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We’re in the middle of our Big Game party. Have you seen our commercial yet? We hope you enjoy it!

Anyway, I didn’t want to get up early tomorrow morning and start writing this post, so I figured I would get a jumpstart. If you’re reading this Monday, congratulations to the winners. For the fans of the other 31 professional football teams, there’s always next year, right? Let’s go, Lions!

Taking a look at the market data from last week, the employment numbers came in above expectations, but the stock market didn’t perform as well as it has recently. The Federal Reserve also made a rate decision that impacts your mortgage rates. Let’s jump right in.

Headline News

Personal Income and Outlays

Personal incomes were up 0.4% in December with the help of a 0.5% gain in wages and salaries. There was a matching increase in consumer spending, which was probably helped by holiday shopping season. November spending was also 0.2% higher in revisions, coming in at 0.8%.

In terms of inflation, overall prices were up 0.1% on the month and 0.2% in core categories. On the year, these categories are up 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively.

In one negative, Americans are saving less: The savings rate is down 0.1% to a 13-year low at 2.4%.

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller HPI

Home prices went up 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis across the 20-city index in November. They were up 0.2% when this adjustment was taken out. They’ve gone up 6.4% overall on the year.

Prices in San Francisco rose 1.8% in November to lead monthly gains. On the year, Seattle is out in front with prices that have risen 12.7% with Las Vegas close behind at 10.6%. Washington, D.C. and Chicago had the smallest year-on-year gains at 3.3% and 3.6%, respectively.

Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence rose 2.3 points in January to come in at 125.4. There was also an upward revision of one point in December confidence numbers. Expectations were up five points to 105.5. Meanwhile, the present situation component was down just over one point, remaining extremely strong at 155.3.

Part of the downturn in the present situation component is a 0.4% rise to 16.4% in the number of Americans who say jobs are hard to get. However, this is still very low for this reading. Another reading of interest is that 51.6% of Americans are bullish on the stock market, with an increase by more than 5% in January in the number of people who think it will go up in the next year.

Inflation expectations still remained very low. The one-year inflation outlook fell 0.2% to 4.6%.

MBA Mortgage Applications

Mortgage applications decreased by 2.6% overall as both purchase and refinance applications were down 3% on the week.

The decrease in mortgage applications probably has something to do with the fact that in this metric, the average 30-year-fixed conforming mortgage rate was up five basis points to 4.41%, the highest level since March of last year.

Pending Home Sales Index

This index, a metric of how many outstanding purchase agreements for existing homes are out there, was up 0.5% to 110.1 in December.

Taking a look at regional numbers, sales in the South were up 2.6% in December and have risen 4.0% on the year. Sales out West were up 1.5% in December, but still down 3.1% annually. Sales in the Northeast and Midwest fell in December and were either unchanged or down a little bit on the year.

Jobless Claims

Initial jobless claims were down slightly last week, falling 1,000 to 230,000. The four-week average was down 5,500 to 234,500.

On the continuing claims side, these were up 13,000 to 1.953 million. This rise pushed the four-week average up 12,000 to 1.933 million.

ISM Manufacturing Index

This key manufacturing metric was down just 0.2 points, remaining strong in January at 59.1. (Anything over 50 indicates manufacturing growth.)

New orders are at their highest point in almost 10 years, coming in at 65.4. Backlogs are also high at 56.2. In one sign the inflation may be increasing, input costs came in at 72.7, which is the highest they’ve been in 6.5 years.

What’s holding this report down is employment. Hiring growth slowed considerably, down nearly 4 points to 54.2. Analysts speculate that there simply aren’t enough people out there to fill all the available manufacturing jobs that have opened up with the increase in production.

Employment Situation

The number of new jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in December beat consensus expectations by 25,000 to come in at 200,000 in the month of January. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1%.

Going a level deeper, 196,000 jobs were added to private payrolls, while the government kicked in 4,000 jobs. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.7%.

Now, let’s look at individual industries. There were 15,000 jobs added in manufacturing and 36,000 added in construction. Retail also added 15,000 jobs, while professional and business services saw 23,000 jobs added in their sector.

Average hourly earnings were up 0.3% in January and have risen 2.9% on the year. One thing to note is that the length of the average workweek decreased by 12 minutes to 34.3 hours.

Consumer Sentiment

Consumers were feeling pretty upbeat in January as evidenced by both the big consumer surveys. Much like consumer confidence, the report on consumer sentiment was up 1.3 points in the final reading of January to come in at 95.7.

Future expectations were up in January, but they’re still in a 4.4% decline on the year. Current conditions actually fell in January and have dropped 0.7% annually. Weak sales for cars and trucks seem to be evidence of this.

In terms of inflation expectations over the next year, these are unchanged at 2.7%. Expectations in the next five years were up 0.1% to 2.5%.

Mortgage Rates

The Federal Reserve chose to not raise short-term interest rates at the conclusion of their January meeting last week. However, market players think it’s a virtual certainty that these will go up in March.

