Last Friday’s job report showed a deceleration in the pace of new jobs, up just 157,000 in July and the weakest since March. Upward revisions to the prior month, adding 59,000 jobs still made for a robust report. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from 4.0% reflecting how tight the job market is. But the abundance of job openings and low supply of workers is still only producing modest wage gains, up 2.7% Y/Y.
The foremost data release this week will be the consumer price inflation (CPI) report on Friday. Prices are expected to have risen 2.9% Y/Y in July. With inflation faster than the wage growth reported on Friday, consumers’ real wages are declining, which creates greater demand for credit to meet spending needs. The inflation and wage numbers also support another Fed rate hike in September after passing on a hike at last week’s meeting. Higher rates on credit cards will follow, placing further pressure on consumers, and this could mean that Q2’s 4.1% GDP growth is a high watermark in the near-term.
Low inventories pushing prices higher is the theme of this year’s housing market. Supply problems are particularly acute for lower priced homes. While overall sales were down 2.2% in June, homes under $100,000 were down 18% Y/Y in June, and those between $100,000 and $250,000 were down 7% Y/Y. Rising rates and prices are only marginally tempering demand, which is supported by a robust labor market, thus buyers should do all they can to position themselves competitively. Getting financing in place ahead of the house hunt is crucial, and we strongly advise buyers compare multiple loan offers first.
Released each month, The LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders. Stay up to date with the most recent LendingTree Mortgage Offers Reports below: