On the heels of a disappointing month of job growth, Freddie Mac reported Thursday that average mortgage rates are down across the board. Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday showed that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped from 3.70 to 3.66 percent over the past week, inching the rate ever closer to a full percentage point behind where it was a year ago. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by exactly the same amount, down to 2.93 percent.
Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, cited the latest‒‒and to many, surprisingly sluggish‒‒job growth numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week in the latest report. In March, months of solid gains in an increasingly healthy labor market came up short of expectations. According to the BLS, March saw the addition of 126,000 new jobs, which is 121,000 fewer jobs than were expected. In the 12 months leading up to March, each month saw an average of 266,000 new jobs added.
Single-family homebuilding activity adds millions to local economies and, on average, hundreds of new jobs, according to a report by the National Association of Homebuilders released Thursday titled, The Economic Impact of Home Building in a Typical Local Area. According to the findings, construction of 100 single-family homes pumps an average of $28.7 million in income into a typical local economy in the first year. The NAHB says this adds $3.6 million to local tax rolls while providing 394 new jobs.