Happy New Year everyone!
We have certainly had an exciting start to the year on the economic front: The Fiscal Cliff vote, jobs numbers and significant bond market movement. Those were all in the first four days of the year! 2013 should be an exciting year for the markets and housing as we continue to build on the momentum that housing developed in 2012.
Friday’s December jobs report delivered 155,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate which remained flat at 7.8 percent. The markets digested that data with little movement, and we had a rather flat day relating to mortgage rates.
That was not the case on Thursday when we received the December ADP jobs number that created 215,000 private sector jobs – a number which beat analysts’ expectations rather handily, and gave many people hope that Friday’s report was going to be much more robust than it actually was.
In addition to ADP, we received the Fed minutes from its December meeting. Once it became obvious that a few of the Fed members were a bit more hesitant on further stimulus, the markets reacted heavily, dropping prices on Treasuries and sending yields soaring.
We started the week at 1.70, and after hitting a high of 1.97 on Friday, finally settled at 1.90 for the week. Mortgage rates also moved up slightly this week before improving slightly Friday afternoon.
The November North Carolina unemployment rates were also released this week. The Triangle continues to lead the way with some of the lowest rates in the state. Orange County came in at number one in the state with a 5.7 percent rate. Durham is at 7.2 percent. Wake sits at 7 percent. Chatham is also at 7 percent and Johnston County arrived at 7.9 percent.
Enjoy your weekend and welcome to 2013!