After a one-week pause, the rise in long-term rates that began over the holidays has resumed and is likely to continue. Mortgages are departing 6.125 percent for 6.25 percent, taken by the 10-year T-note's easy cruise through support levels to 4.77 percent. The cause: nothing fancy, nothing to do with Iraq, just good economic news and a little grease from $51/barrel oil. In this morning's news, December retail sales were far better than the weak hopes in the bond market: up .9 percent, strong in all sectors except warm-weather-suppressed clothing sales, and that performance followed a strong November. GDP forecasters are scrambling for revisions: the 4th quarter will come in above 3 percent instead of the 2 percent or less that had been so widely assumed. Other reports were minor affai...
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