Employment Picture Brightens:
Demand for housing is fueled by consumer confidence levels.  And nothing impacts those levels more than how consumers feel about the job market.  We had three major releases last week that gave us a better understanding of the employment picture.
First up were the Challenger Job Cuts report.  This measures the number of layoffs announced by corporations.  They reported that layoffs decreased by 34% in December.  Next up was the ADP Private Payroll report.  They measure non-farm and non-government hiring.  This report showed a gain of 297,000 jobs in December which was one of the strongest increases on record.  Lastly, the Labor Department reported that the national Unemployment Rate declined from 9.8% to 9.4% which is the lowest reading in 1 1/2 years.
While we certainly still have a lot of ground to make up in the job market, the above news is good for housing and certainly mirrors last month’s gains in both Existing Home Sales and Pending Home Sales.

What Happened to Rates Last Week:
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) moved sideways last week but we certainly did see some big swings in mortgage rates during the middle of the week.  The very strong ADP Private Payroll data pushed mortgage rates upward on Wednesday but rates moved backed down after Friday’s Unemployment report.
What to Watch Out For This Week:
The following are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week.  They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages.  I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:

Date ET Release For
11-Jan 10:00 Wholesale Inventories Nov
12-Jan 7:00 MBA Mortgage Purchase Index 7-Jan
12-Jan 8:30 Export Prices ex-ag. Dec
12-Jan 8:30 Import Prices ex-oil Dec
12-Jan 10:30 Crude Inventories 8-Jan
12-Jan 14:00 Treasury Budget Dec
12-Jan 14:00 Fed’s Beige Book Jan
13-Jan 8:30 Initial Claims 8-Jan
13-Jan 8:30 Continuing Claims 1-Jan
13-Jan 8:30 PPI Dec
13-Jan 8:30 Core PPI Dec
13-Jan 8:30 Trade Balance Nov
14-Jan 8:30 CPI Dec
14-Jan 8:30 Core CPI Dec
14-Jan 8:30 Retail Sales Dec
14-Jan 8:30 Retail Sales ex-auto Dec
14-Jan 9:15 Industrial Production Dec
14-Jan 9:15 Capacity Utilization Dec
14-Jan 9:55 Mich Sentiment Jan
14-Jan 10:00 Business Inventories Nov

It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets.  Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.
Matthew Schaffer
Sr. Loan Officer
Office: 561-799-9954
Cell: 561-312-1094
3307 Northlake Blvd #103
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33403