What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 21, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 21, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on housing market conditions, housing starts, building permits issued, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

National Association of Home Builders Reports Record High Builder Confidence

The NAHB reported record high builder confidence in housing market conditions. The Housing Market Index had an index reading of 83 in September as compared to August’s reading of 78. Analysts said that this builder confidence reading was notable due to rising costs for building materials.

Component readings of the NAHB Housing Market Index also rose in September. Builder confidence in current single-family housing market conditions rose four points to an index reading of 88; builder confidence in housing market conditions in the next six months rose by six points to 84. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in single-family housing developments rose by nine points to a record index reading of 73.

Builder confidence readings over 50 reflect growing builder confidence in housing market conditions. March and April fell below 50 but rebounded as demand for larger suburban homes took hold as working from home increased. Record low mortgage rates are allowing home buyers to buy larger homes with more amenities. Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said that “Builders in other areas of the country have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating.”

Housing Starts and Building Permits Drop in August

The Commerce Department reported 1.42 million housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August as compared to July’s reading of 1.49 million housing starts. 1.47 million building permits were issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis;

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported mixed changes in mortgage rates; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.87 percent and rose by one basis point. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were two basis points lower on average at 2.35 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.96 percent and were 15 basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 860,000 from the prior week’s reading of 893,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell; 12.63 million were filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 29.67 continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index also indicated economic growth with an index reading of 78.9 as compared to August’s reading of 74.1. Analysts expected am index reading of 75.9 for September.

What’s Ahead

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

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 31, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 31st, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 31, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, along with data on new and pending home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new and continuing jobless claims were also published.

Case-Shiller: Home Price GrowthHolds Steady in June

National home prices grew at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 4.30 percent in June, which was unchanged from May’s year-over-year growth rate for home prices. The 20-City Home Price Index rose by 3.50 percent year-over-year in June.  

Phoenix, Arizona reported the leading year-over-year home price growth rate of 9.00 percent. Seattle, Washington held second place with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 6.50 percent. Home prices in Tampa, Florida grew at a year-over-year pace of 5.90 percent.   

Home price growth rates rose in five of 19 cities reported in the 20-City Index; the Wayne County Michigan metro area did not report for June’s 20-City Home Price Index. 

New Home Sales Rise as Pending Home Sales Dip in July

Sales of new homes rose for the third consecutive month in July according to the U.S. Census Bureau. July’s reading of 901,000 new homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis was the highest pace of sales since 2006. Sales of new homes were 36 percent higher year-over-year. Slim inventories of pre-owned homes for sale and low mortgage rates boosted new home sales, but analysts said that builders also face headwinds including higher materials costs and affordability.

Pending home sales dropped in July from June’s year-over-year reading of 15.80 percent to July’s reading of 5.80 percent. Ongoing concerns over COVID-19, high unemployment rates and, concerns over jobs have caused would-be-homebuyers to delay their home purchase plans.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower rates for fixed-rate mortgages last week with the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages falling by eight basis points to 2.91 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also fell by eight basis points to 2.46 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.91 percent and were unchanged from the prior week.

New jobless claims fell to 1.01 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 1.10 million initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 14.54 million continuing claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 14.76 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, private and public sector jobs growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 17, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 17th, 2020

 

Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on inflation and retail sales. Weekly reports on mortgage
rates and new and continuing jobless claims were also released. In other news, the FHFA announced an increase in
fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for home loan refinance transactions.
Inflation Readings Mixed as Retail Sales Fall
Consumer prices rose by 0.60 percent in July and matched June’s reading. Analysts expected a July reading of 0.40
percent growth. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, rose by 0.60
percent in July and exceeded June’s reading of 0.20 percent and July’s expected reading of 0.20 percent price
growth.
Retail sales dropped to 1,20 percent growth in July as compared to June’s reading of 8.40 percent growth. July’s
retail sales reading fell short of the expected rate of 2.00 percent. Retail sales excluding the automotive sector rose
by 1.90 percent in July as compared to June’s retail sales growth rate of 8.30 percent Declining retail sales were
likely caused by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in some areas.
State and local guidance on retail re-openings varied and likely impacted retail sales according to how Covid-19
regulations were interpreted and enforced. The federal government failed to enact a second round of stimulus
payments that would have provided Americans with extra cash for purchasing retail goods and services.
Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by eight
basis points to 2.96 percent on average. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.46
percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged
0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
First-time jobless claims fell to 963,000 claims as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.19 million new claims
filed and expectations of 1.08 million initial claims filed Continuing jobless claims were also lower than for the
previous week. 15.50 million ongoing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 16.10 million claims filed
during the prior week. Falling jobless claims numbers could reflect the re-openings of business and rehiring of
employees. This progress could be short-lived as Covid-19 cases increased last week in some states where re-
opening may have been done too soon.
What’s Ahead
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on
housing market trends, and Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly
reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 17, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on inflation and retail sales. Weekly reports on  mortgage rates and new and continuing jobless claims were also released. In other news, the FHFA announced an increase in fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for home loan refinance transactions.

