This has been a brutal week for stocks with the Dow Jones shedding more than 4000 points since Monday. Investors are taking profits and covering margin calls, but enough money flew towards mortgage securities to show a significant improvement over the course of the week. I wouldn't be surprised if loan officers all across the fruited plain have sore fingers from clicking the "rate lock" button all day today.
If you are a buyer your purchasing power improved this week and that means either more house or a lower payment, maybe even BOTH! My two cents is that the stock market was a bit over valued , and adding the Corona virus fears was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Once the Corona situation settles down the market will return to a robust improvement. The basic economic indicators are very solid and that should lead to a recovery in the markets by the middle of Q2. If I'm right then mortgage rates may start to creep up again around late May or June.
I don't expect to see any dramatic mortgage rate increases at all in 2020, but even a slight upward tick can drop a buyer's purchasing power by several thousand dollars. Sellers still hold the advantage in the local market under $500,000 so buyers need all the help they can get. Wall Street just handed buyers a an early Christmas present.