What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 16, 2018

Last week’s economic releases on inflation, core inflation, and retail sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation and Retail Sales Ease in December

Consumer prices fell from November’s reading of 0.40 percent growth to o.10 percent growth in December, which matched expectations. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, dropped to 0.30 percent from November’s growth rate of 0.40 percent. Analysts expected a Core CPI reading of 0.20 percent for December.

Retail sales were lower in December as compared to November’s reading of 0.90 percent growth month-to-month; December’s retail sales grew by 0.40 percent. Core retail sales, which excludes automotive sales grew by 0.40 percent in December as compared to November’s growth rate of 0.90 percent. Analysts expected retail sales to increase by 0.50 percent. Retail sales excluding automotive sales also grew by 0.40 percent as compared to an expected reading of 0.30 percent and November’s growth rate of 1.30 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week with rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaging four basis points higher at 3.99 percent. Mortgage rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage were six basis points higher at an average of 3.44 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was one basis point higher at an average of 3.46 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 268,000 filings as compared to 248.000 new claims expected and 258,000 new jobless claims filed the prior week. Last week’s new jobless claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic releases include readings from the National Association of Home Builders, Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued and a report on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 8, 2018

Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending, minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee. Labor reports including ADP, Non-Farm Payrolls, and national unemployment were released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Construction Spending Rises; Driven by Residential Building

Residential construction drove November construction spending surpassed expectations of a 0.50 percent increase; Overall, construction spending rose by 0.80 percent in November. Residential construction was up 7.90 percent year-over-year. Single-family home construction rose 8.90 percent year-over-year. Rising rates of single-family construction is good news for homebuyers, who have faced obstacles due to short inventories of available homes. Analysts expected Q4 2017 construction pace to be the highest since Q1 2016.

While more homes for sale could help ease rapidly rising home price, rising mortgage rates could sideline first-time and moderate-income buyers, but Fed policymakers had mixed opinions about raising the federal funds rate forecast for 2018.

Fed Policy Makers Divided Over Projected Interest Rate Hikes

Minutes for the FOMC meeting held December 12 and 13 reflected varied views among Committee members about three projected interest rate hikes in 2018. Analysts watch Fed policy decisions carefully as raising the target federal funds rate typically causes mortgage rates and consumer lending rates to rise.

Labor markets continued to grow and although mortgage lending standards eased somewhat, lenders remained reluctant to fund mortgages and auto loans for those with low credit scores. Inflation hovered beneath the Fed’s objective of two percent, but FOMC members voted to raise the target federal funds rate of 1.25 to 1.50 percent. This increase remained within the accommodative range according to FOMC members.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims

Average mortgage rates were lower across the board last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.95 percent which was four basis points lower than the previous week. Rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage were six basis points lower at an average of 3.38 percent; rates for 5/1adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.45 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose by 3000 claims to 250,000 new claims, which exceeded expectations of 240,000 new claims and prior week’s reading of 247,000 first-time jobless claims. December readings for the labor sector included ADP payrolls, which tracks private-sector jobs. 250,000 jobs were added in December as compared to November’s reading of 185,000 jobs added. The Commerce Department reported 148,000 new public and private sector jobs added in December against November’s reading of 252,000 jobs added. Analysts expected 195,000 new jobs to be added in December. National unemployment held steady at 4.10 percent, which matched expectations and November’s reading.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 2, 2018

Last week’s economic readings included Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, pending home sales and consumer confidence. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

CaseShiller: Home Prices Continue Growth

Case-Shiller Home Price Index reports indicated incremental growth in October with home prices growing month-to-month 0.70 percent for the S&P Case-Shiller 30-City Home Price Index. The 20-city index posted 6.20 percent gains year-over-year. Western cities continued to post the largest gains; Seattle, Washington led with a year-over-year growth of 12.70 percent. Las Vegas, NV and San Diego, California rounded out the top three with year-over-year home price growth of 10.20 percent and 8.10 percent.

Pending Home Sales Subject to Slim Inventory of Available Homes

Homes under purchase contract rose by 0.20 percent in November as compared to an increase in pending sales of 3.50 percent in October. Analysts expected pending sales to rise by 0.50 percent in November. Extremely low inventories of available homes continued to dampen home purchases in November. The National Association of Realtors® said there was a 3.40 months’ supply of homes for sale as compared to an average reading of a six months supply.