The market has started to price these increases in. That’s part of the reason mortgage rates are continuing to rise recently. If you’re in the market, there are still some good-looking rates out there, but it’s important to jump on it now and lock your rate if you see one you like.

The average rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage with 0.5 points was up seven basis points to 4.22%, rising from 4.19% at the same time last year.

Looking at shorter terms, the rate on a 15-year-fixed mortgage with 0.5 points was up six basis points to 3.68%. At this time last year, the rate was 3.41%.

Finally, the rate on a 5-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was up a single basis point to 3.53%, up from 3.23% a year ago.

Stock Market

There’s no sugar coating the terrible week the stock indexes had. It was their worst week in two years. Investors are apparently worried about higher interest rates, which increase the cost of business investment.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 665.75 points on the day and 4.12% on the week as it closed at 25,520.96. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down 3.85% on the week after falling 59.85 points Sunday to close at 2,762.13. Finally, the Nasdaq finished Friday at 7,240.95, falling 144.92 points on the day and 3.53% on the week.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, February 6

International Trade (8:30 a.m. ET) – International trade is composed of merchandise (tangible goods) and services. It’s available by export, import and trade balance for six principal end-use commodity categories and for more than 100 principal Standard International Trade Classification system commodity groupings.

Wednesday, February 7

MBA Mortgage Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The mortgage applications index measures applications to mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.

Thursday, February 8

Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET) – New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing trend suggests a deteriorating labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.

With no real major economic data hitting in the coming week, the stock market and politics should be the key drivers. We’ll have it all covered for you next Monday in Market Update.

We know that economic data and mortgage rates isn’t at the top of everyone’s reading list to begin the week, so we’ve got plenty of home, money and lifestyle content to share with you if you subscribe to the Zing Blog below. This week, we thought we would help you get a head start on your Valentine’s Day shopping (or at least remind you that it’s 10 days away.) Have a great week!

This Post Has 48 Comments

  1. We currently have a mortgage with Quicken loans and spoke to someone a few months ago and got pre a proved for a new home. My question is, can we start a purchase before we sell our current home. Do we have to have this one sold before we can close on a new mortgage ? I think it would be hard to sell the house we are in if we still lived in it. We would like to buy a new home move in and then sell the original home.

    1. Hi Rachel:

      It’s possible to do this, but you qualify with both mortgage payments because one can never be sure how long it would take to sell. With that said, I’m going to recommend you speak with one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716 to go over exactly how this works. We would be happy to be would be happy to discuss your options.

  2. We are looking to refinance a new loan we closed in Oct. 2017. And would like to get a better rate. Just had appraisal done in Jan. checking with another loan company. I want to know if I should even pursue this our pay off is 241,000 and our home appraised for $255,000 is this worth looking into again or do I need to wait? Would I end up having to put down a large amount at closing?

    1. Hi Jennifer:

      If you’re looking to do something like remove mortgage insurance, this might be worth looking into. However, if you just closed on your loan in October, rates were better then than they are now. If you would like to speak with one of our Home Loan Experts about your options, you can fill out this form or call (888) 980-6716.


  3. I asking about a sitution. If you own a home and had a bankruptcy 8 years ago . my trustee of the court for my morgage payments died I was not told . I. Found default on morgage payments. I need to know if I can get a refinance on my home. to lower my payments.

    1. Hi Connie:

      I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts to try to get the best possible advice. I can honestly say that situation is a first for me, and I don’t want to speculate on what recourse you might have since the trustee died or whether you have any options at all. You can get in touch with us at (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

  4. I am approximately 60 days out from completing the 2 yr seasoning period from my chapter 13 discharge date. Wondering if it is possible to get a pre-approval for a cash out refi for remodeling in order to lock in a minimum rate now and begin working on the paperwork process?
    I have a fannie mae conventional now. And have about 60 percent equity.

    1. Hi Mark:

      If you want to stick with Fannie Mae, we can’t help any time prior to that two-year discharge. That being said, we do have other options. I’m going to suggest speaking with one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716. They would be able to go over all of your options.

      Kevin Graham

  5. Wow, you guys have the highest mortgage rates on the market, a full percentage point above the industry average. I’d have to be a fool to get a mortgage through Quicken Loans!

    1. Hi Dave:

      The rates for everyone are different for starters. We may or may not be the lowest cost lender when it comes to your personal situation. When it comes to rates, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Fixed-rate loans should be compared against fixed-rate loans, etc. Also look at the number of prepaid interest points being charged to get the rates offered by other lenders.

      Some other mortgage companies immediately sell the servicing of your loan to other entities that charge you all sorts of fees for things like making online payments or paying by phone or different processing fees. We don’t nickel and dime our clients. We aim to make the process as easy as possible and when you call us, you’re going to get an actual person from Detroit, Cleveland or Phoenix on the phone. We’ve ranked highest eight consecutive years by J.D. Power for mortgage origination and mortgage servicing. Cost is always a consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

    1. Hi Clarence:

      You can do a preapproval and that’s good for 90 days. In order to actually set up a loan, that’s a little further along in the process and we do need a property address at that point. I hope this makes sense. You can also talk to one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

  6. I presently have my house that is 13 yrs old. The value of it is $258,000.00 with a loan balance of $73,500. If I could actually borrow $87,000, I could be out of debt except for the loan being borrowed. Is this a reality and what is the current loan % rate.

