"Start me up" - Labor Sector in High Gear
Last Week in Review: Job growth in November came in far above expectations. How did the markets and home loan rates react?
Forecast for the Week: The second half of the week heats up with news on wholesale inflation, jobless claims, consumer spending and consumer sentiment.
"Start me up." The Rolling Stones. The labor sector has kicked into high gear, with job growth in November far exceeding expectations.
The November Jobs Report showed that 321,000 jobs were created, far above the 230,000 expected. In addition, 44,000 jobs were added to September's and October's figures. This report marks the tenth straight month of 200,000 plus job growth, which is the longest stretch since 1994.
Another positive in the report is that the Unemployment Rate held steady at 5.8 percent. However, there is one thing to watch in future months: Hourly Earnings came in double expectations. If future months show this is the start of a trend, inflation talk could heat up. Remember that inflation is bad for Bonds, as it reduces the value of fixed investments like Bonds. This means inflation can also cause home loan rates to worsen, as they are tied to Mortgage Bonds. But the main takeaway is that the labor market and overall economy continue to improve, and these improvements should provide a boost to the housing market.
Speaking of housing, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices (including distressed sales) rose by 6.1 percent from October 2013 to October 2014. This is up from the 5.6 percent annual gain recorded in September, halting a seven-month slowdown. Home price gains are at more normal levels now, after the double digit gains seen earlier in the year.
Even though the strong Jobs Report caused volatility in the markets, home loan rates remain near some of their best levels of the year, 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.
Economic reports don't begin until Thursday, with the end of the week bringing key reports.
- On Thursday, look for Weekly Initial Jobless Claims as well as November's Retail Sales.
- On Friday, the Producer Price Index will reveal if there are inflation pressures at the wholesale level.
- Also on Friday, the Consumer Sentiment Index for December will be released.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving—and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.
To go one step further—a red "candle" means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green "candle" means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, mortgage bonds declined in recent days but home loan rates remain near 18-month lows.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5%% Mortgage Bond (Dec 05, 2014)
By: Michael Borodinsky
Vice President/Regional Builder Branch Manager | Caliber Home Loans
Call Michael: 732-382-2654
Email Michael: email@example.com
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