Archive for Financial Reports

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 10th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 10th, 2018

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 10th, 2018Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending and Labor Department readings on private and public jobs growth. The Consumer Sentiment Index was released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Construction Spending Slows in October

Residential construction slowed in last month as public works projects increased. Private sector construction spending fell by -0.10 percent as compared to expected growth of 0.30 percent and last month’s negative reading of -0.10 percent.

Construction spending for October was $1.309 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to September’s revised reading of $1.311 billion. Overall construction spending was 4.90 percent year-over-year.

Homebuilders continued to be wary of tariffs on building materials and cited high labor costs and a shortage of buildable lots. Winter weather also slows construction in many areas of the U.S.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week. Mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell by six basis points to 4.75 percent; rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages were four basis points lower at 4.21 percent on average.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged five basis points lower at 4.07 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. 5/1 adjustable rates had average discount points of 0/30 percent.

First-tome jobless claims were lower last week with 231,000 new claims filed as compared to an expected reading of 224,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 236,000 new jobless claims filed.

Labor Department: Slower Jobs Growth in Public, Private Sectors

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported fewer jobs added to Non-Farm Payrolls in November. 155,0000 public and private sector jobs were added as compared to expectations of 190,000 jobs added and October’s reading of 237,000 new jobs added. ADP reported 179,000 private sector jobs added in November as compared to 225,000 jobs added in October. The national unemployment held steady at 3.70 percent.

Consumer sentiment was unchanged in November with an index reading of 97.50 according to the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include readings on inflation, retail sales and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

 

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Newest Home Pricing Data Shows Homes Becoming More Attainable Across The Country

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 6th, 2018

Newest Home Pricing Data Shows Homes Becoming More Attainable Across The CountryCase-Shiller’s 20-city home price index for September reported the lowest pace of year-over-year home price growth in almost two years. Lower home prices balanced housing markets between sellers and buyers, but home prices continued to grow approximately two times faster than wage growth.

Case-Shiller’s 20 city home price index for September posted a home price growth rate of 5.20 percent as compared to August’s year-over-year growth rate of 5.70 percent. While analysts expected slower rates of home price growth, they weren’t expecting the steep declines seen in September’s report.

David Blitzer, Chairman and CEO of the S&P Dow Jones Indices Committee, said “Home prices plus data on house sales and construction confirm the slowdown in housing.”

Las Vegas Holds on to Top Spot in Home Price Growth

Las Vegas, Nevada had the highest pace of home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 13.50 percent; San Francisco, California posted a year-over-year home price growth rate of 9.90 percent. Seattle, Washington held third place in year-over-year home price growth with a reading of 8.40 percent.

Las Vegas home prices, while leading the 20-City Home Price Index, remained 20 percent lower than their peak. Nine cities saw home prices decline in September as compared to August; Seattle, Washington posted a negative home price growth reading of -1.30 percent from August to September.

The National Association of Home Builders reported the third consecutive quarterly decline in the number of Americans expecting to buy homes within the next twelve months. As demand for homes declines, home prices are expected to fall as inventories of available homes rise.

These conditions will soften the impact of strong buyer competition and skyrocketing home prices common in recent years, but home prices remain unaffordable in many areas.

Home Buyers Deal with High Home Prices

Home buyers are finding ways to adjust their home searches to get around affordability issues. A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders indicated 61 percent of home buyers would continue looking for a home they could afford.

40 percent of buyers said they would expand their search areas and 23 percent of responding home buyers said they would look for homes older or smaller than they originally planned to buy.

As always, contact your trusted real estate professional to discuss the latest activity in your local market.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 3rd, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2018

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 3rd, 2018Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, sales of new homes and pending home sales. FHFA increased maximum loan limits permitted for mortgages held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Weekly readings for mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller Indicates Slow-Down in Home Price Growth

Home prices slowed their growth in September according to Case-Shiller. David Blitzer, CEO and Chairman of S & P Dow Jones Indices, said “Home prices plus data on house sales and construction confirm the slowdown in housing.

Rapidly rising home prices have sidelined new and moderate-income home buyers; slim inventories of homes for sale and recently rising mortgage rates also squeezed options for home buyers.

Home prices grew at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.70 percent in September as compared to 5.70 percent during August. September’s reading was the lowest in nearly two years, but remains close to twice the growth rate for wages.

Las Vegas, Nevada held first place for home price growth with a seasonally-adjusted annual growth rate of 13.50 percent. San Francisco, California followed with a year-over-year growth reading of 9.90 percent. Seattle, Washington held third place for home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 8.40 percent.

New and Pending Home Sales Dip in October

The Commerce Department reported s fewer sales of newly-built home in October to 544,000 sales as compared to September’s reading of 597,000 sales of new homes. Analysts predicted a reading of 589,000 sales for October. Home sales slow as winter weather and holidays approach, but higher mortgage rates also caused the dip in sales.

