Monday, February 1, 2010
Despite the headlines, it’s important to remember that December’s jobs report wasn’t all bad news.
Sure, the economy shed 85,000 jobs last month and the Unemployment Rate failed to dip below 10%, but for home buyers and rate shoppers , the news was just fine.
The soft employment data led mortgage rates lower, making homes more affordable for buyers.
There are two sides to every economic coin.
Since early-2008, the U.S workforce has been closely tied to home financing. As the economy slowed and jobs were lost, Wall Streeters pulled money from the risky stock markets and moved it to of the relative safety of bond markets, instead.
Safe haven buying led mortgage bond prices higher which, in turn, caused rates to fall. Mortgage rates fell to 6 all-time lows in 2009. In a related statistic, 4.2 million jobs were lost last year.
And this is why Friday’s non-farm payrolls report was so good for buyers.
See, in November, the economy added new jobs for the first time since 2007, housing looked strong, consumer confidence was growing. The safe haven buying reversed and mortgage rates took off. Analysts believed the nation’s economic turnaround was complete.
But now, after December’s jobs report returned to the red, Wall Street is forced to rethink its position. Safe haven buying is back and mortgage rates are lower because of it.
Over the next few months, expect a lot of this back-and-forth action in rates. In general, positive news for the economy will be met with higher mortgage rates and negative economic news will be met with lower mortgage rates. There will be exceptions, but the general rule should hold.
Incentive Part of Ongoing Effort to Stabilize Neighborhoods
WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) announced today that people purchasing a Fannie Mae-owned HomePath® property will receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to be used toward closing cost assistance or their choice of appliances. The offer is available to any owner-occupant who closes on the purchase of a property listed on HomePath.com before May 1, 2010.
"Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing the inventory of vacant homes is critical to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover. Many families are taking advantage of the federal homebuyer tax credit to buy a new home so this is a great time for Fannie Mae to offer some additional help," said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management. "Homebuyers have the option to choose between financial assistance toward closing costs or new appliances for their home."
Properties eligible for this incentive are listed on HomePath.com and most listings include detailed property descriptions, photographs, community and school information and more. In addition, many Fannie Mae-owned properties are eligible for special HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Renovation Mortgage financing which offers homebuyers an opportunity to purchase with as little as 3 percent down.