ast week ended with a wild ride for mortgage rates. We anticipated the two inflation reports could help mortgage rates, however, we had a bad bond auction last Thursday, and the 10-year yield rose sharply. Weekly active inventory grew slowly again and purchase apps were down week to week again.
- Weekly active listings rose by only 4,270
- Mortgage rates went from 7.03% to 7.19%
- Purchase apps were down 3% week to week
Last week we started with lower bond yields as we anticipated inflation reports to continue the trend of slower year-over-year inflation data. This happened as expected, except we had a lousy bond auction, which meant too much debt supply came online with insufficient buyers. This pushed yields higher Thursday and Friday to move mortgage rates to 7.19%.
A valid case for higher mortgage rates in the short term is that we are simply going to be in an environment where we don’t have a lot of bond buyers versus the supply coming in, thus making it harder for mortgage rates to go lower. We saw an example of that last week.
For my 2023 forecast, my range on the 10-year yield has been between 3.21%-4.25%, emphasizing that the bond yields can go lower than 3.21% only if the labor market breaks. The labor market breaking to me is if jobless claims on a four-week moving average go over 323,000; currently, that data is 231,000. As the economy has stayed firm, bond yields are at a higher level of my range for 2023.
The painful housing inventory story of 2023 continues as we had yet another week of slow inventory growth. Last year when mortgage rates spiked higher, inventory growth was much faster, but we were also working from the lowest levels recorded in history in March of 2022. This year, it’s been a much different story.