Mortgage markets worsened last week as domestic job growth surprised Wall Street and the Eurozone moved yet one more step closer to reaching a lasting Greece sovereign debt solution.
Conforming mortgage rates rose on the news, although you wouldn’t know it from looking at Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey.
According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell to 3.87% last week with 0.8 discount points due at closing, plus closing costs. 1 discount point is a fee equal to one percent of your loan size.
3.87% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the official, all-time low for the weekly Freddie Mac survey, conducted since the 1970s. However, because Freddie Mac gathers its results on Monday and Tuesday only, by the time the survey results were released Thursday morning, mortgage rates were already rising off their lows.
Then, Friday morning, after January’s Non-Farm Payrolls data was released, mortgage rates surged.
The January jobs report exceeded expectations in nearly every fashion possible :
- Economists expected to see 135,000 jobs created in January. The actual number was 243,000.
- Economists expected to see the Unemployment Rate at 8.5% in January. The actual number was 8.3%.
- Revisions added an additional 180,000 net new jobs to the original 2011 tally.
As compared to one year ago, there are 2.1 million more people employed in the U.S. workforce. Figures like this hint at a stronger national economy, and that tends to drive mortgage rates up.
This week, with little economic data due for release, mortgage rates are expected to move on momentum. Right now, that momentum is causing rates to rise.
If you’re shopping for a mortgage rate and want to know if the time is right to lock, consider that it’s impossible to time a market bottom, but simple to spot a “good deal”.
Mortgage rates remain near historical lows — it’s a good time to lock one in. Call your lender today.