Small inventories of homes for sale constrict sales by driving up prices, increasing buyer competition and challenging buyers to find homes they want buy among limited choices.  Pending sales varied by region with the Northeast posting a 4.10 percent increase in pending sales; the Midwest posted an increase of 0.40 percent in pending sales The South posted a decline in pending sales of -0.40 percent. The West posted a decrease of 1.80 percent, which could indicate that rapidly rising prices in Western markets are topping out. Analysts said that the disparity between pending home sales and completed sales of pre-owned homes made it difficult to accurately assess the future housing market trends.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Consumer Confidence Highest in 17 Years

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged five basis points higher at 3.99 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points higher at 3.44 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was eight basis points higher at 3.47 percent. Discount points were unchanged on average at 0.50 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. Analysts had forecast a hike in mortgage rates after the Fed raised its target federal funds rate.

Consumer confidence rose to its highest rate in 17 years in November. December’s month-to-month index reading was 122.10 as compared to an expected reading of 127.5 and November’s reading of 128.6.  Although confidence dipped in December, analysts said that consumers are confident about jobs and the economy.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic readings include releases on construction spending, ADP and Non-farm payrolls and the National unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 26, 2017

Last week’s economic reports included readings on NAHB homebuilder confidence, housing starts, building permits issued and sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly releases on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Builder Confidence Rises, Housing Starts Increase

According to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for December, builder confidence in housing market conditions rose by four points to 74. This reading was the highest since 1999. Builder confidence increased based on strong labor markets, demand for homes and potential tax breaks resulting from proposed tax code revisions.

Housing and real estate industries continued to cite an imbalance caused by high demand for homes and few available homes for sale. Increasing production of new single-family homes is the only way to ease the discrepancy between supply and demand. Reducing demand for homes would also slow the pace of home price growth, which impacted the ability of first-time and moderate-income home buyers to purchase homes.

Commerce Department readings indicate that builder confidence aligned with housing starts in November. 1.297 million housing starts were reported as compared to expectations of 1,250 housing starts based on October’s revised reading of 1.256 million starts on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. Housing starts were 3.30 percent higher month-to-month and 12.90 percent higher year-over-year. Single-family starts were 5.30 percent higher for November. Analysts said that this indicated builder confidence in single-family home building increased.

Building permits issued in November were lower than in October, but home construction slows in the winter months. 1,298 million building permits were issued in November as compared to 1.316 million permits issued in October.

Demand Pushes PreExisting Home Sales in November

Sales of Previously-owned Homes rose to 5.81 million sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to October’s reading of 5.50 million sales of previously-owned homes. Pre-owned homes sales were 5.60 percent month-to-month and 3.80 percent higher year-over-year.

The National Association of Realtors® reported increased sales of pre-owned homes in all regions except the West, where high home prices may be topping out. The Northeast reported 6.70 percent growth in sales; the Midwestern region had the highest rate of sales with growth of 8.40 percent and the South reported 8.30 percent growth in sales of previously-owned homes. The West reported a drop of -2.30 percent in sales of pre-owned homes.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was one basis point higher at 3.94 percent; the rate for a 15-year fixed rate rose two basis points to 3.38 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose three basis points to 3.39 percent. Discount points for fixed rate mortgages averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate loans and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were higher last week with 245,000 new claims filed as compared to last week; reading of 225,000 new jobless claims and expectations of 230,000 new claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic releases include the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, pending home sales and consumer confidence. Mortgage rates and weekly jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 18, 2017

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, core inflation and the Post-meeting statement of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee. Fed Chair Janet Yellen also gave a press conference; weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Rises in November

U.S. inflation rose by 0.30 percent to 0.40 percent in November; October’s reading was 0.10 percent and November’s reading met analysts’ expectations. Core Consumer Price Index readings for November posted a gain of 0.10 percent, which fell short of the expected reading and October’s reading of 0.20 percent. Core CPI readings are less volatile as they do not include volatile food and energy sectors.

FOMC Statement: Fed Raises Target Rate

The post-meeting statement of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee cited strong economic signs in its decision to raise the target federal funds range by 0.25 percent to 1.25 percent to 1.50 percent. The Committee indicated that it expects inflation to hold steady in the near term and to stabilize closer to the Fed’s goal of two percent annually in the medium term.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave a press conference after the FOMC statement was released. She cited strong labor markets and low unemployment as signs of healthy economic conditions. The Fed’s dual mandate of achieving maximum employment and stable pricing has not been met due to lagging inflation. The Federal Reserve’s goal of 2 percent annual inflation fell short at 1.60 percent year-to-date. Job growth was strong with job growth expanding at a monthly average of 170,000 jobs over the past three months.