 Inflation Readings Mixed as Retail Sales Fall

Consumer prices rose by 0.60 percent in July and matched June’s reading. Analysts expected a July reading of 0.40 percent growth. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, rose by 0.60 percent in July and exceeded June’s reading of 0.20 percent and July’s expected reading of 0.20 percent price growth. 

Retail sales dropped to 1,20 percent growth in July as compared to June’s reading of 8.40 percent growth. July’s retail sales reading fell short of the expected rate of 2.00 percent. Retail sales excluding the automotive sector rose by 1.90 percent in July as compared to June’s retail sales growth rate of 8.30 percent Declining retail sales were likely caused by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in some areas.

State and local guidance on retail re-openings varied and likely impacted retail sales according to how Covid-19 regulations were interpreted and enforced. The federal government failed to enact a second round of stimulus payments that would have provided Americans with extra cash for purchasing retail goods and services.

 

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by eight basis points to 2.96 percent on average. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.46 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell to 963,000 claims as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.19 million new claims filed and expectations of 1.08 million initial claims filed Continuing jobless claims were also lower than for the previous week. 15.50 million ongoing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 16.10 million claims filed during the prior week. Falling jobless claims numbers could reflect the re-openings of business and rehiring of employees. This progress could be short-lived as Covid-19 cases increased last week in some states where re-opening may have been done too soon.

What’s Ahead

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

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 20, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 20th, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - July 20, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of  Home Builders on housing markets along with Commerce Department data on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and unemployment claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Markets Increases in July

Homebuilders gained confidence in housing market conditions as home buyers sought homes in less-congested suburban areas. Builder confidence rose 14 points to an index reading of 72 in July. NAHB Chair Chuck Fowke said, “Builders are seeing strong traffic and lots of interest in new construction as existing home inventory remains lean.”

Homebuyers sought larger homes to accommodate work-at-home needs and also fled from urban congestion posing hazards due to Covid-19. Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB said, “Flight to the suburbs is real.” This trend benefits home builders, who must meet buyer demand.

Inventories of pre-owned homes remained low and improved builder outlook on current sales of single-family homes by 16 points to an index reading of 79.

Builder confidence in market conditions for the next six months rose seven points to 75 and builder confidence in buyer traffic rose 15 points to 58. Index readings over 50 indicate positive market conditions.

Commerce Department readings for June housing starts and building permits issued were higher than in May. 1.19 million housing starts were reported on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to May’s reading of 1.01 million housing starts. 1.24 million building permits were issued in June on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to May’s reading of 1.22 million permits issued.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported the lowest mortgage rates in 50 years last week;  the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell five basis points to 2.98 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell three basis points to 2.48 percent; rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose four basis points to 3.06 percent on average Analysts said that as low mortgage rates encouraged would-be buyers to enter the market, increasing cases of COVID-19 in some areas could cause markets to cool as fears of layoffs and unemployment impact real estate markets.

New and continuing jobless claims fell last week but remained much higher than pre-COVID-19 readings. 1.30 million initial jobless claims were filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.31 million new claims. Continuing jobless claims fell to 17.30 million claims as compared to the previous weekly reading of 18.10 million ongoing jobless claims.

What’s Ahead

Readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes will be released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and unemployment claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 22, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 22nd, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 22, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on U.S. Housing markets, housing starts, and building permits issued. Weekly reports on new and continuing jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Market Recovers in June

Analysts cited slim supplies of available homes, tight housing markets, and low mortgage rates as drivers of new home sales. Builder confidence in current housing market conditions rose 21 points to an index reading of 58 in June;  builder confidence in housing market conditions in the next six months rose 22 points to 68.

Builder confidence in buyer traffic in new single-family housing developments rose from May’s index reading of 21 to 43 in June. Readings for buyer traffic are typically lower than the benchmark reading of 50.

Readings over 50 indicate that most builders are confident about housing market conditions and component readings of the Housing Market Index. Prospective home buyers continued to face obstacles of high unemployment and loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic; these factors will likely impact builder confidence for months ahead as impacts of the pandemic change.

Housing Starts, Building Permits Issued Increase in May

The Commerce Department reported 974,000 housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis in May as compared to a  pace of  934,000 housing starts reported in April. Building permits issued in May rose to 1.22 million permits issued on an annual basis from April’s pace of 1.07 million permits issued. Analysts expected 1.25 million permits to be issued in May on an annual basis.

