Mortgage rates continued to edge lower in the latest ...
Mortgage rates continued to edge lower in the latest week as Bond prices hit six-month highs due to the political turmoil out of Washington in the past week. Freddie mac reports that the 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate fell to 3.95% this week with 0.5 in points and fees added on top of the rate. It was the lowest rate since the week of November 17, 2016. At the end of last year, many predicted that mortgage rates would average 4.50% in 2017, but they have been in the range of 4.12% so far this year.
Freddie Mac released its Economic & Housing Research Outlook for May reporting that despite weak economic growth, housing got off to a good start in 2017 due in part to the low mortgage rate environment. Freddie Mac says that the U.S. housing market is now on track to eclipse last year as the best in over a decade. Freddie went on to say that increased inflation and higher short term rates will push up long-term rates, including mortgage rates. However, the increase will be measured with the 30-year fixed rate averaging 4.3% in the fourth quarter.
The minutes from the May 3 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released yesterday and it had a bit of good news for both Stocks and Bonds. The minutes showed that "nearly all" FOMC participants agreed that the unwinding of the Fed's balance sheet should be controlled by a series of gradually increasing caps, or limits - good news for Bonds. In addition, members expect the economy to pick up momentum in the second quarter - good news for Stocks.
The spring buying season is well underway...
The spring buying season is well underway and due to unseasonably warm weather in February, potential buyers signed more contracts to purchase homes than expected. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that Pending Home Sales in February jumped 5.5% from January to 112.3. This was the highest level in nearly a year and the second highest level in over a decade. The NAR said the stock market's continued rise and steady hiring in most markets fueled the increase.
Mortgage rates decreased in the latest week, while the refinance sector of the mortgage industry fell to a near nine-year low. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that the 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate fell to 4.33% in the latest week, down from 4.46% in the previous week. Jumbo fixed rates also declined falling to 4.26% from 4.40%, while FHA fixed rates fell to 4.24% from 4.33%. The MBA went on to report that the refinance index fell nearly 3% and fell to 44% of total applications. The purchase index rose 1.2% last week and is 4% higher than the same week a year ago.
A recent survey conducted by staffing firm Accountemps revealed that injecting some humor at work could advance employees careers. The survey said that 78% of CFOs interviewed showed that an employee's sense of humor is at least somewhat important for fitting into the company's corporate culture, while 22% said that humor is very important. But that doesn't mean that employees should perform stand up comedy while in the office, and humor doesn't always fit into every aspect of daily work routines. There are some guidelines that workers should adhere to: show your personality, consider the circumstances, use the right medium, laugh with workers, not at them or at your colleagues expense and last but not least, keep it G-rated.
After the presidential election brought weeks of higher borrowing costs
After the presidential election brought weeks of higher borrowing costs for home purchase and refinance loans, mortgage rates edged lower for the second straight week. The mixed Jobs Report for December showed the number of jobs declined, while wages edged higher, causing Bond yields and rates to decline. Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.12% from 4.20% in the previous week with 0.5 in points and fees. The 4.12% is up from 3.92% last year this time.
Online retailer Amazon reported on Thursday that it plans to hire 100,000 people in the U.S. in the next 18 months as it moves into other consumer related areas. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos and a group of technology industry executives met with President-elect Trump recently to discuss bringing more jobs to the U.S. Over the past five years, Amazon has added 150,000 jobs here in the States. Amazon businesses such as Marketplace and Amazon Flex plan to also add a vast amount of jobs for those who want to be entrepreneurs and work at their own schedule rather than the 9-to-5 grind.
On Wednesday, President-elect Trump held his first news conference in six months. He did not mention his economic growth strategies, but instead shared his anger at over priced drugs and frustration with the intelligence community and several news organizations after reports surfaced that Russia had compromising information on the president-elect. Mr. Trump's words are pushing Stock prices lower today after the recent rally that saw the major averages hit all-time record highs.