Susan Deierling, Assoc. Broker
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Realty Executives Northern Arizona
Tag Archives: Mortgage Rates,Economy,Financial News
Mortgage rates rose last week with average rates a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising from last week’s 3.35 percent to 3.42 percent with buyers paying all closing costs and 0.7 percent in discount points.
Average rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage rose from 2.56 percent to 2.61 percent with buyers paying their closing costs and 0.7 percent in discount points.
Freddie Mac also reports that average rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose from 2.56 percent last week to 2.58 percent with buyers paying their closing costs and 0.5 percent in discount points.
Here are noteworthy points from last week’s economic news:
Monday: In spite of improving economic conditions, a majority of participants in the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices indicated that their lending institutions would not be relaxing residential mortgage lending standards. Lenders perceive a significant risk in terms of being required to absorb losses incurred on defaulted mortgage loans.
Mortgage owners including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with mortgage insurance companies can require mortgage lenders to buy back defaulted loans or make them whole for losses related to foreclosed and otherwise defaulted mortgage loans.
Tuesday: CoreLogic reported an increase of 1.9 percent in national home prices for March. This news represents the 13th consecutive increase and a year-over-year increase of 10.5 percent.
Home prices were boosted by strong increases in the West; Nevada posted a 22.2 percent gain from last March and California posted a 17.2 percent year-over-year gain.
CoreLogic predicted a year-over-year increase of 9.6 percent for home prices for April, with a monthly increase of 1.3 percent increase expected between March and April.
Thursday: Weekly jobless claims brought good news as they came in at 323,000; this was lower than expectations of 335,000 new jobless claims and the 327,000 new jobless claims reported in the prior week.
Friday: The Treasury Department reported that the federal budget has a surplus of + $113 billion for April. This was $54 billion higher than for April 2012 and the highest monthly surplus since April, 2008.
Increasing home values and federal budget surpluses, along with falling consumer debt pointed the way toward overall as well as personal economic recovery last week.
What‘s Coming Up
This week brings a couple important economic reports affecting the real estate industry including the Home Builders Index on Wednesday and the Weekly Jobless Claims and Housing Starts numbers released on Thursday.
The Consumer Sentiment and Leading Indicators reports will round out the week on Friday. Consumer Sentiment is important in terms of housing markets and mortgage lending; consumers typically don’t buy homes or move up to a larger home if they aren’t feeling secure about economic conditions.
This week’s economic data may provide further evidence of a stronger U.S. economy as well as a snapshot of retail spending and consumer costs.
Mortgage rates fell last week and approached or reached record low levels.
According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) fell from 3.40 percent to 3.35 percent. Average rates for a 15-year FRM moved from 2.61percent to 2.56 percent.
Average rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) fell to 2.56 from last week’s average of 2.58 percent Discount points for last week’s mortgage rates ranged from 0.7percent for 30 and 15 year FRM loans to 0.5 percent for a 5/1 ARM.
Rock-bottom mortgage rates can offset the impact of rising home prices.
Last Week Was A Strong Showing For The US Economy
Last week’s economic news provided further indications of economic recovery, with housing related reports contributing to overall confidence in a stronger economy.
Highlights of last week’s news include:
Monday: Pending home sales moved up to 1.50 percent in March from February’s -1.07 percent. This reading also surpassed Wall Street’s forecast of 0.90 percent for March.
Tuesday: The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for February reported that the national average home price had increased by 9.3 percent year-over-year between February 2012 and February 2013. By comparison, the average national home price between January 2012 and January 2013 increased by 8.1 percent year-over-year. Rising home prices are contributing to the economic recovery, but in some areas demand for homes exceeds supply, which also contributes to rising home prices.
Wednesday: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) issued its scheduled statement after its meeting concluded. Committee members noted signs of an improving economy, and cited housing markets as a leading contributor to the recovery. The FOMC statement also indicated that economic conditions were not sufficiently improved for the FOMC to change or cease the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy. The Fed’s goal for its current quantitative easing program is keeping long-term interest rates including mortgage rates low.
Thursday: The weekly Jobless Claims Report brought better-than-expected news with new jobless claims coming in at 324,000, less than the expected reading of 345,000 new jobless claims and also higher than the previous report’s reading of 342,000 new jobless claims.
Friday: The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its monthly “Jobs Report,” which consists of the Non-farm Payrolls Report and the national Unemployment Rate. Again new jobs added exceeded expectations for April with 165,000 jobs added against expectations of 135,000 new jobs added. April’s reading also surpassed the March reading of 138,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent as compared to a consensus of 7.6 percent and last month’s reading of 7.6 percent. To put this reading in perspective, the FOMC has targeted an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent as a benchmark for adjusting its current policies including quantitative easing.
What To Look For This Week
This week’s economic events include latest Jobless Claims report on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if this week’s reading will be lower than last week’s reading of 324,000 new jobless claims.
On Friday, the Federal Budget will be released; this could influence financial markets depending on what programs and services are cut or reduced.
Mortgage rates fell again last week and are again near record lows.
According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage did achieve a record low of 2.61 percent as compared to 3.1 percent one year ago.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.40 percent and near the record low of 3.31 percent.
Low mortgage rates are helping homeowners with refinancing and are boosting housing markets as more buyers can qualify for mortgage loans.
Home Values Continue To Rise
Last week’s economic news was mixed; The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, released its Home Price Index for February.
According to this index, home prices increased by 0.7 percent between January and February, and increased by 7.1 percent year-over-year on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing home sales for March fell short of the expected 5.03 million and came in at 4.92 million existing homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
This reading was also 0.7 percent shy of February’s reading of 4.95 million existing homes sold.
Some homeowners may be taking a wait-and-see stance as they wait for home values to continue rising.
Employment Numbers Gaining Steam
Weekly jobless claims fell to 339,000 and were short of the consensus of 351,000 and the prior week’s 355,000 jobless claims filed.
As more workers gain employment, those able to buy homes increases.
The economy in general also benefits as households gain income they can use for purchasing goods and services.
Consumer Sentiment rose by 2.1 points to 76.4 over the March reading of 72.3 percent.
April’s reading also surpassed expectations of 74.0 percent.
As consumers gain confidence in the economy, they are generally more likely to buy homes and make other major purchases that contribute to the U.S. economy.
Coming Up this Week
This week’s economic news calendar includes several reports that impact the housing sector as well as the general economy:
- Monday: Personal Income, Consumer Spending and Pending Home Sales reports are due for release.
- Tuesday: The Case Shiller/Wells Fargo Home Price Index for February and Consumer Confidence for April will provide data concerning national and regional home prices and indicate how consumers view the economy.
- Wednesday: The customary statement by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set for release at the conclusion of its meeting. The ADP Employment Index for April and Construction Spending for March provide data on jobs and trends in construction spending.
- Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims report
- Friday: The Non-farm Payrolls Report and Unemployment Rate for April, collectively known as the Jobs Report, will be released.
While we can’t predict what will happen with mortgage rates, some industry analysts indicated that they expect rates to remain low in the near-term.
These lower rates should continue to support growth in the Cottonwood real estate market for home buyers and sellers as well as those looking to refinance their home.