 

Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low as Jobless Claims Decrease

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates that were the lowest mortgage rates recorded. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was eight basis points lower at 3.13 percent; interest rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.58 percent and were four basis points lower than for the prior week. Interest rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged one basis point lower at 3.09 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell to 1.51 million claims last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.57 million initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also fell; 20.50 million claims were reported as compared to 20.60 million ongoing jobless claims reported the prior week.

 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include reports on sales of new and previously-owned homes, FHFA’s Home Price Index, and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index.

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

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

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

Scheduled monthly readings were released for new home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

New Home Sales Beat Expectations in February

Sales of new homes dropped 4.40 percent in February after reaching a 13-year high in January. 765,000 new homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, which exceeded expectations of 750,000 sales in February. New home sales were 14.30 percent higher year-over-year.

Analysts said that further declines monthly new home sales are expected as the coronavirus spreads.

The national median price for a new home was $345,900 and there was a five-month inventory of new homes for sale in February; this was the lowest inventory of new homes since 2017.

Regional sales rose 39 percent in the Northeast and 7.00 percent in the Midwest. Sales rose 1.00 percent in the South and fell by 17 percent in the West.

Mortgage Rates Mixed After Fed Moves to Create Stability

Freddie Mac reported lower average rates for fixed-rate mortgages last week; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped 15 basis points to 3.50 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 14 basis points to an average of 2.92 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose 23 basis points to an average rate of 3.34 percent; this was caused by rising yields for 5-year treasury bills.

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.

Sharp adjustments in mortgage rates and financial markets continued last week and are likely to continue as uncertainty increases over coronavirus impacts. Analysts noted that as tenants face prolonged unemployment, landlords will also be impacted when rents aren’t paid. The stimulus payments of $1200 per adult will not cover one month’s rent for households in high-cost housing market.                                                                                                   

First-time Jobless Claims Skyrocket as Consumer Sentiment Falls

3.28 million initial jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 282,000 claims filed the prior week. Analysts project higher numbers of jobless claims as the coronavirus spreads and more employers close their doors. Not surprisingly, consumer sentiment fell in March according to the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index.

The March index reading dropped to 89.1 from February’s reading of 95.9. Analysts expected a March reading of 89.0. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on pending home sales, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and labor-sector readings on job growth and national unemployment. 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 23rd , 2020

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

 What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued and  National Association of Realtors® reporting on sales of previously-owned homes.

The Federal Reserve canceled the scheduled meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and Fed Chair’s press conference, but the Fed did lower its target federal funds rate early in the week. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims were also released.

 Builder Confidence, Housing Starts and Building Permits Decrease

Builder confidence in housing market conditions dropped two index points to 72 in March. Readings over 50 indicate that most builders are confident about housing market conditions. Component readings of the Housing Market Index were also lower.

Builder confidence in current housing market conditions fell two points to 79; builder sentiment about housing market conditions within the next six months fell four points to 75 and builder confidence about buyer traffic in new housing developments dropped one point to 56.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said that March readings were compiled before the coronavirus outbreak and that April’s readings would show more accurate impacts of the coronavirus on builder confidence. As state and local governments begin to restrict non-essential activity, home sales and buyer traffic readings will decline.

February housing starts fell to 1.599 million starts as compared to January’s reading of 1.624 million starts; analysts expected 1.493 million housing starts for February’s report. The Commerce Department also reported lower numbers for building permits issued. 1.464 million building permits were issued in February; analysts expected 1.500 million permits issued as compared to January’s reading of 1.550 million permits issued. Analysts expect the coronavirus to cause declines in housing starts and real estate activity in general as the virus spreads.

Mortgage Rates Rise as Fed Lowers Target Federal Funds Rate

The Federal Reserve canceled the scheduled meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee after announcing its decision to lower the target federal funds rate to 0.00 to 0.25 percent.

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as mortgage lenders worked through a backlog of refinancing applications. Rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.65 percent and were 29 basis points higher. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages had an average rate of 3.06 percent, which was also 29 basis points higher than in the prior week. 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rates averaged 10 basis points higher at 3.11 percent.

Discount points averaged0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims jumped to 281,000 initial claims last week as employers closed and citizens were encouraged to limit non-essential activities. Unemployment claims will increase as more businesses close or reduce services.

The National Association of Realtors® reported rising sales of previously-owned homes with a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.77 million homes sold and was the highest reading for February sales since 2007. Home sales are expected to decrease as the coronavirus advances.

Open houses and home showings will decrease as stricter efforts to contain the coronavirus occur.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on new home sales, inflation and consumer sentiment. 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 -March 17th, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 17th, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reports included readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Holds Steady in February

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.10 percent in February and matched January’s reading. Analysts expected no inflationary growth for February and noted that the Coronavirus had not yet impacted national inflation.

Higher rents and grocery prices caused inflation to rise in February. Year-over-year, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.30 percent in February after posting its highest reading of 2.50 percent in January; analysts expect inflation to decrease in the coming months.

