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Rate Update

After either tying or setting new record low interest rates for ten consecutive weeks, stronger than expected employment, housing and manufacturing data led mortgage rates lower last week. Against a consensus forecast for a decline of 110,000 jobs, the economy only lost 54,000, with temporary census workers accounting for 114,000 of the lost jobs. Private payrolls climbed 67,000 in August after a revised 107,000 increase in July. The Unemployment Rate rose to 9.6% from 9.5%, because the number of people out looking for work overwhelmed the number of openings. The S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index showed a 1% increase in June from May, and climbed 4.4% in the second quarter from a year earlier. Pending Home Sales unexpectedly rose 5.2% in July after a 2.8% drop the prior month. Sales rose in all four regions, led by a 12% jump in the West and a 6.3% rise in the Northeast. The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index rose to a three-month high in July, welcomed news since manufacturing accounts for about 11% of the economy. Also, the Consumer Confidence Index rebounded from a five-month low. Currently, the 30-Year Fixed is at 4.000% (4.141% APR) and the 15-Year Fixed is at 3.500% (3.749% APR). The markets will be closed for the Labor Day holiday. And later this week we will see the Fed Beige Book report and Treasury auctions.

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