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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for July 28th

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits remained near 43-year lows, though claims did rise in the latest week. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose 16,000 to 266,000, above the 260,000 expected. Claims have now remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 73 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1973. The four-week moving average of claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 1,000 to 256,500 last week. A labor department spokesman said there were no special factors influencing last week's claims data.

Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates edged higher for the third week in a row to 3.48% for the 30-year fixed conventional rate ($417,000 or less) with 0.5 in points and fees. Mortgage rates continue to hover just above all-time lows giving would be buyers the confidence to lock in a low rate. The Federal Reserve Bank said yesterday it will continue to keep interest rates low for some time to support further improvement in the labor market and a return to 2% inflation.

Gas prices across the nation continued to decline this week as the price of oil pushes lower. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline fell to $2.14 on Thursday and has declined 24 cents in the past 47 days. The decline is due in part to abundant fuel supplies and declining crude oil costs. Today's most common price in the country is $1.99 with $1.71 seen in parts of New Jersey. AAA says gas prices are likely to remain low for the remainder of the summer compared to recent years.

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