“These are extraordinary times.” (Bon Jovi) December marked the 87th month in a row for job growth, the longest stretch on record. However, there was some mixed news within the report.

The Labor Department reported that 148,000 new jobs were created in December. While this was below the 188,000 expected, November’s figure was revised higher to 252,000 new jobs from the 228,000 originally reported. This means that the economy produced 2 million jobs for seven straight years, which is a record!

And there were more positive signs for the labor sector. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent from November’s 0.2 percent and increased 2.5 percent year-over-year, above the 2.4 percent annually in November. Overall, this was a good report.

Home prices remained on the rise in November. Research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, jumped 7 percent from November 2016 to November 2017 and increased 1 percent month-over-month from October to November. However, price gains are expected to cool as CoreLogic forecasts a 4.2 percent increase from November 2017 to November 2018. CoreLogic’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said, “Growing numbers of first-time homebuyers find limited for-sale inventory for lower-priced homes, leading to both higher rates of price growth for starter homes and further erosion of affordability.”

At this time, home loan rates remain attractive and near historic lows.

The second half of the week heats up with key reports on inflation and Retail Sales.

  • Look for a double dose of inflation news with the Producer Price Index on Thursday and the Consumer Price Index on Friday.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will also be reported on Thursday.
  • On Friday, Retail Sales and the Consumer Sentiment Index will be released.

If you or someone you know has questions about home financing or home loan rates please contact me. I’d be happy to help.

Related Articles

Presidents Day is a time to honor our past presidents. We look to Abraham Lincoln’s quote as it resonates with our mission as a company. Simply put: do as best as you can, whoever or wherever you are. Happy Presidents Day from all of us at Homebridge.
Read More of the post “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

"Only got twenty dollars in my pocket…" (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) The financial markets are sensing that the predicted government shutdown and protracted trade war with China will be averted. This is good news and a reason why stocks have continued to push higher and home loan rates have capped for…
Read More of the post Canary in the Coal Mine

Bad news is good news for the U.S. bond market and rates. This past week, bad news by way of worse-than-expected economic numbers in Europe cast a dark shadow on the financial markets. As a result, U.S. home loan rates ticked down to the best levels in ten months. The…
Read More of the post Issues in Europe Affect Our Markets

The Fed met this past week. As expected, they didn’t hike rates and the Fed Statement was very “dovish,” suggesting that rate hikes will be off the table for most, if not all, of 2019. The Fed looked to “muted inflation” and slowing economies abroad as reasons to show “patience”…
Read More of the post Rates Improve on Mixed Economic News