Bond yields rise – The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week at 2.48%, up from 2.35% last week. The 30-year treasury yield ended the week at 2.83%, up from 2.68% last week. Home mortgage rates increased proportionally to bond rates.
Mortgage Rates rise to end the week near the highest levels of the year- The December 21, 2017 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey, which gathered information from December 13-20, reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.94%, unchanged from 3.93% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.38%, unchanged from 3.36% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.39%, unchanged from last week’s 3.36%. Unfortunately, rates rose Thursday and Friday. Rates are over 1/8% higher now than the survey rates. The 30-year fixed is now over 4%. It’s about as high as we have seen this year. Next week’s survey will reflect this.
The number of California home sales and prices increase again in November – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family home sales totaled 440,340 in November on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That marked an increase of 2.1% from October, yet down 0.8% from November 2016. Year-to-date sales are 1.1% higher than the same period last year. The median price paid for a home in California was $546,820 in November, up 8.8% from last November. Housing inventory, which had been at historically low levels, dropped even further. The unsold inventory index revealed that there was just a 2.9 month supply of homes in the market in November. The number of homes for sale in November was 11.5% below last November’s number.
California’s unemployment rate drops to 40 year low in November – The Employment Development Department reported that California employer’s added 47,400 new jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9% in October to 4.6% in November. That marked the lowest unemployment rate since the state changed the way it calculates the rate in 1976.