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Mortgage Rates Are Officially Back to 5%

Mortgage rates moved back over the 5% threshold, on average, for the first time since early 2011 today following mixed data on the jobs market.  Why would "mixed data" be such a problem?  It's not, per se, but in this case, it reinforced certain trends that have posed big problems for rates.  Namely, the annual pace of wage growth has now held at 2.8% or above for 4 months in a row.  Previously, 2.8% was an isolated occurrence and sort of a magical line in the sand.  Analysts and policy-makers lamented "frustratingly tepid wage growth" when we were below that line.  Now that we're on the other side, the prevailing belief/fear is that wage growth is high enough to put upward pressure on inflation, and that's a big problem for interest rates (inflation is one of rates' mortal enemies).

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