Pending home sales are sales where a purchase offer is made, but the sale of a home has not closed. Pending home sales were -2.60 percent lower in October as compared to 0.70 percent growth in September. The National Association of Realtors® reported an October index reading of 102.1 as compared to September’s reading of 104.8 in September, which represented a 2.60 percent decline in contract signings. This was the lowest reading for contract signings since June 2014.

Mortgage Rates, Higher Loan Limits and New Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported mixed results for average mortgage rates; Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages were unchanged at an average of 4.81 percent; rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged one basis point higher at 4.25 percent and the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was three basis points lower at 4.12 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced higher loan limits for home loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum loan amount for conforming mortgages was raised 6.90 percent to $484,350. The maximum loan amount for mortgages in high priced counties will be based on 150 percent of the $484,300, which is $726,525.00.

New jobless claims were higher last week with 234,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 220,000 new claims based on the prior week’s reading of 224,000 first-time claims filed.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic news releases include readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private sector job growth. The national unemployment rate will be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 26th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 26th, 2018

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 26th, 2018Last week’s economic readings included readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, National Association of Realtors® report on sales of pre-owned homes and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Housing Market Challenges Catch Up to Builder Sentiment

According to the National Association of Home Builders, overall builder sentiment fell six points to November’s reading of 60. This was the largest decline in builder sentiment since 2016. Ongoing concerns over lot and labor shortages and rising costs of building materials were cited along with recently rising mortgage rates.

Demand for homes eased as potential buyers were sidelined by rising rates, shortages of homes for sale and approaching winter weather and holidays. Any Housing Market Index reading over 50 is considered positive, but steep drops in builder sentiment is considered a predictor of stabilizing market conditions.

National Association of Realtors®: Sales of Pre-Owned Home Sales Rise in October

Sales of previously-owned homes rose in October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.22 million sales as compared to September’s reading of 5.15 million sales. Analysts estimated a reading of 5.18 million sales. While this reading suggests that buyers are active, an increase in home sales signals easing demand as compared to recent months when many buyers were sidelined due to extreme buyer competition for short inventories of homes for sale.

Mortgage Rates First-Time Jobless Claims Fall as New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.81 percent, which was 13 basis points lower than the previous week. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.24 percent and were 12 basis points lower.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 4.09 percent and were five basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.40 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 224,000 new claims filed as compared to expectations of 215,000 claims. The prior week’s reading was 221,000 new claims filed.

Whats Ahead

Economic readings set for release this week include Case-Shiller home price indices, new home sales and pending home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 19th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 19th, 2018

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 19th, 2018Last week’s economic news included readings on inflation, core inflation and retail sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Inflation, Retail Sales Rise in October

Commerce Department readings for October showed higher inflation and retail sales. Consumer Price Index rose by 0.30 percent and met expectations. September’s CPI reading was 0.10 percent. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, also met expectations with a reading of 0.20 percent growth. September’s reading was 0.10 percent. Analysts attributed the highest reading in nine months to higher costs of fuel, rent and used cars.

Retail sales recovered from September’s negative reading of -0.10 percent and surpassed expectations of 0.60 percent growth with October’s reading of 0.80 percent. Higher fuel prices prompted the jump in retail sales after August and September readings were revised to negative readings. Recent declines in oil prices were expected to stabilize gas prices for consumers.

The reading for retail sales excluding autos also exceeded expectations with a reading of 0.70 percent. Analysts expected growth of 0.50 percent based September’s revised reading of -0.10 percent. Looking forward to the holiday shopping season, analysts expected robust readings for retail sales. Increased wages and a strong labor market were expected to help consumers during the holiday shopping season.

Mortgage Rates Stabilize

Mortgage rates were mostly unchanged last week, which provided a reprieve for home buyers. Freddie Mac reported that rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.33 percent and was unchanged from the prior week. Mortgage rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose three basis points and averaged 4.36 percent.

Rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage averaged 4.14 percent and were unchanged from the prior week. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were 0.30 percent on average.

First-time jobless claims were higher last week with a reading of 216,000 new claims filed as compared to expectations of 210,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 214,000 new claims filed New jobless claims remained near historic lows despite last week’s increase in claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. The National Association of Realtors® will release its report on sales of pre-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 13th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 13th, 2018

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 13th, 2018Last week’s scheduled economic news was slim last week. The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve issued its post-meeting statement, weekly readings on average mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also issued.

FOMC: Fed Target Rate Unchanged, but Expected to Rise in December

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced that it did not raise the target federal funds rate but set the stage for raising the benchmark rate n coming months. The current range for the Fed rate us 2.00 percent to 2.00 to 2.25 percent. The Fed expects to increase rates three times in 2019 provided that strong economic conditions prevail.

