How are Mortgage Markets Responding to the Largest Job Loss since 1945?


In 2009’s first full week of trading, mortgage bond markets traded back-and-forth, eventually closing the week improved overall.

Weekly mortgage rates fell for the first time since mid-December.
The most anticipated news of last week was Friday’s jobs report. According to government’s press release, the economy shed another 524,000 jobs in December, raising 2008’s total job losses to 2.065 million.

This is the largest annual job loss since 1945, the press reminds us. However, as one more reason to look beyond the headlines, today’s workforce is three times as large.

Other important notes included the release of the Fed’s minutes from its 2-day meeting in December. In it, the Federal Reserve said that inflation should remain low through early-2010 — a good development for home buyers and homeowners because inflation is linked to rising mortgage rates.

This week, the market-moving data doesn’t start until Wednesday, but with a fair number of Fed members making public appearances, a case of “loose lips” can lead to mortgage rate volatility. The most notable appearance is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech in London today. There are 10 speeches in all.

Despite the barrage of negative economic news, however, mortgage rates remain low. If you have yet to join the Refinance Boom, make a call to your loan officer to see if your home loan is eligible. keep in mind that fees for mortgages have risen as of today.

(Image courtesy: USA Today)

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  1. How do mortgages work if you’re buying a house from a fsbo auction? I imagine that as the rates fall, the online auctions for real estate might heat up a bit. Or am I wrong?

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