Jobs report impresses, mortgage rates stay flat
Last Friday’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics posted better-than-expected numbers for July, with 209,000 new positions surpassing economists’ prediction of 180,000. At 4.3%, unemployment has achieved its lowest figure in 16 years, further bolstering the Fed’s bullish outlook. Retail and restaurants led the charge in new hires, though average hourly earnings plodded along at a .3% month-to-month clip.
While the economy continues to grow, mortgage rates have returned to sub-4% territory after a brief spike in mid-July. As of August 3rd, the average 30-year fixed rate is 3.93%, the 15-year fixed is 3.18% and the 5/1 ARM is 3.15%*, all essentially unchanged from the previous week.
The flat trajectory of mortgage rates is encouraging news for homebuyers, many of whom have struggled to close in a tough national housing market. Indeed, 2017 has seen the country’s lowest inventory on record**, while home prices continue to rise and drastically outpace consumer income.
Whether the Fed will increase interest rates before the end of the year is up for debate. The consensus among experts is split at the moment***, with future jobs data and ever-shifting geopolitics sure to sway opinions in coming weeks and months.
To talk with a seasoned mortgage expert about the mortgage rates and more, contact us today at Rate.com.
*FreddieMac.com, “Compilation of Weekly Survey Data”
**Trulia.com, “Inventory and price watch”
***CMEGroup.com, FedWatch Tool