Claims of North Korea’s hydrogen bomb testing, tanking oil prices and big troubles in China’s economy sent Stocks plummeting at the start of 2016. In fact, during the first full week of January, the Dow had lost more than 1,000 points since December 29.
When Stocks tumble, Bond prices often improve as investors seek a “safe haven” in less risky places. And when Bond prices improve, home loan rates can improve as well, since they are tied to a type of Bond called Mortgage Backed Securities.
And it’s not just global news that impacts markets and rates; headlines here at home are equally important. On that front, the market-moving Jobs Report showed a surge in December, according to the Labor Department. Employers added 292,000 jobs, well above the 200,000 expected. This follows solid job creation in October and November. The end of 2015 marked the fifth straight year in which employment grew by 2 million. Year-over-year wage growth also was up 2.5 percent, and the Unemployment Rate remained at 5 percent, which indicates a strengthening work force.
Bond prices—and home loan rates—improved slightly through the beginning of January and remain near all-time lows. More importantly, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, expects home loan rates to “tick higher but remain at historically low levels in 2016.”
As economic news unfolds in the months ahead, I’ll continue to monitor the headlines. If you have any questions about home loan rates, loan products or the housing market, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
This article was taken from my February 2016 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.