Despite the harsh winter weather, 175,000 jobs were created in February. This was above the 163,000 expected, and the largest gain in three months. In addition, there were revisions to the numbers for December and January, adding 25,000 more job creations than were previously reported.
The Unemployment Rate ticked up to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent, while the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) remained at 63.0 percent, a 35-year low. The LFPR measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, and it should be moving higher in a recovery. Overall, this report was a positive sign for the labor market, but more and consistent improvement is still needed.
In other news to note, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 12.02 percent in January 2014 compared to January 2013. January marks the twenty-third consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. And inflation remains a non-issue, as evidenced by the Personal Consumption Expenditures report, which was in line with expectations.
What does this mean for home loan rates? Remember that the Fed is now purchasing $35 billion in Treasuries and $30 billion in Mortgage Bonds (the type of Bonds on which home loan rates are based) to help stimulate the economy and housing market. This is down from the original $85 billion per month that the Fed had been purchasing. The Fed will be watching key economic reports closely in the weeks and months ahead. If economic data points are weak, the Fed may have to rethink the tapering it has begun. This will be a key story to monitor as we move ahead in 2014.
The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider purchasing a Lake of the Ozarks Home or refinance, as home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance. Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at email@example.com with any questions you may have!!
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Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712
2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049