Mortgage rates headed slightly higher on Friday, but remained in good shape, following the release of the December Employment Situation Report. The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, a disappointing figure compared to the consensus expectation of 175,000 jobs. However, the weaker-than-expected jobs data was overshadowed by sharp wage gains. According to the Labor Department, average hourly earnings increased by 0.4% in December, which translates to a 2.9% rise year-over-year. Also, the November Non-Farm Payroll figures were revised up to 204,000, signaling a healthy labor market. The solid wage gains could potentially raise the prospects of higher inflation and a possibility of a rate hike in the future.
Although, bond markets, which underlie mortgage interest rates, have lost a bit of ground later during Friday’s trading session, borrowing costs still look attractive for those looking to buy a new or used home or interested in refinancing an existing loan. As of Monday morning, the average lender is quoting the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the range of 4.000% – 4.375%, with the most prevalently quoted rate being 4.125%, according to our observations.
Moving on to U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year benchmark treasury note closed Friday’s trading session at 2.42%, an increase of 5 basis points from a day earlier. As mortgage rates tend to follow the movement of the 10-year treasury note, you may see some minor changes in interest rates at certain lenders. With regards to the longer-term 30-year treasury yield, it came out at 3.00% at the end of the trading day, an uptick of 4 basis points.
National mortgage rates improved last week, falling for the first time since the presidential election, according to government-sponsored financial enterprise, Freddie Mac’s latest weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The McLean,VA-based mortgage buyer’s data showed, that the average rate on the 30-year fixed conventional mortgage eased to 4.20% nationwide, which marks a 12 basis points downtick compared to the prior week. Average borrowing costs on 15-year fixed mortgages were also down last week, coming out at 3.44%, which translates to a 11 basis points improvement compared to data from a week earlier.
As far as more flexible mortgage loan options are concerned, the interest rate on the 5-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) drifted higher 3 basis points to 3.33% last week, Freddie Mac’s data showed. When looking at the federal agency’s latest mortgage data, it must be noted, that the survey responses are collected in the first half of the week, so the final data doesn’t reflect those changes that impact mortgage rates later on during the week.
The unfolding week’s economic calendar includes a few influential reports, including the December retail sales data, which is set to be released on Friday. Also, a number of Fed officials will make public appearances this week, which may provide traders and investors some insight into their thinking regarding future monetary policy. Currently, the market is betting on two rate hikes to take place in 2017.
Monday is going to be silent in terms of meaningful economic reports, so in the meantime the market will likely continue digesting the results of the latest Employment Situation Report.
On Tuesday, the Labor Department will release the November JOLTS report, a short for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey. The report will show if more workers are voluntarily leaving their jobs in hope to find find another one. If the report turns out positive, it will signal that workers have more confidence in the job market. The most recent JOLTS report from October, showed that employers posted 5.5 million job openings, slightly up from 5.49 million jobs in the prior month.
In the week ahead the December retail sales data will take the spotlight, which is set to be released on Friday. Economists forecast a 0.5% increase in total retail sales for December, up from 0.1% in November.
Now, coming back to current mortgage rates, the 30-year fixed home purchase loan at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is available at a rate of 4.125%, as of today. Borrowers looking to secure the 15-year fixed conventional home loan can expect to pay 3.500% interest cost. BofA’s home refinancing options include the long-term 30-year FRM, which is currently offered at a rate of 4.250%. The 15-year fixed refi mortgage is coming out at a rate of 4.250%, according to the latest data.
With regards to Chase’s (NYSE:JPM) home loans, the standard 30-year fixed home mortgage is up for grabs at a rate of 4.125%. Those, who lean toward the 15-year FRM, will see this type of loan starting at 3.375% at this lender. Chase’s home refinance loan portfolio inclulde the 30-year fixed refinance mortgage, which carries a rate of 4.125%. Mortgage shoppers, who pefer to refinance their existing loans over 15 years, will see the lender’s 30-year refi mortgage coming out at a rate of 3.375%.
Over at San Francisco-headquartered top home loan provider, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), the 30-year fixed conventional loan for home purchase starts at 4.375%. The lender’s 15-year fixed counterpart is quoted at 3.625%. The bank also offers a wide range of options for home refinancing, including the 30-year FRM, which is currently advertised at a rate of 4.375%. As far as the 15-year fixed home refi loan is concerned, it can be locked in at a rate of 3.65% at this lender.
The above mentioned interest rates are subject to change and are not guaranteed. In order to search for live mortgage rate quotes from some of the top U.S. lenders, please click on the link below.