Mortgage rates declined over the past week and have now decreased in four of the past five weeks. Rates hit their high water mark at the end of May due in part to an improving economy and modestly higher inflation pressures. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.55% this week with an average 0.5 in points and fees. Freddie Mac said that the economy and housing market overall are on solid footing this summer, which should support continued strength in housing demand.
A new survey conducted by Chase Home Lending and Pulsenomics show record highs among U.S. homeowners and renters in three key areas; market conditions, aspirations for homeownership and expectations regarding home values and affordability. The Chase Housing Confidence Index (HCI) systematically measures and tracks key dimensions of consumer confidence in housing markets across the United States using data collected in the U.S. The survey revealed that both homeowners and renters agree that now is a good time to buy and sell a home. The Chase Housing Confidence Index hit 66.3 for the national average with levels above 50 being positive.
Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits continue to hover near lows seen in the early 1970s, as the labor market is now at or near full employment. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose 9,000 in the latest week to 227,000. The less volatile four-week moving average of claims, which irons out seasonal abnormalities, edged higher to 222,000 from 221,000. The June Jobs Report will be released Friday, July 6.