Posts filed under ‘Jobs Report’

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : April 9, 2012

Spain mortgage ratesIn a week of up-and-down trading, mortgage markets improved for the second consecutive week last week. Weaker-than-expected jobs data plus evidence of a slumping Eurozone took mortgage bonds lower, capped by a furious Friday morning rally that dropped mortgage rates to near-record levels.

Once again, volatility ruled the bond pits.

Tuesday afternoon, after the release of the Fed March Minutes, mortgage rates spiked. Some products climbed as much as 0.250 percent. The surge stemmed from the Fed Minutes showing Federal Reserve members hesitant to begin new rounds of market stimulus without a demonstrated, national economic slowdown. 

Wall Street hadn’t expected the Fed’s verbiage to be so well-defined. With little evidence that such a slowdown was underway — the economy has shown two straight seasons of consistent, steady growth, after all — equity markets rallied and bond markets sunk, causing mortgage rates to rise.

By Wednesday, however, rates had started to fall. 

Civil unrest in Spain plus concern that the nation will fail to meet its debt obligations drew global investors away from equities and into the relative safety of U.S. government-backed bonds — including mortgage-backed bonds. This is a common investment pattern during times of economic uncertainty and one of the major reasons why mortgage rates have been so low, for so long.

If the scenario in Spain sounds similar to what transpired in Greece between mid-2010 and late-2011, that’s because it is. Mortgage rates in Michigan may benefit in the medium-term.

Also helping rates last week was the March jobs report.

The U.S. government reported 120,000 net new jobs created in March, well short of the 200,000 figure that analysts expected. Market sold off sharply on the news, giving rate shoppers another chance to capture low rates.

This week, with the economic calendar light, look for Europe to dictate market action. Mortgage rates may move lower but there’s more room for rates to rise than to fall. Rates remain near all-time lows.

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April 9, 2012 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Jobs Report Due Friday; Mortgage Rates Expected To Change

Non-Farm Payrolls estimateIf you’re out shopping for a home this week, or trying to lock a mortgage rate, with Friday comes home affordability risk. Consider locking your mortgage rate today.

The March Non-Farm Payrolls report is due for release Friday morning and mortgage rates are expected to move. Unfortunately for the home buyers and rate shoppers of Okemos , we can’t know in which direction that will be.

The prudent play may be to lock your mortgage rate today.

On the first Friday of each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report. More commonly called “the jobs report”, the release is a bona fide market-mover, month after month. 

Depending on how the March jobs data reads, FHA and conforming mortgage rates could rise — or fall — by a measurable amount post-release. This is because today’s mortgage market is closely tied to the economy, and the economy is closely tied to job growth.

The connection between jobs and mortgage rates is basic.

More workers leads to higher levels of consumer spending nationwide and consumer spending accounts for the majority of the U.S. economy.

In addition, when more workers are paid, more taxes are paid, too. Local, state and federal governments collect more monies when payrolls are rising which, in turn, benefits projects that purchase new goods and services, and, in many cases, results in the hiring of additional personnel.

Job creation can be a powerful, self-reinforcing cycle. 

Between 2008 and 2009, the economy shed 7 million jobs. It has since recovered half of them. Friday, analysts expect to count another 200,000 jobs created. If the actual number of jobs created exceeds estimates, look for stock markets to gain and bond markets to lose. This leads to higher mortgage rates — especially with the Federal Reserve zeroed in on the labor market.

If the actual number of jobs created in March falls short of expectations, however, mortgage rates may fall.

Unfortunately, by the time the report is released, it will be too late to act on it. The release is made at 8:30 AM ET and bond markets are closed for Good Friday.

April 5, 2012 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Home Affordability Threatened By Friday’s Jobs Report

3-month rolling average NFP

This week, once more, we find mortgage rates are on a downward trajectory. Conforming mortgage rates have returned to near all-time lows. After Friday morning’s Non-Farm Payrolls report, however, those low rates may come to an end.

It’s a risky time for Michigan home buyers and would-be refinancers to be without a locked rate.

