Employers added 222,000 new jobs in June, well above expectations, the Labor Department reported. April was revised up from 174,000 to 207,000, and May was revised up from 138,000 to 152,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 47,000 more than previously reported. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month in 2017, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016. Average hourly earnings showed just a 0.2 percent gain from May and 2.5 percent gain year over year. May’s reading was revised lower to just 0.1 percent.
CoreLogic, a leading provider of data analytics, reported today that home prices, including distressed sales, jumped 7 percent from February 2016 to February 2017 due in part to high demand and limited supply across most local markets. Month-over-month, prices rose 1 percent. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise 4.7 percent from February 2017 to February 2018
The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that Housing Starts hit a four-month high, rising by 3 percent from January to February to an annual rate of 1.288 million. The gains were fueled by single-family homes, which rose to a near 10-year high. An improving economy and a strong labor market were a few key reasons behind the gains. From February 2016 to February 2017, Housing Starts were up 6.2 percent.
In relative terms, today’s rates are as low as they’ve been in 3 weeks. We’ve only been able to say that one other time since the election (early to mid January), and that turned out to be a good time to consider locking vs floating. Past precedent doesn’t guarantee a similar outcome, but the longer the winning streak continues, the more it makes sense to look for tactical opportunities to take advantage of the gains.
To read the full article on Mortgage News Daily, click the link below.
Mortgage Rates in Line With 3-Week Lows
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Index rose by 5.3 percent from November 2015 to November 2016, up from October’s annual increase of 5.1 percent. Within the index it showed big gains in Seattle, Portland and Denver. A spokesperson for Case-Shiller said that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago
New Home Sales in December fell 10.4 percent from November to an annual rate of 536,000 versus the 589,000 expected. Higher mortgage rates and increasing home prices have been blamed. It was the lowest level since February 2015 and down 0.4 percent from December 2015. Within the report it showed that the median sales price rose nearly 8 percent from a year ago to $325,500. In addition, a near 6-month supply of new homes for sale finally shows a healthy balance between supply and demand
Existing Home Sales closed out 2016 as the best year in a decade, though December’s numbers were a bit below expectations. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that sales in 2016 were 5.45 million units, above the 5.25 million in 2015 and the highest since the 6.48 million in 2006. December Existing Home Sales declined 2.8 percent from November to an annual rate of 5.49 million units, which was below the 5.55 million expected. November was revised higher to 5.65 million from 5.61 million.