The Fed expects the inflation to achieve its 2 percent goal in 2019; unemployment is expected to remain at or near its current rate of 4.10 percent. This was good news as the expected exit of aging workers will increase in coming years as baby-boomers retire. Ms. Yellen affirmed her intention to aid in a smooth transition for the Federal Reserve as incoming Chair Jay Powell prepares to take over in February.

Mortgage Rates, Mixed, Weekly Jobless Claims

Fixed mortgage rates averaged one basis point lower last week with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.93 percent. The rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.36 percent’ the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose one basis point to 3.36 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. Analysts said that lenders expected the Fed to raise rates and so factored in an increase of long term loan rates over time.

New Jobless claims dropped by 11,000 last week to 225,000. Analysts had expected 235,000 new claims based on the prior week’s reading of 236,000 new claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 11, 2017

Last week’s economic reports included readings on projected top housing markets for 2018, weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. Labor sector readings on private-sector job growth, private and public-sector job growth and the national unemployment rate were released. Projected top housing markets in 2018 were also released.

Realtors Release Projections for Top Housing Markets in 2018

Prospective homebuyers and retirees facing home affordability issues in metro areas such as New York City and the West Coast are seeking affordable housing markets according to data released by the National Association of Realtors®.

The top three housing markets for 2018 are expected to be Las Vegas, Nevada with a median home price of $285.405 and expected annual price growth of 6.90 percent. Dallas Texas held second place with a median home price of $339,000 and expected annual home price growth of 5.60 percent. Deltona, Florida held the third position for top housing markets in 2018. Deltona is located between Daytona Beach and Orlando, Florida. Within the city of Deltona, home prices average $159,000 in Deltona and $275.000in the metro area. Home prices are expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.0 percent.

Home prices continue to be driven by low supplies of homes for sale. High demand is causing prices in many metro areas to rise to unaffordable levels/ Retirees who are no longer tied to pricey metro areas are moving to less costly neighborhoods.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates across the board. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose 0.04 basis points to 3.94 percent. 15-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 0.06 basis points higher at 3.36 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was 0.03 basis points higher for an average rate of 3.35 percent. Discount points average 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were lower last week, with 236,000 new claims filed against expectations of 240,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 238,000 new jobless claims filed. According to November’s federal Non-Farm Payrolls report, government and private sector payrolls grew by 228,000 jobs as compared to expectations of 200,000 new public and private sector jobs added and the prior month’s reading of 244,000 jobs added.

ADP reported 190,000 private-sector jobs added in November as compared to 235,000 new jobs added in October. The national unemployment rate held at 4.10 percent, which was the lowest level in almost 17 years.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic readings include releases on inflation, the Fed’s FOMC post-meeting statement, Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. 

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 4, 2017

Last week’s economic releases included readings on new and pending home sales, Case-Shiller index readings for September, and construction spending. Weekly readings on new jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

Home Price Growth Driven by Shortage of Homes for Sale

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported 6.20 percent growth in home prices year-over-year in September as compared to August’s reading of 6.00 percent year-over-year growth for August. September’s reading was the highest for national home price growth since 2014.

According to the 20-City Home Price Index, Seattle, Washington held on to first position with 12.90 percent home price growth year-over-year. Analysts noticed that the month-to-month reading for Seattle home prices dipped by 0.30 percent, which could indicate that home price growth may be cooling. Las Vegas, Nevada achieved second position for home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 9.00 percent. San Diego, California held third position with year-over-year home price growth of 8.20 percent.

High demand for homes coupled with the low inventory of homes for sale continued to drive home prices up in 16 of 20 cities charted in Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index.

New and Pending Home Sales Rise in October

Sales of new homes rose to 685,000 on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis to their highest reading in 10 years. The reading for new home sales year to date rose by 8.90 percent as compared to the same period in 2016. Analysts expected a reading of 620,000 new home sales as compared to September’s revised reading of 645,000 new homes sold. As of October, there was a 4.90 months supply of new homes for sale, as compared to September’s 5.20 months supply of new homes on the market.

The Commerce Department reported 3.50 percent growth in pending home sales in October as compared to September’s negative reading of -0.40 percent. In a further sign of confidence in housing markets, construction spending rose by 1.40 percent in October as compared to September’s reading of 0.30 percent and analysts” expectation of an increase of 0.40 percent in construction spending.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims

Mortgage rates were mixed last week with average rates for fixed rate mortgages dropping two basis points. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.90 percent; rate; rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.30 percent and rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose two basis points to 3.32 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims dipped by 2000 new claims to 238,000 initial claims filed. Analysts expected new jobless claims to hold steady at the prior week’s reading of 240,000 new claims filed.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include ADP payrolls, and Commerce Department readings on Farm Payrolls and the national unemployment rate. Consumer sentiment will be updated next week along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 27, 2017

Last week’s economic reports included readings on pre-owned home sales, weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims and consumer sentiment. The weekly news cycle was shorter due to the Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday and Friday.