Each month, on the first Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report for the month prior. More commonly called the “jobs report”, Non-Farm Payrolls provides a sector-by-sector employment breakdown, and the nation’s Unemployment Rate.

In December 2011, the government reported 200,000 net new jobs created, and an Unemployment Rate of 8.5%.

For January 2012, economists project 135,000 net new jobs with no change in the Unemployment Rate and, depending on how accurate those predictions are proved, FHA and conforming mortgage rates for homes in Michigan State University are subject to change. The monthly jobs reports tends to have an out-sized influence on the direction of daily mortgage rates.

The connection between jobs and mortgage rates is fairly direct.

Job growth is a key cog in the economic growth engine and mortgage rates change daily based on short- and long-term economic expectation. As more people join the workforce, economic expectations change; the economy tends to expand, breeding optimism among investment. When this occurs, it often spurs investment in the stock market, which tends to leads mortgage rates up.

In short, in a recovering economy, when job growth is strong, all things equal, mortgage rates rise. Home affordability suffers.

So, for today’s rate shoppers, Friday’s job report represents a risk. The economy has added jobs over 15 straight months, a streak that’s added 2.1 million people to the workforce. Although the jobs market remains weak and well off its peaks from last decade, a 15-month streak is worth watching. More jobs means more more income earned nationwide, more money spent by households, and more taxes collected by governments.

This items build a foundation for economic growth and Wall Street is watching.

If tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls shows more jobs created than the estimated 135,000, mortgage rates are expected to rise. If the jobs figures falls short, mortgage rates should fall.

The Non-Farm Payrolls report is released at 8:30 AM ET.

February 2, 2012 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Friday’s Jobs Report Represents A Big Risk To Low Mortgage Rates

Net new jobs created (2000 - 2011)

Have you been floating a mortgage rate? It may be time to lock.

At 8:30 AM ET Friday, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its November Non-Farm Payrolls report. Better known as “the jobs report”, the monthly Non-Farm Payrolls figures provide sector-by-sector employment data, and tally the size of the current U.S. workforce size.

From these two elements, the national Unemployment Rate is derived.

Since topping out at 10.2% in October 2009, the Unemployment Rate has dropped to 9.0%. More than 2.3 million net new jobs have been made in the last 24 months.

Wall Street expect to see 125,000 more jobs added in November.

Depending on how closely the actual Non-Farm Payrolls data meets Wall Street expectations, East Lansing rate shoppers could find that the mortgage market landscape has shifted beneath them. The jobs report is a mortgage-market catalyst and when its reported value differs from Wall Street expectations, the impact on mortgage rates can be palpable — especially in a recovering economy.

The connection between the jobs market and the mortgage market is straight-forward — as the jobs market goes, so goes the economy.

  1. When more people work, consumer spending increases
  2. When consumer spending rises, businesses expand and invest
  3. When businesses expand and invest, more people are put to work

Furthermore, employees and employers both pay taxes to governments. With more tax revenue, governments embark upon new projects which (1) require the hiring of additional workers, and (2) require the purchase and/or repair of additional equipment and supplies. 

Employment can be a self-reinforcing cycle for the economy and that’s why Friday’s jobs report will be so closely watched. If the number of jobs created exceeds the 125,000 expected, mortgage rates will rise on the expectation for a stronger U.S. economy in 2012.

Conversely, if the jobs figures fall short, mortgage rates may fall. 

Mortgage rates continue to hover near all-time lows according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is sub-4.000 percent nationwide, with an accompanying fee of 0.7 discount points. 1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

If you’re under contract for a home or looking to refinance, minimize your interest rate risk. Lock ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

Get your rate lock in today.

December 1, 2011 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

More Risk To Home Affordability : Friday’s Jobs Report

Job growth since 2000

Within the next 48 hours, mortgage rates may get bouncy. The Federal Open Market Committee will adjourn from a 2-day meeting and October’s Non-Farm Payrolls report is due for release.

Of the two market movers, it’s the Non-Farm Payrolls report that may cause the most damage. Rate shoppers across Michigan would do well to pay attention.

