As U.S. Employment Rebounds, Mortgage Rates Increase

Percent growthThe first week of the fourth quarter is already behind us. From what we’ve seen thus far, it looks as though we’re off to a promising start in terms of employment and future housing demand.

On the employment front, October saw the addition of more than 200,000 new jobs, putting the country on pace to reach approximately 2.3 million jobs created during the calendar year. This was the ninth consecutive month of gains over 200,000 — the longest stretch of its kind in nearly two decades.

Some of the strongest gains were seen in middle- and higher-paying industries, and momentum is growing in construction, manufacturing, government, and professional and business services. What’s more, the job growth rate is particularly promising for those under 35. This age group has been hit by a combination of high student loan debt and weak job prospects, making homeownership an unviable option to date. This uptick in employment might be able to help turn that around.

Looking to the housing market, new data shows that home sales rose at their fastest rate year-to-date in September. After edging down for most of October, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are back above 4 percent, and the Mortgage Bankers Association is predicting a jump to 5.1 percent by the end of 2015 and 5.8 percent by the end of 2016.

Keeping these numbers in mind, if you’ve been toying with the idea of refinancing, now might be the time to get serious about it.

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