysts said that shortages of skilled labor and fears over the effects of trade wars caused fewer hires. The trade war with China has not broken the longest period of economic growth in U.S. history, but escalation of trade disputes could further slow economic growth if trade wars aren’t resolved.

Mortgage Rates, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Mortgage rates dropped last week according to Freddie Mac. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.60 percent and were 15 basis points lower. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.05 percent and were 15 basis points lower.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped ten basis points to 3.36 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent, 0.50 percent and 0.30 percent respectively.

Initial jobless claims fell last week to 209,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 217,000  first-time claims filed. Analysts expected a reading of 215,000 new jobless claims filed for last week.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on housing market conditions, housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 5th, 2019

August 5, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 5th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller on home prices, pending home sales, construction spending and a post-meeting statement from the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve.

Consumer sentiment was released along with Commerce Department reports on public and private sector job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Home Price Growth Slows in May

The Case-Shiller National Home price Index showed slower home price growth in May; this was the 14th consecutive month of slower growth in national home prices and the lowest reading for home price growth since the Great Recession.

Home prices grew by 3.40 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to a 3.50 percent reading in April. While easing home price growth is a plus for would-be home buyers, slower growth in home prices could be a sign of overall economic slowing.

Construction spending was lower in June and fell by 1.20 percent. Analysts expected spending to slow at 0.10 percent based on May’s reading of -0.80 percent. Les spending suggests fewer homes will be built and demand for homes could increase based on the combined effects of slower price gains, low mortgage rates and fewer available homes.

Pending home sales jumped 2.80 percent in June and 1.60 percent year-over-year according to the National Association of Realtors®. The year-over-year gain was the first in 17 months. Analysts said that slower growth in home prices coupled with lower mortgage rates would prompt more buyers to enter the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee lowered the Fed’s benchmark interest rate range on Wednesday. Committee members voted to lower the key fed rate range from 2.25-2.50 percent to 2.00-2.25 percent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that this rate reduction was not  first in a series of rate cuts, but one-off rate cuts by the Fed are not common.

Job Growth Mixed, Unemployment Rate Unchanged

Labor-sector readings for July showed mixed results for public and private-sector job growth, ADP reported 156,000 private sector jobs were added in July as compared to 112,000 jobs added in July.

The Commerce Department reported 164,000  private and public-sector jobs added in July as compared to June’s reading of 193,000 public-and private-sector jobs added. July’s lower reading was not unexpected as analysts projected 163,000 public and private-sector jobs added in July.

The national unemployment rate held steady at 3.70 percent; this was higher than in recent months, but  remained relatively low, which suggested few layoffs and strong job markets.

Freddie Mac reported little change to average mortgage rates. 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent and were one basis point higher than for the prior week. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages were two basis points higher and averaged 3.20 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.46 percent and were one basis point lower.

Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose to 215,000 claims filed and surpassed expectations of 210,000 new claims filed, which was based on the prior week’s reading of 208,000 first-time claims filed.

Last week’s economic reports wrapped up with the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index reading for July, which was two points higher than June’s index reading of 98.2. Consumers surveyed reported paying off debt and increasing savings as a hedge against slower economic growth.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic readings include weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 29th, 2019

July 29, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 29th, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings on sales of new and pre-owned homes and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

Realtors® Report Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Fall in June

Sales of previously-owned homes fell last month according to real estate pros. 5.27 million homes would be sold in 2019 if the current pace of sales was unchanged for all of 2019. Analysts expected a reading of 5.33 million sales based on May’s reading of 5.38 million sales. Analysts said that sales of pre-owned homes fell despite lower mortgage rates and the seasonal peak home-buying season.

Sales of pre-owned homes rose 1.60 percent in the Northeast and were 1.60 percent higher in the Midwest. Sales fell 3.40 percent in the South and were 3.50 percent lower in the West. Factors contributing to lagging home sales included low inventories of available homes and steadily rising home prices.

Home prices have risen every month for more than seven years. Fewer homes for sale and higher home prices limit buyers’ choices and their ability to qualify for financing needed to buy higher-priced homes.

New Home Sales Rise in June after Two-Month Lull

The sales pace for new single-family homes rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 646,000 sales as compared to an expected sales pace of 657,000 for new homes. May’s reading was downwardly revised from a sales pace of 626,000 sales to 604,000 sales. New homes sold fastest in the South and West and were slower in the Northeast and Midwest regions according to the Commerce Department.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported average mortgage rates approaching three year lows last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent and were six basis points lower. The average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages dropped five basis points to 3.18 percent; rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.47 percent and were one basis point lower.

