What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 4, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 4th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 4, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the National Association of Realtors®’ report on pending home sales, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for September. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller Reports 4th Consecutive Month of Record Home Price Growth

July Home Prices grew at a year-over-year pace of 19.70 percent as compared to June’s home price growth rate of 18.70 percent according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported that July home prices grew by 19.90 percent year-over-year; 17 of 20 cities posted higher home price growth rates in September than in August. The top three home price growth rates in the 20-City Home Price Index were held by Phoenix, Arizona at 32.40 percent; San Diego, California home prices grew by 27.80 percent, and Seattle, Washington home prices grew by 25.50 percent year-over-year in September.

Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said “The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains but in the consistency of gains across the country.” This differed from the traditional pattern of rapid home price growth in high-demand coastal metro areas as the covid pandemic drove homebuyers to seek out less congested and less expensive metro areas.

Pending home sales rose by 8.10 percent in August according to the National Association of Realtors® and far exceeded analyst expectations of 1.20 percent growth and July’s reading of -1.80 percent growth in pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed, but the transactions are not completed. Real estate pros and mortgage lenders use pending home sales to predict future home sales and loan closings.

Mortgage Rates, Initial Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the yield on 10-Year Treasuries rose. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 13 basis points to 3.01 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by 13 basis points and averaged 2.28 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.48 percent and five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims increased to 362,000 first-time claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 351,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims decreased to 2.80 million continuing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.82 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of  72.8 in September from August’s reading of 71.0. Analysts expected no change from August’s reading. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on public and private sector jobs, the national unemployment rate, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 23, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 23rd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 23, 2021Last week’s economic news included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: August Builder Confidence Fell to Lowest Level in 13 Months

Homebuilder confidence fell to its lowest level since July 2020 according to the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index for August. The HMI reading for August was 75; analysts expected a reading of 80 based on July’s index reading of 80. Readings over 50 represent positive sentiment among homebuilders surveyed. Ongoing obstacles to builder confidence included high materials costs, supply chain issues, and lack of skilled labor. Shortages of available homes and rapidly rising home prices sidelined buyers and dampened builder confidence.

Component readings of the Housing Market Index were lower in two categories as builder confidence slipped five points to an index reading of 81 for builder confidence in current market conditions and also fell five points to 60 for builder confidence in buyer traffic in new housing developments. Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months was unchanged at an index reading of 81. Regional readings for builder confidence were also lower. The Midwestern region reported an index reading of 68 and was two points lower than in July. Builders in the Northeastern region reported their confidence reading slipped one point to 74. Homebuilder confidence in the South fell three points to 82; builder confidence in the West fell two points to an index reading of 85.

New home starts reflected builder hesitancy as they slipped from a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million starts in June to 1.53 million starts in July. Building permits rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.64 million permits issued in July as compared to June’s reading of 1.59 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86 percent and were one basis point lower than for the previous week. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.16 percent and were one basis point higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged one basis point lower at 2.43 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Fewer jobless claims were filed last week; 348,000 new claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 377,000 initial jobless claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also dropped last week with 2.82 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.90 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include reports on new and existing home sales, consumer spending, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 12, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 12th, 2021

Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee and a speech given by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

FOMC Minutes: Fed’s Monetary Policy Stance to Remain “Accommodative”

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve released minutes of its meeting held March 16 and 17. The meeting minutes indicated split opinions on the U.S. economy’s outlook. Several members expected inflation to rise due to constricted supply chains and high demand for goods and services. This scenario resembles trends in residential real estate where supplies of available homes are far lower than buyer demand. Other FOMC members expected continued downward pressure on inflation. Members expected inflation to rise to 2.40 percent in 2022 but expected the inflation rate to ease to 2.10 percent by 2023.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - April 12, 2021The Federal Reserve has a dual legal mandate to achieve an inflation rate of 2.00 percent and maximum employment. While inflation is expected to exceed 2.00 percent in 2022 and beyond, unemployment remains above pre-pandemic levels. FOMC members did not raise the Fed’s key interest rate range from 0.00 to 0.25 percent.

