Did You Know Your Feelings Could Impact Home Loan Rates?


We all ask friends, family, and even perfect strangers the standard question: “How are you?” And most of us reply with a polite, “Fine, thank you,” as we think people may not really want to know how we are doing or what we are feeling. But the truth is, our feelings matter…and they may have a greater impact on our economy–and ultimately our mortgage–than you think.

Consider this: How are you really feeling about some of the things that are a major part of our lives? How do you feel about your own job? Your bank accounts? Your mortgage? The country’s economy? Your financial future?

There are actually two different reports each month that tap into these particular feelings of ours: the Consumer Confidence Report, and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Report. What’s the difference?

The Consumer Confidence Report data is collected by a non-profit organization which surveys 5,000 different households and asks if the survey participants feel positive, negative, or neutral about the following topics:

  • Current business conditions
  • Business conditions for the next six months
  • Current employment conditions
  • Employment conditions for the next six months
  • Total family income for the next six months

The report is benchmarked with the year 1985 as being 100, the year chosen due to it being a year of consumers feeling “balanced,” neither overly optimistic nor pessimistic.

The Consumer Sentiment Report is slightly different. It uses the year 1964 as its benchmark year with a value of 100. The Consumer Sentiment Report was developed by a professor at the University of Michigan, and still continues on today with the same format, surveying only 500 households, but going much deeper. The Consumer Sentiment survey asks a total of 50 questions, centered around these topics:

  • Personal financial situation now and a year ago
  • Personal financial situation one year from now
  • Overall financial condition for businesses over the next twelve months
  • Overall financial condition for businesses over the next five years
  • Current attitude toward buying major household items

While the reports are different, they are widely relied on by business owners and corporations all over the world. Why? Because when we feel good about the economy, secure in our jobs, and satisfied with our own finances, then we are more likely to buy items for our homes and businesses. If we are feeling insecure and doubtful about our own personal financial situation, then we are far less likely to spend or invest.

Business owners large and small make decisions on this data, and their decisions ultimately impact other economic reports like the Retails Sales Report and the Jobs Report. When our economy is struggling and these reports are less favorable, our Bond Market usually benefits as investors seek a safe haven for their money. And since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, our home loan rates are sometimes at their best when our economy is struggling. In a way it makes sense…in times of economic struggle, good home loan rates can help kick start our economy in other areas.

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Categories : Housing Market

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