Daily News 3/26/2015

March 26, 2015

Thursday – March 26

A report from RealtyTrac, a provider of comprehensive housing data and analytics for the real estate and financial services industries, said that home prices across the U.S. have been growing much faster than wages in 76% of the country. The report revealed that the national median wage grew by 1.3% from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2014. In that same time period, home prices rose by 17%. However, RealtyTrac said that despite the surge in home prices, most housing markets are still affordable by traditional standards.

Home loan rates fell for the second straight week as reported by government sponsored entity Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed home loan rate fell to 3.69% this week with 0.6 in points and fees. The 3.69% is down from the 3.78% in the previous week. The lower rates come just in time for the spring buying season, and that coupled with an improving job market should ignite a spark in the housing sector. Conventional loans are typically an amount of $417,000 or less. Freddie Mac surveys lenders each week on the rates, fees and points for the most popular mortgage products.

Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits fell to a five-week low as the labor market continues to improve. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 9,000 to 282,000, below the 290,000 that was expected. The four week moving average of claims, which irons out seasonal abnormalities, declined by 7,750 to 297,000. At the height of the recession in 2008, claims averaged 417,000 per week and fell to 308,500 per week in 2013. So far in 2015, the average has fallen to 295,000, according to the Labor department.