"Live each season as it passes." Henry David Thoreau.
While much of the nation is still stuck in winter, the labor sector is springing to life.
February's Jobs Report showed that 295,000 jobs were created, well above the 240,000 expected. This was a strong headline number, just slightly marred by the downward revision of 18,000 jobs from what was previously reported for January.
The Unemployment Rate ticked down to 5.5 percent, representing a six-year low. However, the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) fell to 62.8, meaning it is still near the lows last seen in 1978. The LFPR measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, and it should be moving higher in a recovery.
Rounding out the report, average hourly earnings increased just marginally by 0.1 percent. This was not inflationary by any means, which is typically Bond- friendly news, as inflation is the kryptonite for fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds. All in all, the Jobs Report shows that the labor sector continues to improve, which is a good sign for our recovery.
In housing news, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 5.7 percent from January 2014 to January 2015. January's price increase represents 35 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. CoreLogic forecasts that prices will rise by 5.3 percent from January 2015 to January 2016, which is considered a more sustainable level than the larger price gains seen in 2013.
The bottom line is that most home loan rates options remain below 4%, and now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Michael Borodinsky
Vice President/Regional Builder Branch Manager | Caliber Home Loans
Call Michael: 732-382-2654
Email Michael: Michael.Borodinsky@caliberhomeloans.com