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Insights from LendingTree's Chief Economist

The Fed met expectations by raising its benchmark Fed funds rate last week and signaling more hikes to come. Treasuries seem to have consolidated below 3% level and would need a catalyst to provoke a move. The week does not contain major data that is known to move Treasury markets. However, the impact of tariff disputes could dampen the rise in long-term rates.

Data this week will reveal the latest trends in the housing market. Already the homebuilder confidence index included a comment that tariffs have added $9,000 to the cost of new homes. CPI data last week also revealed a spike in prices of washing machines, a product targeted in an earlier round of tariffs implemented on Feb. 7. An escalation in the tariff war over the weekend between the U.S. and China will increase the costs of more household items and could put a damper on housing related spending.

Other data this week includes housing starts, existing home sales and home prices. Reflecting activity in April and May it will give a read on the strength of the spring housing market. We expect data to show some loss of momentum, though the housing market remains robust.

Low inventories pushing prices higher is the theme of this year’s housing market. Supply problems are particularly acute for lower priced homes. Sales for homes under $100,000 were down 13% Y/Y in April and those between $100,000 and $250,000 were down 1% Y/Y. Rising rates have yet to temper demand, which is supported by a robust labor market, thus buyers should do all they can to position themselves competitively. Getting financing in place ahead of the house hunt is crucial, and we strongly advise buyers compare multiple loan offers first.

LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker

There are many reasons why consumers spend so little time shopping for mortgages, however, at LendingTree we believe one is that the mortgage industry has not done a great job of informing consumers on the amount of savings available and the ease with which savings can be accessed.

That is why we introduced the LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker. Built on top of our proprietary Mortgage Rate Competition Index, the Mortgage Savings Tracker brings a new transparency to mortgage shopping by highlighting the significant savings that are available to potential borrowers for both purchase mortgages and refinancing. For more details on the index, follow the link below.

Mortgage Rate Competition Index

Monthly Mortgage Offer Reports

Released each month, The LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on by lenders. Stay up to date with the most recent LendingTree Mortgage Offers Reports below:

May 2018 Report
April 2018 Report
March 2018 Report
February 2018 Report
January 2018 Report
December 2017 Report
November 2017 Report
October 2017 Report

Mortgage rates by state

Mortgage rates can vary a lot between lenders on any given day. So, if you only get one mortgage quote, you won’t have any idea if there’s a better deal out there. That’s why the best way to get a mortgage rate it to request quotes from multiple lenders and compare interest rates, loan terms and closing costs. It puts you on in charge and keeps the banks competing to get you the best rate possible. Remember, even .1 percent can amount to thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Make sure you shop around!

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