FOMC members watch inflation, financial markets and domestic and global news to determine how or if to adjust the Federal Reserve’s target interest rates range.

Although FOMC releases projections based on current events and financial developments, changes to financial markets or global events could cause the Fed to hold off on raising interest rates.

Mortgage Rates, Hit Seven-Year High, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates that pushed current mortgage rates to their highest levels in seven years. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose 11 basis points to an average of 4.94 percent; 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates averaged 4.33 percent, which was ten basis points higher than the prior week.

Rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate rose by 10 basis points to an average of 4.14 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell by 1000 new claims to 214,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 210,000 new claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of 215,000 first-time jobless claims filed.

Whats Ahead

Next week’s economic reports include readings on inflation, retail sales and weekly reports on mortgage rates and mortgage rates.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 5th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 5th, 2018

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 5th, 2018Last week’s economic news included readings for Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Commerce Department readings on construction spending and the University of Michigan’s reading on consumer confidence. Labor sector reports on jobs growth and the national unemployment rate were posted along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Lowest in 20 Months; Construction Spending Falls

Home price growth hit its lowest pace in 20 months according to Case=Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index for August. Home prices grew by 5.80 percent year-over-year as compared to July’s growth rate of 6.00 percent.

Analysts said that slowing growth of home prices could signal that home prices have reached their peak; Inventories of homes for sale are near the six-month inventory reading considered a normal inventory of homes for sale.

Sales have slowed in recent months due to rapidly rising home prices, high demand for homes and slim inventories of available homes. Increasing supplies of homes for sale are a sign that housing markets are balancing to accommodate prospective buyers.

Construction spending was flat in September at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $133 trillion. Analysts expected 0.20 percent growth in construction spending based on August’s growth rate of 0.80 percent. The slowdown in spending was likely due to seasonal dips in construction activity as winter approaches.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged three basis points lower at 4.83 percent. Rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.23 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were 10 basis points lower at 4.04 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were lower last week with 214,000 new claims filed; analysts expected 212,000 new claims to be filed based on the prior week’s first-time claims 216,000 new claims filed. Reported. The Commerce Department reported 250,000 public and private sector jobs added in October. ADP added 227,000 private sector jobs in October. The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.70 percent.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Confidence Index reported an index reading of 137.90 in October as compared to September’s reading of 135.30 and an expected reading of 136.40.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include the post-meeting statement from the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Last week’s economic news included readings for Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Commerce Department readings on construction spending and the University of Michigan’s reading on consumer confidence. Labor sector reports on jobs growth and the national unemployment rate were posted along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.
Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Lowest in 20 Months; Construction Spending Falls
Home price growth hit its lowest pace in 20 months according to Case=Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index for August. Home prices grew by 5.80 percent year-over-year as compared to July’s growth rate of 6.00 percent. 
Analysts said that slowing growth of home prices could signal that home prices have reached their peak; Inventories of homes for sale are near the six-month inventory reading considered a normal inventory of homes for sale. Sales have slowed in recent months due to rapidly rising home prices, high demand for homes and slim inventories of available homes. Increasing supplies of homes for sale are a sign that housing markets are balancing to accommodate prospective buyers. 
Construction spending was flat in September at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $133 trillion. Analysts expected 0.20 percent growth in construction spending based on August’s growth rate of 0.80 percent. The slowdown in spending was likely due to seasonal dips in construction activity as winter approaches. 
Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged three basis points lower at 4.83 percent. Rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.23 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were 10 basis points lower at 4.04 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
First-time jobless claims were lower last week with 214,000 new claims filed; analysts expected 212,000 new claims to be filed based on the prior week’s first-time claims 216,000 new claims filed. Reported. The Commerce Department reported 250,000 public and private sector jobs added in October. ADP added 227,000 private sector jobs in October. The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.70 percent.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Confidence Index reported an index reading of 137.90 in October as compared to September’s reading of 135.30 and an expected reading of 136.40.
What’s Ahead
This week’s scheduled economic reports include the post-meeting statement from the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 29th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 29th, 2018

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 29th, 2018Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new homes and pending home sales. A reading on consumer sentiment was also released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Sales of New Homes Slide to Near 2 – Year Low

According to Commerce Department readings on new home sales, the pace of sales slipped close to a two-year low in September; new homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 553,000 sales.

September’s reading was 5.50 percent lower than for August and was 13.20 percent lower year-over-year. Analysts expected a reading of 620,000 sales; August’s reading showed an annual pace of 585,000 new homes sold.

Real estate pros reported a 7.10-month supply of available homes, which was a six-year high. A six-month supply of homes for sale is considered a normal inventory in many markets.

Home prices had a median of $320,000 in September, which was 3.50 percent lower year-over-year. Strong demand for homes coupled with limited supplies have caused home prices to rise and buyers to compete with cash-buyers and ever escalating home prices. Rising mortgage rates and few choices of available homes have sidelined moderate and first-time buyers.