First-time jobless claims fell last week to 206,000 new claims filed as compared to the expected reading of 218,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 216,000 first-time unemployment claims filed.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic reports include readings on housing markets, pending home sales  and the post meeting statement of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a press conference and the Labor Department will release monthly updates for public and private-sector jobs created and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on average mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 22nd, 2019

July 22, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 22nd, 2019Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was also released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also reported.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Rises as Housing Starts Slip

Home builder confidence in current market conditions rose one point to an index reading of 65 in June. Any reading over 50 means that most builders view housing markets conditions as positive, but July’s reading was lower year-over-year.

Builders have long cited a shortage of buildable lots and labor, but also face new obstacles including strict local zoning laws and overall regulation. High demand for affordable homes coupled with short supplies of homes in this market range provided challenges to home builders, communities and would-be home buyers.

Housing starts fell in June to 1.125 million on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts predicted 1.244 million starts based on May’s reading of 1.265 million starts. The housing market index used to foreshadow the number of housing starts, but the two readings are no longer as closely connected.

The Commerce Department reported 1.220 million building permits issued in June as compared to 1.299 million permits issued in May.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week after three weeks of minor movement. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged six basis points higher at 3.81 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose one basis point to 3.23 percent.

5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged two basis points higher at 3.48 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable averaged 0.40 percent.

New jobless claims rose to 216,000 new claims filed as compared to 208,000 new claims filed the prior week. Analysts predicted 220,000 first-time claims would be filed. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose in July to 98.40 percent as compared to June’s reading of 98.20. Analysts expected a reading of 99.00.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 15th, 2019

July 15, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 15th, 2019Last week’s economic releases included reports on inflation, core inflation and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting held June 18 and 19. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Rate Rises, but Grows at Lowest Pace in Four Months

June’s Consumer Price Index reported the lowest rate of inflation in four months with a year-over-year rate of 1.60 percent growth as compared to May’s year-over-year inflation rate of 1.80 percent. Fuel prices were lower, which helped balance rising costs of rent, clothing and autos. Analysts said that falling inflation rates would be a primary reason why the Fed is likely to cut its key interest rate range later this month.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, rose 0.30 percent in June and surpassed expectations of 0.20 percent growth and May’s 0.10 percent growth rate.

Federal Reserve policymakers base their decisions  on the Fed’s dual mandate of maintaining maximum employment and economic growth, which is benchmarked at 2.00 percent annual inflation. FOMC members repeatedly state their commitment to reviewing domestic and global economic news and willingness to adjust Fed policy according to changing economic conditions and current events.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac  reported little change in average mortgage rates last week; Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages were unchanged at 3.75 percent; rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose four basis points on average to 3.22 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable mortgages rose one basis point to 3.40 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell by 13,000 claims to 209,000 claims filed and was lower than the expected reading of 221,000 new claims filed.  The July 4 holiday likely impacted the number of initial claims filed.

Whats Next

This week’s scheduled economic news includes the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued and a report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 8th, 2019

July 8, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 8th, 2019Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on construction spending and reports on public and private sector  jobs. Monthly readings for public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate were released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims.

Construction Spending Dips in May

May construction spending fell to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 0.80 percent growth at a pace of $1.3 trillion as compared to April’s reading, which was adjusted to 0.40 percent growth after reports of a flat reading. Year-over-year construction spending  was 2.30 percent lower in May.  

High materials costs and shortages of workers continued to dampen builder sentiment as shortages of available homes added to buyer concerns. Slower home price growth and shortages of affordable homes also impacted housing markets, but low mortgage rates encouraged qualified home buyers to lock in low rates.

Recent news reports suggest that economic growth may be slowing along with home price growth, but public and private-sector jobs grew in June after low readings in May. The Commerce Department’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 224,000 public and private sector jobs added in June; ADP reported 102,000 private-sector jobs added in June after May’s lean reading of 41,000 jobs added. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 3.70percent in June as compared to May’s reading of 3.60 percent.

Mortgage Rates Rise, New Jobless Claims Fall

Average mortgage rates rose last week according to Freddie Mac. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged  two basis points higher at 3.78 percent. 15-year fixed mortgage rates averaged two basis points higher at 3.18 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose six basis points to 3.45 percent.

Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

Initial jobless claims fell to 221,000 new claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 229,000  initial jobless claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic reports include testimony by Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve and release of minutes of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting held in June. Reports on inflation and weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.