Sales of PreviouslyOwned Homes Jump in October

Sales of previously owned homes grew by 1.20 percent in October as compared to September’s reading of 0.10 percent growth month-to-month and indicated a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million sales. October home sales increased as inventories of available homes declined. There was a 3.90 months supply of homes in October as compared to a 4.40 months supply of available homes in September. Real estate pros typically consider a six-month supply of homes a healthy balance between homes available and potential home buyers.

Analysts said that October’s inventory of homes for sale was the second lowest on record from 1999 to present. The National Association of Realtors®, which produces the Existing Home Sales report, said that sales to date were 4.60 percent higher year-to-date.

All regions tracked by the National Association of Realtors® reported increased sales of previously owned homes. The Northeast posted a 4.20 percent gain; the Midwest posted a gain of 0.80 percent and the South posted a gain of 1.90 percent. The West posted the highest gain in pre-owned home sales with 2.40 percent growth rate.

Analysts expect sales of pre-owned homes to rise by 3.70 percent in 2018; proposed revisions to tax laws could sideline home buyers if homeownership is “dis-incentivized” by tax reforms.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims Lower

Freddie Mac reported mixed results for average mortgage rates. The rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell three basis points to 3.92 percent. Average rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages each rose by one basis point to 3.32 percent and 3.22 percent respectively. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims were lower last week with 239,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 240.000 new claims as compared to the prior week’s reading of 252,000 new claims.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell from an index reading of 100.7 in October to 98.5 in November.  This was the second highest reading in thirteen years. Consumer sentiment remains high despite headwinds including potential tax reform.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include reports on new and pending home sales, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and inflation will be released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 20, 2017

Last week’s economic news included remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen about the diversity of opinions in the Federal Open Market Committee, readings on inflation, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. The Commerce Department issued reports on housing starts and building permits issued; Freddie Mac and the Commerce Department issued weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Fed Chair Discusses Pros and Cons of Diverse Opinions Among Policymakers

During a panel presentation of global economic leaders, outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen discussed the pros and cons of having 19 members on the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, which is responsible for the Fed’s policymaking decisions.

Chair Yellen said that it was “challenging” in terms of expressing diverse member opinions into a pat statement of Fed policy. She noted that multiple opinions on any aspect of the Fed’s decisions could be confusing for the public. She also said that individual and varied opinions were essential in considering all aspects of the Fed’s policy decisions: “The most important strength is that we avoid ‘group-think,’ which is a real pitfall for policy committees.”

NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Hits EightMonth High

The National Association of Home Builders reported its highest housing market index reading in eight months. The monthly survey of home builders consists of readings on builder confidence in present housing market conditions, market conditions within the next six months and the volume of buyer traffic in new housing developments. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders are confident about housing market conditions.

November’s reading of 70 was two points higher than in October; analysts expected a one-point decline to 67. Concerns over tax reforms potentially impacting homeowner tax deductions for mortgage interest were expected to impact builder confidence, but NAHB did not mention tax reform in their summation of builder confidence readings for November.

Component readings used to comprise the HMI reading were mixed. Builder sentiment increased two points to 77 for current housing market conditions. Builder confidence in market conditions over the next six months dipped by one point to 77 and builder confidence in buyer traffic in new home developments rose two points to an index reading of 50.

Builders have repeatedly cited concerns about shortages of lots and labor as well as increasing costs for building materials. NAHB said in a statement that November’s Housing Market Index reading was a “strong indicator that the housing market continues to grow steadily.”

According to the Commerce Department, October housing starts rose to 1.29 million on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis; analysts expected 1.20 million starts based on September’s reading of 1.14 million starts. 5.30 percent of housing starts were single-family construction.

Builders also took out more building permits in October; 1.30 million permits were issued against 1.23 million permits issued in September. The increased volume of building permits was partially attributed to reconstruction after hurricanes in Florida and Texas, but in the Northeast, building permits rose by 42 percent. The Northeast region is the smallest reported, but warm weather was cited as boosting permits issued.

