Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
Fannie Mae reports that U.S. consumers are growing more concerned over the state of the economy. Americans reporting significantly higher income over the past year experienced the largest decline of eight percentage points. Those who expect home prices to go up in the next year declined, while those who expect mortgage rates to drop and those who are confident about not losing their job each dropped by one percentage point in October. In addition, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a house rose by 2 percentage points to 31%. The share who think it is a good time to buy remained at an all-time survey low.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that mortgage credit availability increased in October, while credit standards eased slightly during the month. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) increased 2.6% in October to 171.3, up from 167 in September. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The MBA cited an increase in the number of investors as well as an uptick in the availability of jumbo and high balance loans.
In labor market news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of job openings increased marginally in September from August. The report signals that job growth should remain steady in the coming months. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed 5.49 million job openings in September, up from 5.45 million in August. August openings were at an eight-year low. Job openings grew in construction, manufacturing and financial services, but fell at restaurants and the logistics sector.
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