Housing markets show continued signs of strengthening according to reports released on Wednesday. The National Association of RealtorsÂ® reported that sales of pre-owned homes rose to 5.49 million in June as compared to Mayâs revised reading of 5.32 million pre-owned homes sold and expected sales estimated at 5.42 million sales. Expectations were based on Mayâs original reading of 5.35 million sales. Juneâs reading was the highest since February of 2007. Readings for existing home sales are calculated on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
For the second straight year, the U.S. jobs market looks to be slowing into the summer.
Last Friday, in its monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report for May 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 69,000 net new jobs created, plus a one-tick rise in the national Unemployment Rate to 8.2%.
2012 is shaping up like 2011, it appears.
Last year, between May and August, the jobs market was decidedly worse as compared to the rest of the year, adding just 80,000 jobs on average per month as compared to 190,000 new jobs created on average during each of the other 8 months.
This year, a similar slowdown may be in store.
Although the May jobs report marks the 20th consecutive month during which the U.S. economy added new jobs, the reported figure fell well short of analyst expectations, which called for 150,000 net new jobs last month.
In addition, it was found that the previously-reported tallies for new jobs created in March and April were overstated by a total of forty-seven thousand jobs. This lowered the overall net new jobs created last month to 22,000.
Since the jobs report’s release, 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have dropped below Freddie Mac’s reported 3.75% mortgage rate for borrowers willing to pay 0.7 discount points plus closing costs; and, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped farther below 3.00%.
The weaker-than-expected data has moved Wall Street investors away from stock markets in favor of the relative safety of bond markets, a market which includes the one for mortgage-backed bonds. When mortgage-backed bonds are in demand like this, it helps to push down mortgage rates nationwide.
That’s exactly what we’re seeing.
Mortgage rates are expected to make new lows this week, in part, because of U.S. employment weakness. Should this year’s jobs market rebound like in 2011, though, look for mortgage rates to climb back shortly.
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