    1. Hi Robert:

      What you’re asking about is a cash-out debt consolidation. That’s something we can certainly help you look into. If you qualify, there’s no reason it couldn’t be a reality. Rates are very much dependent on your personal situation, so I can’t tell you what your unique rate would be. However, I can give you a link to our rates page so you can see what our current rates are. If you would like to get started, you can do so today through Rocket Mortgage. Hope this helps!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi John! We’d love to help you look into your options with Rocket Mortgage where you can get a full refinance approval. Or, you can speak with one of our Home Loan Experts by calling (888) 980-6716. Have a great night!


    1. Hi Jimmie:

      I’m sorry to hear you had a poor experience with us. I’m going to get this over to our client relations team to see what happened here and if there’s anything we can do to get it turned around. Thanks for reaching out!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Chris:

      we can certainly help you look into your options through Rocket Mortgage where you can get a full refinance approval. Otherwise, you can speak with one of our Home Loan Experts by calling (888) 980-6716.

  8. What’s the interest rate on a home equity loan? How long is the loan for and what is the minimum score in order to qualify?

    1. Hi Javier:

      We don’t do home equity loans. Instead, we’ll allow you to take out your home equity by doing a cash-out refinance. I think you would find the rates are comparable if not better than on a home equity loan.

      In terms of the actual rate, it’s dependent on your personal financial situation as well as market conditions, so I can’t tell you exactly what your rate would be but I can give you a link to our rates page. The minimum credit score to qualify would be a FICO of 620. If you would like to go over your options online, you can do so through Rocket Mortgage. If you would prefer to talk to one of our Home Loan Experts you can give us a call at (888) 980-6716.


    1. Hi Debbie:

      Interest rates are very dependent on your personal financial profile, so I can’t say what it would be. I can give you a link to our rates page to give you a general idea. If you would like to look at your personal rates you can get a complete refinance approval online through Rocket Mortgage or by calling one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716. Hope this helps!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Thomas:

      You can certainly do that, but the house you bought with VA the first time generally has to be sold. There are limited exceptions where an entitlement can be restored if it’s not sold. You have to occupy a VA home as your primary property. If you would like to go over your options online you can do so through Rocket Mortgage or give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at (888) 980-6716.

  9. Deseo comprar apartamento en Arizona, no hablo ingles, estoy pagando de vivienda 700 dolares, dinero que podría pagar al préstamo.

    Quisiera saber si puedo hablar con un asesor parar presentarle la situación.


  10. I’d like to talk with someone about a home equity loan. ASAP Thank You, Karen
    Call at and tell us who you are and we will then answer the phone. NO message NO talky. We’ve had enough of unwanted calls.

    1. Hi Karen:

      I’m going to remove your phone number to make sure we protect your privacy.

      In terms of phone calls, we totally get it. If you want, probably the best way to do this is to give us a call at (888) 980-6716. You can speak with one of our Home Loan Experts on your schedule, not ours. Or if you want to avoid phone calls altogether, more and more of our clients are using Rocket Mortgage where you can look into your options and get a full refinance approval online. If you have questions, you can always talk to us. One thing to note is that we don’t do home equity loans, but we do cash-out refinances. You may find this is a more cost-effective way to access your home equity.

  11. Please tell me what does one need to “qualify” for a home loan with an existing
    low balance and $500,000 in equity?
    Appreciate it.

    Patricia Dilliner

    1. Hi Patricia:

      The qualification requirements depend on the type of loan you’re getting, but I can give you some general ideas. We take a look at your credit to get an idea of your credit score as well as your existing debts. The debts are compared against your income from W-2s and tax returns. We also take a look at bank statements, verify employment, etc. The good news is Rocket Mortgage lets you import a lot of this information from our list of trusted partners. You can also take advantage of this asset import capability even if you get started with one of our Home Loan Experts over the phone by calling (888) 980-6716.


    1. Hi Jeanie:

      We keep your information because situations change and what didn’t work for you before may work now. That being said, I’m going to get this over to our Client Relations team. They can take a look at your experience with us and get you opted out of further communication.

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Ron:

      It can theoretically be done. We don’t do any loans on manufactured homes though. I’m sorry.

      Kevin Graham

  12. I have a double wide mfg. home on a permanent block foundation and appx. 2 acres with barn and pond. If my house qualifies with your requirements, please contact me.

  13. Am seeking a loan to purchase 77 acres and build a new home (which will be my homestead). I just placed my current homestead on the market for 1.7 million. I have also placed a rental on the market for 394,500.00 dollars. I have approximately 1.4 million in equity in the properties. Am looking for a loan of 580,000.00 to purchase the land. It will appraise for approximately 693,000.00 dollars.

    1. Hi Douglas:

      Unfortunately, at this time, if you’re purchasing a new home, we require that it be built already. We don’t do construction loans. I’m sorry.

      Kevin Graham

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