Mortgage Rates Fall to Record Lows, Unemployment Drops 11,000 in November
December 7, 2009 - Conventional mortgage rates fell to record lows last week prompting a spike in refinance applications. Rates remained at their record lows only for a short time though until some surprisingly good news came on the jobs front. Last Friday, the Labor Department released its monthly employment report and many were pleasantly surprised to find that the unemployment rate fell to 10.0%, with net job losses falling just 11,000 for the month of November. After enduring a discouraging unemployment rate jump to 10.2% in October, many questioned whether conditions were improving. The strong jobs report should provide a level of reassurance to the several that are seeking a recovery in employment, an essential for the long-term recovery of the overall economy. A recovery in jobs over the next several months will also likely bode well for housing prices and transaction activity. Home affordability remains historically low with great deals for buyers to be found in several markets.
For the week ahead, mortgage rates will likely start the week slowly moving upward, but if Friday's Retail Sales report holds another positive surprise, rates could very likely take another step upward as the week ends.