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Mortgage Rates Friday, Sept. 1: Barely Changed On So-So Jobs Report

Sept. 1, 2017
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Mortgage rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate home loans were unchanged, while the 5/1 ARM fell by one basis point, according to a NerdWallet survey of daily mortgage rates published by national lenders Friday morning.

Mortgage rates tend to follow the overall economic trends. On strong economic news, rates tend to rise. After weak economic news, they often fall. Today brought one of the most important economic indicators for mortgage rates: the monthly jobs report. It wasn’t strong. It wasn’t weak, either. The economy added 156,000 jobs in August, down from the average of 181,333 jobs added monthly over the previous three months. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from 4.3%.

“A bit of a soft number, at 156,000 jobs added,” says Robert Frick, corporate economist for Navy Federal Credit Union. “But we need to remember that unemployment claims are low, which means the strong employment trend is continuing.” Frick says he doesn’t believe this employment report will have much effect on mortgage rates because it’s neither unexpectedly good nor bad.

Average weekly wages in August went down by $1.60 compared with July, to $907.82 from $909.42. Weekly wages have been trending upward since the end of the Great Recession, but they occasionally dip from one month to the next. It happened in May and in November 2016.

“The context here is clear: jobs strengthening, wages not, consumers still need a raise,” Frick says. He says continued slow wage growth will prompt the Federal Reserve to slow its pace of short-term interest-rate hikes next year.


(Change from 8/31)
30-year fixed: 3.93% APR (NC)
15-year fixed: 3.35% APR (NC)
5/1 ARM: 3.85% APR (-0.01)

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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