Mortgage rates fell slightly to start off the week of April 9, 2012. Even though the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% for the month of March 2012, the number of non farm jobs added was well below expecations. With most major US Markets closed for Good Friday, Monday was the first day for the less than favorable economic data to settle in for investors. The equity markets were all in negative territory Monday afternoon. The price of US Treasuries however, were up significantly, driving down yields and pulling mortgages rates down also. The average rate for 30 yr fixed loans is once again close to 4% and in certain situations, well below 4%.
It is important to keep in mind the dynamic between the overall perception of the economy and how that perception can dictate investor’s appetite for risk. If things are going well and the economy is improving, investors tend to feel comfortable taking on risk which is ususally associated with equity markets. When we see negative economic data like the jobs report we recieved on Friday, it promotes a risk aversion mentality and investors tend to retreat to the safety of fixed income vehicles like US Treasuries. When Treasuries do well, mortgage rates tend to fall and that is what is happening today.