Published monthly, the “jobs report” provides sector-by-sector employment data from the month prior. It’s a product of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes the national Unemployment Rate.

In September, the economy added 103,000 jobs, and job creation from the two months prior was shown to be higher by 99,000 jobs higher than originally reported. This was a huge improvement over the initial August release which showed zero new jobs created.

When September’s jobs report was released, mortgage rates spiked. This is because of the correlation between jobs and the U.S. economy. There are a lot of economic “positives” when the U.S. workforce is growing.

  1. Consumer spending increases
  2. Governments start more projects
  3. Businesses make more investment

Each of these items leads to additional hiring, and the cycle continues.

Wall Street expects that 90,000 jobs were created in October 2011. If the actual number of jobs created exceeds this estimate, it will be considered a positive for the economy, and mortgage rates should climb as Wall Street dumps mortgage-backed bonds in favor of equities.

Conversely, if the number of new jobs falls short of 90,000, it will be considered a disappointment, and mortgage rates should rise.

There is a lot of risk in floating a mortgage rate today. The Federal Reserve could make a statement that drives rates higher, and Friday’s job report could do the same. If you’re under contract for a home or planning to refinance, eliminate your interest rate risk.

Lock your mortgage rate today.

November 2, 2011 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

A Mortgage Rate Strategy Ahead Of Friday’s Jobs Report

Estimated NFP results September 2009

Mortgage rates are prepped to make big moves in the next 36 hours. Is it time for you to call in your rate lock?

Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Non-Farm Payrolls report for September. Issued monthly, the “jobs report” offers sector-by-sector job creation figures from the month prior, and reports on the national Unemployment Rate.

Last month, exactly zero net new jobs were created, the government said. This month, economists expect a net 60,000 new jobs created.

Depending on where the actual monthly figure falls, FHA and conforming mortgage rates in Lansing may be volatile. The jobs reports tends to have out-sized influence on the mortgage bond market.

The connection between the jobs market and the mortgage market is fairly straight-forward. As jobs go, so goes the economy. This is because more working Americans leads to a stronger economic base.

  1. When more people work, consumer spending grows
  2. When more people work, governments collect more taxes
  3. When more people work, household savings increases

Each of these items are strengths to a recovering economy.

For rate shoppers, Friday’s job report could cause mortgage rates to rise — or fall. If the actual number of jobs created exceeded the 60,000 consensus estimate, look for mortgage rates to climb.

Conversely, if new jobs fell short of 60,000, expect that rates will drop.

Home affordability is at all-time highs because mortgage rates are at all-time lows. If you’re under contract for a home or looking to refinance, eliminate some of your interest rate risk. Lock ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

Get your rate lock in today.

October 6, 2011 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Job Growth Returning To "Normal" Levels — A Bad Sign For Mortgage Rates

Job Growth (2000-2011)

Be prepared for Friday morning. Mortgage rates and home affordability could worsen quickly. At 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its April Non-Farm Payrolls report and momentum has been strong.

The monthly jobs report is a market-mover and analysts expect that 196,000 new jobs were added last month. If those expectations are exceeded — by even a little — Wall Street would take it mean “economic strength” and the stock market would be boosted.

Too bad for rate shoppers, though; a move like that would also lead to higher mortgage rates throughout Michigan. This is because, coming out of a recession, reports of economic strength tend to push mortgage rates up. We’ve seen it happen multiple times in the last 8 months.

Since losing more than 7 million jobs between 2008 and 2009, employers have added 1.3 million jobs back to the economy. And we’re learning that there’s plans for fewer job cuts in the future. It’s clear that the jobs market is improving and this is why tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls report is so important.

A “weak economy” helped keep mortgage rates low for a very long time. A strengthening economy will reverse that tide.

So, consider your personal risk tolerance today, in advance of tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls report. If the thought of rising mortgage rates makes you nervous, call your loan officer and lock in a rate today. Once tomorrow’s data is released, after all, the market might look changed.

September 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

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Don Grimes

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Don Grimes
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