California Mortgage News

Latest News on Job Market, Real Estate Market, and Mortgage Interest Rate Market

September 11th, 2014 6:19 PM by Todd Perdew

The headline number of the day is 142,000: U.S. companies created that many jobs in August. Not that good. A sense of panic set in, as the economy had produced more than 200,000 in each of the previous six months. Could this be the start of a downturn in the economy? Would the Federal Reserve maintain its stimulus program longer than expected? Does this mean the stock-market rally is over? Probably not, but that's speculative. The size of the labor force fell again in August, and the participation rate matched a 26-year low, suggesting that many people still don't see a big increase in job openings. Not much sign here of discouraged workers re-entering the labor force.

Recent data on the US housing market has been mixed. The Existing Home Sales report released the week before last showed nice improvement, while last week's New Home Sales data revealed a slight decline. The July Pending Home Sales report, which is a leading indicator of future activity, rose to 105.9, the highest level since September 2013. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), which issues the report, defines a reading of 100 as an "average level of contract activity."

Mortgage rates were little changed following mixed housing news. Existing home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month to an annualized pace of 5.15 million, the highest of the year. On the other hand, new home sales fell for the third consecutive month to an annualized rate of 412,000 units. Also, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index confirmed the slowing in national house-price appreciation that has occurred in other metrics, with the seasonally-adjusted national index down 0.1 percent in June but on a year-over-year basis up a solid 6.2 percent.  Mortgage Rates Remain Low. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.10 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 28, 2014, unchanged from the week before. A year ago at this time, the 30-year averaged 4.51 percent. The 15-year last week averaged 3.25 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from week before when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year averaged 3.54 percent.
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Posted by Todd Perdew on September 11th, 2014 6:19 PM