Mortgage Rates at 19 month low – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average for the week was down to 3.73% from last week’s 3.83%. This was the lowest the 30 year fixed has been since May of 2013. The 15 year fixed was 3.05% which was down from 3.15% last week. The 5 year ARM was 2.98% The 1 year ARM was 2.39%. Jumbo rates are just slightly higher and under 4% for a 30 year fixed.
Unemployment rate ends year at 5.6%, down from 6.7% one year ago! – U.S. adds 252,000 Jobs in December. -2014 posts the highest number of new jobs since 1999 – The U.S. Labor Department released its December jobs report Friday. It showed that U. S. employers added 252,000 jobs in December. The private sector added 240,000 while federal, state and local governments added 12,000. For the year the U.S. added 2.95 million jobs which is the highest number of jobs added in a year since 1999. The unemployment rate was 5.6% which was down from 5.8% in November and down from 6.7% last December. On the negative side the average earnings dropped 5 cents an hour in December to $24.57 an hour. This was not expected as wages had finally begun to climb in the past few months. For the year wages were up just 1.7%. This is not good news. It will remain to be seen how many of these jobs were seasonal holiday hiring, and what happens with jobs and wages in coming months.
With rates at such low levels it will be interesting to see how quickly the real estate market heats up. We always see a pick up after the holiday season. This year I’d expect it to be sooner and more pronounced due to much lower interest rates than one year ago. I would not be surprised to see a surge in prices beginning soon and lasting until May. I would expect them to begin to taper after that. Let’s see if I am right!
Have a great weekend!
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