Last week’s economic reports included Pending Home Sales, Construction Spending and what’s giving me a little concern being jobs and employment.
Pending home sales dipped in August, and nothing to be concerned about as we move into fall and the holiday season. Pending home sales were down by -1.40 percent as compared to July’s gain of 0.50 percent. Pending home sales are used as a gauge for mortgage lenders to forecast expected closing up to 60 days into the future and contracts generally close within this timeframe.
Home prices rose in July, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. The reported showed us that home prices for the 20-City Home Price Index rose from June’s reading of 4.90 percent in June to 5.00 in July and rose mostly in the west. Low mortgage rates are helping to keep home affordability in check, but what we really need in a boost in wages.
Construction spending increased in August to a reading of 0.70 percent as compared to expectations of 0.60 percent growth and July’s reading of 0.40 percent growth and was the highest since May 2008. Builder confidence readings suggest how builders view housing market conditions and can ultimately impact housing supplies and markets.
Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was one basis point lower at 3.85 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was also one basis point lower at 3.07 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at an average rate of 2.91 percent. Average discount points were mixed at 0.70, 0.60 and 0.50 percent respectively.
New unemployment claims increased to 277,000 against expectations of 271,000 new jobless claims and the prior week’s reading of 267,000 new jobless claims. The national unemployment rate held steady at 5.10 percent, but employers have put the brakes on hiring and the previous two months have been revised down.
ADP Payrolls reported 200,000 private sector jobs added in September as compared to August’s reading of 186,000 new private sector jobs added. The Commerce Department reported that Non-farm Payrolls grew by 142,000 jobs in September as compared to expectations of 200,000 new jobs and August’s reading of 136,000 jobs added.
What’s Ahead for the Week?
We’ll get scheduled economic reports, including an important release from the Feds – The Minutes of the Recent FOMC Meeting, and we’ll get our regular weekly release of new jobless claims data and Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates.
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