The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, grew by 0.20 percent and matched expectations and January’s growth rate.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose seven basis points to 3.36 percent last week after posting the lowest rate on record the prior week. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell two basis points to 2.77 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 17 basis points to 3.01 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell to 211,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 215,000 first-time claims filed. Consumer sentiment dropped to an index reading of 95.90 in March as compared to February’s reading of 101.00; analysts expected consumer sentiment to fall to an index reading of 95.00.

The March reading was the weakest in five months and was attributed to fears of the Coronavirus. The current consumer sentiment index covered data through March 11 and index readings are expected to fall lower as impacts of the Coronavirus unfold.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, sales of pre-owned homes reported by the National Association of Realtors® and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued.

The Federal Reserve will issue its post-meeting statement of its Federal Open Market Committee and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will give a press conference after the FOMC statement. Additional economic news and policy announcements related to the Coronavirus may also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 9th, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 9th, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 9th, 2020Home mortgage rates slipped to their lowest rates on record as uncertainty over the coronavirus continued to impact financial markets. Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates for fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 16 basis points to 3.29 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was also 16 basis points lower at 2.79 percent.

Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages were two points lower on average at 3.18 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. The 10-Year Treasury Yield, which tracks with mortgage rates, slipped to 0.90 percent last week; this was the first time the yield rate fell below one percent.

Homeowners rushed to take advantage of low mortgage rates through refinancing, but homebuyers could not gain the same benefits from record-low mortgage rates due to persistent shortages of available and affordable homes for sale. Analysts advised against waiting to refinance as home mortgage rates aren’t expected to fall much lower.

Construction Spending Rises, Fed Cuts Key Rate as National Unemployment Rate Falls

Analysts have long relied on home builders to ease chronically short supplies of homes for sale. Construction spending rose to 1.80 percent in January as compared to December’s rate of  0.20 percent. Analysts expected January’s construction spending to rise to 0.90 percent.

The Federal Reserve cut its target federal funds rate range by 0.50 percent to 1.00-1.25 percent.in a move to relieve the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy. The Fed may cut its key rate by an additional  0.25 percent  when the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee holds its scheduled meeting on March 17-18th.

Labor-sector reports showed mixed results for job growth. The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 273,000 public and private-sector jobs added in February, this pace was unchanged from January. ADP reported 183,000 jobs added in February as compared to 209,000 jobs added in January.

First-time unemployment claims fell to216,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 219,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 217,000 new claims filed. The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.50 percent in February as compared to January’s reading of 3.60 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. 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 -March 2nd, 2020

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

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 2nd, 2020Economic readings released last week included Case-Shiller and FHFA Home Price Indices and reports on new and pending home sales. The week wrapped up with a report on consumer sentiment and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Faster Home Price Growth

Home prices rose by 3.80 percent year-over-year in December according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index rose by 2.90 percent year-over-year in December as compared to November’s reading of a 3.50 percent gain over-over-year; Case-Shiller reported 0.40 percent growth in home prices from month-to-month.

The 20-City Home Price Index reported no change in the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth. Phoenix, Arizona reported 6.50 percent home price growth in December followed by Charlotte, North Carolina’s reading of 5.30 percent home price growth. Tampa, Florida reported 5.20 percent year-over-year home price growth.

The Federal HousingFinance Agency reported its 34th consecutive quarter of home price growth in December. Home prices rose by 5.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and were 0.60 percent higher month-to-month.

2019 saw home buyers leave pricey coastal metro areas in favor of less expensive markets in mountain states and in the South. Home prices in these areas rose as demand increased. Overall, real estate pros reported lingering shortages of homes for sale in many areas, but low mortgage rates prompted would-be buyers to enter the market. Increased demand for homes further boosted home prices in many areas.

Mortgage Rates Fall as New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week as 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropped four basis points to 3.45 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was also four basis points lower at 2.95 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.20 percent and were five basis points lower.

Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.20 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose last week; 219,000 new claims were filed and exceeded expectations of 214,000 claims and the prior week’s reading of 211,000 first-time claims filed.

New and Pending Home Sales Increase in January

764,000 new homes were sold in January on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis according to the Commerce Department. Analysts expected 722,000 new home sales based on December’s reading of 708,000 new homes sold. Low mortgage rates boosted sales as buyers turned to new home developments to take advantage of rock-bottom mortgage rates.

Pending home sales rose 5.20 percent in January as compared to a dip of -4.30 percent in December according to the National Association of Realtors®. Pending home sales were 8.70 percent higher in the South and 7.10 percent higher in the Midwest. Pending sales rose by 1.20 percent in the Northeast and fell 1.10 percent in the West.

The University of Michigan reported slight growth in consumer sentiment in February with an index reading of 101.0 as compared to January’s reading of 100.9. Analysts expected no change from January’s reading.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private-sector job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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