U.S. Treasury Bond yields – Treasury bond yields rose this week. The 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond closed the week yielding 2.48%, up from 2.40% last Friday. The 30-year Treasury Bond yield closed the week at 3.05%, up from 2.99% last week. Mortgage rates follow bond yields, so we watch treasury bonds closely.
Mortgage rates – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on January 19, 2017 revealed that average mortgage rates from lenders surveyed for the most popular mortgage products were as follows: The 30-year fixed rate average was 4.09%. The 15-year fixed average rate was 3.34%. The 5/1 ARM average rate was 3.21%. Rates rose near the end of the week. They should be about 1/8% higher in next week’s survey.
California home sales and prices up in December – The California Association of Realtors reported that December’s statewide median price was $509,960, up 3.9% from last December’s median of $489,770. For the year, the median price was $502,250, up 5.4% from 2015’s median price. For 2016, preliminary figures had 416,250 existing homes sold, up 1.7% from 2015’s 409,410 existing homes sold. Existing home sales include all attached and detached re-sale single family homes reported as closed escrow to MLS systems throughout California. Very concerning was the unsold inventory index. It showed that there is only a 2.6 month supply of homes on the market. A normal market has a 6 to 7 month supply.
California unemployment rate drops to 5.2% – The California Employment Development Department reported that California employers added 3,700 net new jobs in December. It was a solid year with the state adding 383,900 new jobs in 2016. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, down from 5.9% last December. Los Angeles County had even stronger results. The county’s employers added 58,600 net new jobs in 2016. The L.A. County unemployment rate ended the year at 5%, down from 6% at the end of 2015.