Builder sentiment has been strong all year and was propelled by healthy job markets and lower mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Fixed mortgage rates rose last week with the average rate for an average 30-year fixed rate of 3.95 percent; the average 15-year mortgage rate rose seven basis points to an average of 3.31 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage dipped one basis point to 3.21 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 249,000 last week as compared to estimates of 235,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 239,000 new jobless claims. Jobs lost and a backlog of first-time claims due to recent hurricanes were cited as the primary cause for the rise in new jobless claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on previously-owned home sales, minutes from the Fed’s last Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims are also scheduled.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 13, 2017

Last week’s economic news included a survey of senior loan officers, Freddie Mac’s average mortgage rates, and new jobless claims. An index reading for consumer sentiment was also reported.

Loan Officers: Standards for Residential Real Estate Loans Eased or Unchanged

According to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Senior Loan Officers,72 institutions surveyed reported that all types of residential real estate loans saw easing of lending standards or no change in lending requirements. Demand for real estate loans eased, which likely influenced financial institutions decision not to tighten lending criteria for home loans. In contrast, banks surveyed indicated tighter lending requirements for auto loans and credit cards.

Mortgage Rates Fall, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week.30-year fixed rates averaged 3.90 percent; 15-year fixed rates averaged 3.24 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged 3.22 percent. Discount points averaged 0.40 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. Lower mortgage rates were good news for home buyers who continue to face high home prices coupled with competition by cash buyers.

First-time jobless claims increased by 10,000 new claims to 239,000 new claims. Analysts expected a reading of 231,000 new claims based on the prior week. The week-to-week reading, which can be volatile, was eclipsed by the four-week rolling average of new claims, which hit its lowest reading since March 1973.

The bump in weekly first-time jobless claims was caused by a backlog in jobless claims filed in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Computer and infrastructure problems caused delays in claim filing.

Consumer sentiment dipped in November to an index reading of 97.8 as compared to an expected reading of 100.7 and October’s reading, also 100.7; Indicators of rising inflation concerned consumers, according to the University of Michigan, which conducts the survey.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, housing starts, building permits issued and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. Monthly readings on inflation and retail sales will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 6, 2017

Last week’s economic news included readings on Case-Shiller home prices, construction spending, and consumer sentiment. Labor sector readings on private and public employment and the national unemployment rate were also released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

CaseShiller: Home Price Growth Approaches Record

Home price growth approached a record set in 2006 in August, but analysts said that affordability and the shortage of homes for sale could signal slower growth ahead. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the S&P Index Committee, said that while home prices appeared to be “unstoppable,” signs of slowing momentum could signal the end of rapid home price growth.

Case-Shiller’s national home price index reported a seasonally-adjusted annual growth rate of 6.10 percent as compared to July’s corresponding reading of 5.90 percent. The 20-City Index reading was 1.80 percent short of the record set in 2006. Seattle, Washington led home price growth with a reading of 13.20 percent year-over-year. Las Vegas, Nevada held second place with a seasonally-adjusted annual growth rate of 8.60 percent and San Diego, California held third place in the 20-City Index with a reading of 7.80 percent.

While the West continued to post highest home price gains, some home price gains are leveling out. San Francisco, California, which posted double digit home price growth in recent years, posted 6.10 percent growth year-over-year and a negative reading of -0.10 percent in August as compared to July.

September construction spending rose due to public works projects and housing construction. This was good news as a shortage of available homes has daunted real estate sales in past months. Building more homes is the only solution to the ongoing shortage of homes for sale. Construction spending 4ose0.30 percent in September as compared to an expected reading of no change, which was based on August’s reading of 0.10 percent.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported no change in the average rate of 3.94 percent. Average rates for a 15-year mortgage and a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage were each two basis points higher at 3.27 percent and 3.23 percent respectively. Average discount points were 0.50 percent for all three mortgage types. The President is expected to announce the appointment of a new Federal Reserve Chair this week, which could impact interest rates either way.

First-time jobless claims were lower last week with 229,000 claims filed as compared to expectations of 235,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 234,000 new jobless claims. Private-sector employment grew by 235,000 jobs in October as compared to September’s reading of 110,000 new private-sector jobs.

The Commerce Department reported 261,000 new public and private-sector jobs in October. Analysts expected 325,000 new jobs, but September’s reading was adjusted to 18,000 new public and private sector jobs added. The national unemployment rate dipped to 4.10 percent as compared to an expected reading of 4.10 percent and September’s reading of 4.20 percent.

Consumer confidence grew to an index reading of 125.9 in October as compared to analysts’ expected reading of 121.3 and the prior month’s reading of 119.5.