Pending Home Sales Rise in September

The National Association of Realtors® reported rising pending home sales, which provided hope for lagging home sales. Pending sales are sales for which a purchase contract is signed but the sale has not yet closed. Pending home sales had an index reading of 104.6 in September as compared to 104.1 in August. No change from August’s reading was expected in September. The pending sales index pending home sales index was one percent lower year-over-year.

Pending sales rose 4.40 percent in the West; The Midwest posted a gain of 1.20 percent and the South posted a negative reading of – 0.40 percent. The South posted a negative reading of -1.40 percent in pending home sales.

Pending home sales are considered a predictor of completed sales and new mortgages.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose one basis point to 4.86 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage rose three basis points to 4.29 percent and the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was four basis points higher at 4.14 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 215,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected no change from the prior week’s reading of 210,000 new claims filed. The University of Michigan reported a dip in its consumer sentiment index for October. September’s reading was adjusted from and index reading of 99 to 100.1. October’s reading was 99.  Lower consumer sentiment was based on stagnant wage growth according to analysts.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from Case-Shiller on home prices, Labor sector reports on private and public sector employment and the national unemployment rate.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 22nd, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 22nd, 2018

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 22nd, 2018Last week’s economic reports included readings on home builder confidence,sales of pre-owned homes and housing starts.  The Commerce Department also issued a report on building permits issued; weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Homebuilder Confidence Rises One Point

The National Association of Home Builders reported a reading of 68 for October,which surpassed August’s reading of 67. Any reading over 50 indicates most home builders are confident about housing market conditions. Builders cited ongoing headwinds including higher prices for materials,shortages of lots and labor and rising mortgage rates. Builders sought ways to provide more affordable housing options as they faced higher costs.

Regional readings of builder confidence readings,which are tracked on a three-month rolling average,were missed. The northeastern region gained three points for a reading of 57; the southern region gained one point for an index reading of 70. The midwestern region lost two points for a reading of 57. The western region was unchanged from September’s reading of 74.

Sales of Pre-owned Homes Slip toward 3 Year Low

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer sales of pre-owned homes in September;5.15 million sales were reported on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to August’s reading of 5.33 million sales. Analysts expected a reading of 6.27 million sales for September. Faced with high home prices and slim inventories of available homes,would-be buyers sidelined their searches for homes. Housing starts were 3.40 percent lower month-to-month and hit their lowest rate since November 2015.

According to the Commerce Department,housing starts also fell in September to 1.201 million starts on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. August’s reading was 1.268 million starts. Year-over-year,housing starts were 3.70 percent higher.,but fewer housing starts were bad news for housing markets as demand continued to exceed supplies of available homes. Building permits issued also fell in September to 1.242 million permits issued as compared to August’s reading of 1.249 million permits issued.

Mortgage Rates,New Jobless Claims Lower

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages were five basis points lower at 4.85 percent; rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged three basis points lower at 4.26 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was three basis points lower at 4.10 percent.

First-time jobless claims also fell last week to 210,000 new claims filed,which matched expectations but was lower than the prior week’s reading of 215,000 new claims filed.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include readings on new and pending home sales along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 15th, 2018

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 15th, 2018

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 15th, 2018Last week’s economic reports included releases on inflation, consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation and Consumer Sentiment Dip

The Commerce Department reported slower growth in inflation for September. The Consumer Price Index for September showed a growth rate of 0.10 percent. Analysts projected a reading of 0.20 percent growth, which was based on August’s reading of 0.20 percent.

This was the sixth consecutive month-to-month increase in the inflation rate. Year-over-year, inflation has grown 2.30 percent as compared to the prior year-over-year rate of 2.70 percent.

Analysts said that rising rents and homeownership costs drove consumer prices higher, but consumer prices in other sectors eased.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, was unchanged at 0.10 percent growth month-to-month. Analysts expected CPI to increase to 0.20 percent.

According to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for October, Consumer confidence slipped to an index reading of 99.00 as compared to September’s reading of 100.1 and expectations for an October reading of 100.6.

October’s reading exceeded the average reading of 98.50 for 2018.Analysts attributed October’s lower reading to consumer concerns over their finances as inflation rises and income remains relatively unchanged.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose 19 basis points to 4.90 percent. 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates were 14 basis points higher and averaged 4.29 percent.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 4.07 percent and rose by six basis points. Last week’s average mortgage rates were the highest rates seen since April 14, 2011.

First-time jobless claims rose by 7,000 new claims filed to 214,000 new claims. Analysts expected a reading of 205,000 new claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of 207,000 first-time claims filed.

Last week’s reading was attributed to effects of Hurricane Florence, but economists said that the reading was close to low readings seen in the late 1960s.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of pre-owned homes, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued. The Fed’s FOMC meeting minutes will also be released, along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

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