What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 4, 2022Last week’s financial and economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the  Federal Housing Finance Agency and the federal government reported on construction spending. Reports on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate were also published along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

S&P Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Expected to Slow in 2022

National home prices grew by 19.20 percent year-over-year in January as compared to December’s year-over-year pace of 18.90 percent according to the monthly S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. The 20-City Home Price Index revealed no change in the metro areas holding the top three spots for home price growth. Phoenix, Arizona topped the list with year-over-year home price growth of  32.60 percent; Tampa, Florida followed with a year-over-year home price growth of 30.8 percent, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 28.10 percent. Analysts expect home price growth to slow in 2022 and into 2023. Affordability concerns and rising mortgage rates sidelined first-time and modest-income buyers in high-demand metro areas where multiple offers and cash buyers competed with buyers financing their home purchases.

In separate reporting, the Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported higher home price growth for single-family homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Year-over-year home prices grew by 18,20 percent in January as compared to December’s home price growth rate of  17.70 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 25 basis points to 4.67 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.83 percent and 20 basis points higher than in the previous week. 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.50 percent and were 14 basis points higher on average. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims rose last week with 202,000 new claims filed; analysts expected 195,000 new claims and 188,000 new claims were filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims fell with 1.31 million ongoing claims filed as compared to 1.34 million continuing jobless claims filed in the previous week.

Construction Spending, Jobs Growth Fall in February

The Commerce Department reported less construction spending in February than in  January. Spending rose by 0.50 percent as compared to the expected reading of 1.0 percent and January’s construction spending growth of 1.60 percent.

The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report indicated that 431,000 public and private-sector jobs were added in March as compared to the expected reading of 490, 000 jobs and February’s reading of 750,000 jobs added. ADP reported 455,000 private-sector jobs added in March as compared to an expected reading of 450,000 jobs added and 486,000 private-sector jobs added in February. The national unemployment rate dropped from 3.80 percent to 3.60 percent in March.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes the release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its last meeting and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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