What Home Buyers Need to Know for the Week of April 7, 2014
Last week’s economic news affecting home buyers included February’s Construction Spending and several employment reports. Private sector employment was higher in March; however The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Non-Farm Payrolls for March fell short of expectations. ADP’s Payroll Report for March was higher than February’s reading, as 191,000 new private sector jobs added. In February, 178,000 jobs were added. February’s reading before being revised showed 138,000 new jobs added. Analysts are now showing confidence that private-sector employment is showing signs of stability.
January and February’s private-sector jobs were both revised upward. January’s job gains were revised from 129,000 to 144,000 and February’s reading was revised from 175,000 to 197,000 jobs added, with revised readings representing a total of 37,000 more jobs.
While readings on employment have been up and down in recent months, the national unemployment rate has remained relatively steady. Last week’s reading was at 6.70 percent. 503,000 workers recently joined the workforce. This increased the labor participation rate for March from 63 percent to 63.20 percent.
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates ticked upward. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased by one basis point to 4.41 percent; discount points moved from 0.60 percent to 0.70 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage rose by five basis points to 3.47 percent with discount points unchanged at 0.60 percent. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages had an average rate of 3.12 percent, which was two basis points higher than the previous week. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were unchanged at 0.50 percent.
What’s Ahead for the Week?
Job Openings for February, FOMC Minutes and the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index for March will be out this week. Freddie Mac will post results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey and Weekly Unemployment Claims will also be reported.