Feds keep rates the same for now
Based on review of current and anticipated financial and economic events, the Committee cited slowing job growth and momentum of inflation-based compensation as reasons supporting its decision. While the national unemployment rate recently fell to 4.70 percent, FOMC members saw room for growth in employment. Unemployment rates are calculated based on active workforce members and do not include those who are under-employed or who have left the workforce. Global influences on the Fed's monetary policy include uncertainties about China's economy and the … [Read More...]
Last week's economic news was highlighted by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Philadelphia. Although Chair Yellen alluded to future Fed rate hikes, she did not specify when Fed policymakers would next raise the target federal funds rate.
Increases in the fed funds rate typically signal increases in consumer credit and home mortgage rates. Last week's speech was seen as a precursor to the Federal Open Market Committee statement that will occur at the conclusion of next week's FOMC meeting.
Chair Yellen is also scheduled to give a press conference after the FOMC statement next … [Read More...]
Rates Near Multi-Year Lows
Central bankers were the main influence on mortgage rates over the past week. The economic data caused little reaction. Mortgage rates ended the week lower, near the best levels in several years.
In a speech on Monday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen discussed the disappointing Employment report seen in May. Yellen warned against reading too much into one report and pointed out that other recent labor market data has been more positive. Job openings, wage gains, and unemployment claims are at levels consistent with continued improvement in the labor … [Read More...]
From saving up for a down payment to analyzing refinance scenarios, there are so many things involved in purchasing or refinancing a home that can make it seem like a rather complicated undertaking. However, like a lot of things in our lives, technology has streamlined the process in recent years. If you're currently searching for a home on the market or considering a refinance, here are some new technological advancements that may make buying a little easier for you.
The Smart Phone Advantage
The paperwork and requirements associated with a mortgage have changed in recent years, but … [Read More...]
Last week's housing related news was limited to Construction Spending and Freddie Mac's mortgage rates survey, but labor reports suggested an economic slowdown may be in the works.
Construction Spending Slips in April, Mortgage Rates Mixed
According to the Commerce Department, overall construction spending slipped in April to -1.80 percent as compared to March's reading of +1.50 percent and May's expected reading of +0.70 percent. Residential construction spending was 1.50 percent lower, which doesn't help ongoing shortages of available single-family homes. Builders have repeatedly cited … [Read More...]
Last week's economic news included the NAHB Housing Market Index, reports on housing starts, building reports and existing home sales. Minutes of the Federal Reserve's last FOMC meeting were also released.
Homebuilder Confidence Unchanged, Housing Starts and Building Permits Increase
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that builder confidence held steady with a reading of 58 in May. Analysts projected a reading of 58 and April's reading was also 58. Builder confidence in market conditions could be slowing due to concerns over acquiring skilled labor and a shortage … [Read More...]