Posts filed under ‘Unemployment Rate’

Homes Get More Affordable On March Jobs Data

Unemployment Rate

Americans continue to get back to work.

Last Friday, in its Non-Farm Payrolls report for the month of March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 120,000 net new jobs created, plus combined revisions in the January and February reports of +4,000 jobs.

The March report marks the 18th straight month of job growth nationwide — the first time that’s happened in 5 years.

The Unemployment Rate dipped in March, too, falling one-tenth of one percent to 8.2%. This is its lowest national Unemployment Rate since February 2009.

Clearly, the jobs market is moving in the right direction. Yet, after the Non-Farm Payrolls report was released Friday morning, stock markets dropped and bond markets gained — the opposite of what a casual market observer would expect.

It happened because, although job growth was strong, Wall Street decided it just wasn’t strong enough. The market expected 200,000 jobs created in March at least and the actual reported figure fell short.

Lucky for you, Wall Street’s pain is Main Street’s gain. After the jobs report was released, mortgage rates immediately dropped to a 3-week low, making homes more affordable in Michigan and throughout all 50 states.

The market’s reaction is an excellent example of how important jobs data can be to home affordability — especially in a recovering economy.

The economy shed 7 million jobs between 2008-2009 and has since added more than half of them back. Wall Street pays close attention to job creation because more working Americans means more consumer spending, and more consumer spending means more economic growth.

Rate shoppers caught a bit of a break on the March payroll data. By all accounts, the labor market recovery in underway and, as it improves, higher mortgage rates are likely nationwide. For now, though, there’s a window for low mortgage rates that buyers and would-be refinancing households can try to exploit.

If you’re actively shopping for a home or a mortgage, today’s mortgage rates may be at “last chance”-like levels. Once rates rise, they’re expected to rise for good.

April 10, 2012 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Mortgage Rates Expected To Rise On A Strong Job Report

Net New Jobs Feb 2010-Feb 2012With home affordability at an all-time high, buoyed by the lowest mortgage rates ever, it’s been a terrific time to buy or refinance a home using a mortgage.

The good times may not last, though, so today marks an ideal time to lock a mortgage rate. Friday brings risk. Here’s why.

Since 2010, weak economic conditions have been a primary catalyst for low mortgage rates in Michigan. Over the last 12 months, though, manufacturing output has been rising, consumer spending has been climbing, and business investment has increasing.

In other words, the economy is improving. However, it’s the jobs market that’s believed to be the economic recovery keystone. When jobs come back, analysts say, so does the economy.

Assuming that’s true, a recovery may already be well underway.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. jobs market has grown for 16 straight months now, adding 2.5 million net new jobs along the way. It’s one reason why the February jobs report matters so much to housing. 

Rate shoppers would do well to pay attention.

Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the government will release its Non-Farm Payrolls report for February. Wall Street expects the report to show 210,000 new jobs were created in February, a figure slightly higher than the rolling, 6-month average for job growth. This would be a positive economic indicator.

If the analysts are correct, mortgage rates are likely to rise on the news, harming home affordability.

Furthermore, affordability could be harmed by a lot if the number of net new jobs created exceeds the 210,000 tally expected. It’s not a far-fetched scenario. Wall Street’s “whispers” put the actual jobs figure somewhere between 250,000-300,000. A reading lije this would cause mortgage rates to spike and would add money to a prospective monthly mortgage payment.

If the idea of rising mortgage rates makes you nervous, consider taking your nerves out of the equation. Call your loan officer today. Lock your rate ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

March 8, 2012 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : February 6, 2012

Jobs growth pushes mortgage rates higherMortgage markets worsened last week as domestic job growth surprised Wall Street and the Eurozone moved yet one more step closer to reaching a lasting Greece sovereign debt solution.

Conforming mortgage rates in Michigan rose on the news, although you wouldn’t know it from looking at Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell to 3.87% last week with 0.8 discount points due at closing, plus closing costs. 1 discount point is a fee equal to one percent of your loan size.

3.87% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the official, all-time low for the weekly Freddie Mac survey, conducted since the 1970s. However, because Freddie Mac gathers its results on Monday and Tuesday only, by the time the survey results were released Thursday morning, mortgage rates were already rising off their lows.

Then, Friday morning, after January’s Non-Farm Payrolls data was released, mortgage rates surged.

The January jobs report exceeded expectations in nearly every fashion possible :

  • Economists expected to see 135,000 jobs created in January. The actual number was 243,000.
  • Economists expected to see the Unemployment Rate at 8.5% in January. The actual number was 8.3%.
  • Revisions added an additional 180,000 net new jobs to the original 2011 tally.

As compared to one year ago, there are 2.1 million more people employed in the U.S. workforce. Figures like this hint at a stronger national economy, and that tends to drive mortgage rates up.

This week, with little economic data due for release, mortgage rates are expected to move on momentum. Right now, that momentum is causing rates to rise.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage rate in East Lansing and want to know if the time is right to lock, consider that it’s impossible to time a market bottom, but simple to spot a “good deal”.

Mortgage rates remain near historical lows — it’s a good time to lock one in. Call your lender today. 

February 6, 2012 at 10:12 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

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : December 5, 2011

Non-farm payrolls Dec 2009 - Nov 2011Mortgage markets made little change last week for the fifth time in as many weeks.

As Wall Street watched both the Eurozone and the U.S. regain their respective footing, expectations for a new Fed-led stimulus increased, which prevented mortgage rates from rising.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage rose just 2 basis points last week to 4.00% nationwide with an accompanying 0.7 discount points

1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

For every $100,000 borrowed at 4.00 percent, therefore, today’s Michigan mortgage applicant should expect to pay $700 in “points”. Mortgage rates for “zero-point loans” are higher than Freddie Mac’s published, average value.

This week, with few economic releases set for release, last week’s big stories should carry over into the current one — the biggest of which was a worldwide, coordinated central bank effort to increase system liquidity.

The European Central Bank, Bank of England and U.S. Federal Reserve were joined by the central banks of Japan, Canada and Switzerland in the effort. Stock markets rallied on the news.

Another of last week’s big stories was the sharp drop in the U.S. Unemployment Rate.

After hovering near nine percent since April, the Unemployment Rate broke out of range, dropping to to 8.6% in November. This is the lowest national Unemployment Rate since March 2009, a milestone achieved via the combination of new jobs created (+192,000 in November with revisions) plus a smaller U.S. workforce.

The U.S. economy has added 1.9 million jobs in the last 14 months.

Lastly, last week’s New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales Index releases support the growing belief that the U.S. housing market is in recovery. Both reports showed strong growth for October, corroborating what home builders have been saying — the housing market is improving and buyer ranks are growing.

Home supplies are lower in many U.S. markets.

This week, rate shoppers in Okemos should be on alert. Market momentum changes quickly, and rates are currently anchored by the expectation of new Federal Reserve stimulus. The Fed meets December 13, 2011. As that date approaches, expectations could change, causing rates to rise.

Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows. It’s a good time to lock a rate with your lender.

December 5, 2011 at 10:10 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

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Don Grimes

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Don Grimes
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