Slow-to-moderate growth in the economy is certainly better than no growth at all, but not enough to spark new hiring. Improvement in the housing market helps, but tight inventory for both existing and new homes has slowed sales in spite of continued low mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates continue to slip
According to HSH.com, last week the overall average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan declined by 3 basis points (0.03 percent) to 3.65 percent, the lowest rate for this mortgage product in 2013. Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgage loans dropped by 4 basis points (0.04 percent) to 2.89 percent, a new record low for this mortgage term. FHA-insured, 30-year fixed-rate home loan rates also declined by 1 basis point (0.01 percent) to an average rate of 3.28 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) also dropped by 1 basis point (0.01 percent) to 2.60 percent, a new record low point for this loan product. Compare mortgage rates for your area before refinancing or applying for a purchase loan.
GDP rose, but employment still a question
The big focus last week was on the first estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2013, which at 2.5 percent came in better than the anemic 0.4 percent of the last quarter for 2012 but not as strong as economists had anticipated.
New claims for unemployment were lower than expected at 339,000 for the week ending April 20, the lowest number of new claims in five weeks. This coming Friday we'll see the number of new hires for April, which will give a better indication of the strength or weakness of the job market.
The mortgage experts at HSH.com anticipate mortgage rates to stay close to these record low levels over the next few weeks, although rates may increase slightly if economic reports show improvement.
Our live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.