Mortgage Rates Fall as Unemployment Rises

We constantly talk about the importance of job creation for the recovery of the housing market, so it’s no surprise that this week’s less-than-expected job growth dropped a fixed-rate mortgage to a new yearly low.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.65 percent for the week ending July 14, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac. That is down from last week when it averaged 3.75 percent and from last year at this time when it averaged 4.06 percent.
two for sale signsIt’s also a new low for the year. The 15-year FRM hit its previous yearly low during the week ending June 16 when it averaged 3.67 percent.
The average rate on the 30-year FRM was 4.51 percent for the week. That’s a big drop from last week’s 4.60 percent, but it’s still above the yearly low of 4.49 percent set during the week ending June 9.
“Long-term bond yields and mortgage rates fell this week following a weak employment report,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
“The economy added 18,000 jobs in June, well below the market consensus forecast, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest since December 2010. In addition, employee wages stagnated. These factors may lead to less consumer spending, which in turn, reduces the threat of inflation in the near term.”
Also this week, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.29 percent, down from last week’s 3.30 percent; and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.95 percent, a drop from 3.01 percent last week.
While low mortgage rates and even lower home prices should make this a great time to buy metro Chicago real estate, these factors are doing little to spur the market here or anywhere else in the country.