In related news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke at a webinar hosted by the International Monetary Fund. He emphasized the potential threat of COVID to the U.S. and global economy and encouraged everyone to get vaccinate and said, “Until the world is vaccinated, we’re all going to be at risk of new mutations and we won’t be able to resume activity all around the world.”

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Show Mixed Readings

Fixed mortgage rates were lower last week according to Freddie Mac. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by five basis points to 3.13 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by three basis points to 2.42 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.92 percent and rose by eight basis points. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.10 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims rose to 744,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 728,000 first-time jobless claims filed. Analysts expected 694,000 new claims for last week. Continuing jobless claims were lower last week with 3.73 million ongoing claims filed. There were 3.75 million continuing jobless claims in the prior week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued, and inflation. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 22, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 22nd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - March 22, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing markets and Commerce Department data on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Slips as Materials Costs Rise

The National Association of Home Builders reported that its Housing Market Index fell to an index reading of 82 in March as compared to February’s index reading of  84. Analysts forecasted a reading of 83. Builder concerns included rising materials costs and mortgage rates, which impact home pricing and affordability.  Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for NAHB, said that lumber prices have more than doubled since August 2020 and have added $24,000 to the cost of a home on average.

Regionally, builder confidence in housing markets declined in the Midwest, Northeast, and West but remained unchanged in the South.

Demand for new homes remained high as shortages of existing homes for sale persisted. Homebuilder sentiment was unchanged in the South but declined in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western regions of the U.S.

According to Commerce Department reports for February, housing starts declined to 1.42 million starts n a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to January’s reading of 1.58 million housing starts. Building permits issued also reflected growing builder concerns as permits issued fell to 1.68 million permits issued from 1.89 million building permits issued in January.

Mortgage Rates Rise,  Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by four basis points to 3.09 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.40 percent. Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.79 percent and rose by two basis points.

Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

770,000 first-time jobless claims were filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 725,000 new jobless claims filed. Severe winter weather in Texas boosted new claims, which significantly exceeded analysts’ expectations of 700,000 new claims filed.

Continuing jobless claims fell to 4.12 million claims from the prior week’s reading of 4.14 million ongoing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes, inflation and consumer sentiment.  Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 8, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 8th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - March 8, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private sector jobs. The national unemployment rate was published along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also spoke at a jobs summit.

Construction Spending Rises in January

U.S construction spending rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.70 percent in January as compared to 1.10 percent growth reported in December. Year-over-year construction spending was 5.80 percent higher in January 2021.  Residential construction spending reported in January rose to $713 billion on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to December 2020’s construction spending pace of $695.70 billion.

Non-residential construction spending in the private sector rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $447 billion in January as compared to December 2020’s pace of $445.2 billion.

High demand for single-family homes persists as inventories of available homes fall. This scenario contributes to affordability issues that are also influenced by rising building materials costs.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which rose by five basis points and averaged 3.02 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were unchanged from the prior week and averaged 2.34 percent. Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 26 basis points and averaged 2.73 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose to 745,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 736,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims fell last week with 4.30 million continuing claims filed; 4.42 million ongoing claims were filed during the prior week.

Private- Sector Jobs Fall as Public-Sector Jobs Increase

ADP reported 117,000 private-sector jobs added in February as compared to January’s reading of 195,000 private-sector jobs added. The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report for February showed 379,000 public and private sector jobs added in February; 166,000 public and private-sector jobs were added in January. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.20 percent as compared to January’s reading of 6.30 percent.

Fed Chair Promised to Hold Steady on Monetary Policy

Fed Chair Jerome Powell promised to maintain accommodative monetary policies for the foreseeable future as the Federal Reserve continues striving toward its dual mandate of achieving maximum employment and annual inflation of two percent. When asked about rising long-term rates, Mr. Powell said that he could not commit to reducing the Fed’s asset purchases as he thought that the Fed’s goal of achieving maximum employment was “highly unlikely.”

