Mortgage rates ticked down just slightly this week and remain at all-time lows. Rates have consistently trended downward for the last two weeks, but the daily movements have been very modest, despite a slew of economic data series that have seen record one-month improvements.
The reality is that these monthly gains were largely expected – and likely already "priced-in" – and, despite the improvements, the economic recovery still has a long way to go. What's more, the recent surge in coronavirus case volumes across the country has called into the question the viability of economic recovery. As a result, investors appear to be hanging tight, waiting for surprising data and/or evidence of our society's ability to function – or not function – amid rising COVID-19 case volumes before acting in a way that would force mortgage rates to respond.
Absent this information, it's difficult to call where rates are likely to go from here. Positive news could easily jolt rates back upward, making these record-low levels a fond memory, but the gradual reduction of rates could also continue if new developments disappoint. Whichever way they go, mortgage rate movements will be driven by the spread of the virus and our ability to live with it.
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