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 14, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 14th, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 14, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Rate Rises in November

Inflation rose by 0.20 percent in November according to the federal government, but this reading fell short of the Federal Reserve’s goal of achieving 2.00 percent inflation annually. November’s year-over-year inflation rate was 1.20 percent. October’s inflation reading was flat and analysts expected inflation to grow by 0.10 percent in November.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, showed readings identical to the Consumer Price Index reading. November’s Core Consumer Price Index was impacted by lower food and fuel costs.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Shareholder Suit over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were put under the oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency after the Great Recession and resulting mortgage crisis. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding shareholder assertions that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is unconstitutional.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported no change in average fixed mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.71 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was also unchanged at 2.26 percent.  Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.79 percent and were seven basis points lower than in the prior week. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and  0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were higher last week with 853,000 new claims filed as compared to 716,000 first-time claims filed the prior week. Analysts expected 720,000 first-time claims last week. Ongoing jobless claims also rose with 5.76 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 5.53 million continuing claims filed. Increasing numbers of coronavirus cases caused higher than expected layoffs last week.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose in December to an index reading of 81.4. Analysts expected December’s reading to decrease to 75.5 based on November’s index reading of 76.9. As winter progresses and Covid-19 cases continue to rise, consumer sentiment toward economic conditions will likely decline.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include reports from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions; the Commerce Department will release reports on housing starts and building permits issued. The Federal Reserve will issue its Federal Open Market Committee Statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell is slated to give a post-meeting press conference.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 7, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 7th, 2020

 

vLast week’s economic reports included pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 7, 2020Last week’s economic reports included pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

 

Construction Spending Rises as Demand for Homes Increases

High demand for single-family homes drove construction spending up by 1.30 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of $1.44 trillion in October. The Commerce Department adjusted September’s reading to -0.50 percent. Analysts said that spending for commercial construction was flat after three successive months of lower spending. Business closures and a growing trend for working from home softened demand for commercial developments.

Pending home sales dropped by -1.10 percent in October as compared to September’s decline of -2.00 percent. Declines in pending home sales resulted from seasonal slowing in housing markets and rising cases of the coronavirus. Rising home prices caused by high demand for homes also caused fewer pending home sales. Uncertain economic conditions and concerns about the pandemic also contributed to the slower pace of home sales.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims Drop

Mortgage rates dropped to record lows as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 2.71 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 2.26 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped 30 basis points to 2.86 percent. Discount points for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.70 percent; discount points for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.60 percent. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent; all average points readings were unchanged from the prior week.

Initial and continuing jobless claims were lower last week. Initial jobless claims fell to 712,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 781,000 first-time claims filed; analysts expected 780,000 initial claims to be filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell last week with 5.52 million continuing claims filed as compared to 6.09 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week.

Public and Private-Sector Job Growth Falls in November

ADP reported 307,000 private-sector jobs added in November as compared to October’s reading of 404,000 jobs added. The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 245,000 public and private sector jobs added in November as compared to October’s reported 610,000 jobs added. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.70 percent in November from 6.90 percent reported in October. Lower rates of job growth coupled with a lower unemployment rate suggested that some workers left the jobs market.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 30, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 30th, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 30, 2020

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, new home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. No readings were released on Thursday or Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Case-Shiller Reports Highest Pace Of Home Price Growth Since 2014

Case-Shiller reported higher home price growth in September with national home price growth of 7.00 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. August’s national home price growth pace was 5.80 percent. Housing markets in many areas are seeing increased activity due to higher demand for homes.

While higher home prices appear counter-intuitive during the pandemic and related economic challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has created more demand for homes as buyers move from congested urban metro areas to less populated areas. Buyers continued seeking larger homes as working from home and remote learning increased.

Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington and, San Diego, California maintained the top three ratings for home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index. New York, New York, and Dallas,  Texas reported the lowest rates of home price growth due to large numbers of Covid-19 cases reported earlier this year.

In related news, the Commerce Department reported 999,000 sales of new homes on an annual basis in October. The year-over-year gain was 41.50 percent higher than one year ago.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported no change in average rates for fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged 2.72 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 2.28 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. and an increase of 0.31 basis points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which averaged 3.16 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Initial jobless claims rose last week with 778,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 720,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 748,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing claims fell to 6.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 6.37 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported a lower reading for consumer sentiment in November with an index reading of 76.9. Analysts expected a reading of 76.8 and the prior month’s reading was 77.0. Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases will likely cause further declines in consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 23, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 23rd, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 23, 2020Last week’s economic reporting included readings on housing market conditions, sales of previously owned homes, and housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Homebuilder Confidence Hits Record High in November

The National Association of Home Builders reported a fourth consecutive record high for builder confidence as November’s index reading of 90 exceeded October’s reading of 80. Any reading over 50 indicates that most home builders are confident about housing markets.

Component readings for the Housing Market Index also rose. Builder confidence in current market conditions rose six points to 96. Builder confidence in housing market conditions within the next six months rose one point to 89 and builder confidence in buyer traffic in new housing developments increased by three points to an index reading of 77. Readings of 50 or more for buyer traffic were rare until recent months. Factors driving builder confidence include high demand for homes and record low mortgage rates. High demand for single-family homes is rising due to relocation to suburbs and increased demand for larger homes.

Housing Starts Increase as Building Permits Issued Hold Steady

Commerce Department readings for October show that housing starts rose to 1.530 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected a pace of 1.490 million housing starts based on 1.459 million starts reported in September. 1.545 million building permits were issued in October, which matched September’s reading.

Mortgage Rates Hit Another Record Low; Jobless Claims Data Mixed

Freddie Mac reported new record low mortgage rates for the fourth consecutive week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 12 basis points lower at 2.72 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.28  percent and were six basis points lower. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 26 basis points to 2.85 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose to 742,000 claims filed; analysts expected 710,000 claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of 711,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims fell to 6.37 million claims filed as compared to 680,000 continuing jobless claims filed in the prior week.

October sales of previously-owned homes rose to 6.85 million sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to September’s reading of 6.80 million sales of previously-owned homes.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from Case-Shiller Indices on home prices; new home sales will also be released along with the University of Michigan’s report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 2, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 2nd, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 2, 2020Last week’s economic reporting included home price data from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices along with readings on pending home sales, new home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller: August Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in Two Years

Home prices rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 5.70 percent in August according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. U.S. home prices rose by 4.80 percent in July

The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index showed 5.20 percent year-over-year home price growth in August.

Phoenix, Arizona, held first place in home price growth for the 15th consecutive month. Seattle, Washington followed with 8.50 percent year-over-year growth in home prices. San Diego, California reported 7.60 percent year-over-year growth in home prices.

New and Pending Home Sales Fall in September

New homes sold at a pace of 959,000 sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in September.  Analysts expected a sales pace of 1.033 million sales based on August’s pace of 994,000 sales. Sales fell with the end of the peak home-buying season and may have also slowed due to rising COVID-19 cases. Demand for homes has been high as buyers’ shifting priorities were expected to cause more families to relocate to less congested suburbs. Pending home sales fell by 2.20 percent in September according to the National Association of Realtors®. Signed sales contracts were 20.50 percent higher year over year.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.81 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.32 percent and were one basis point higher than for the prior week. Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages also rose by one basis point on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell last week to 751,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 770,000 new claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of  791,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell last week with 7.76 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 8.47 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of 81.8 in October as compared to September’s reading of 80.4 and an expected index reading of 81.2.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include a statement and press conference by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee. Construction spending data and labor sector readings on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate will also be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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