Last Week in Review: Non-farm payrolls rose in August. So did home prices in July.
U.S. employers hired 201,000 new workers in August, above the 187,000 expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. However, June and July were revised lower by a total of 50,000 jobs. Job gains have averaged 185,000 per month over the last 3 months. The Unemployment Rate remained at 3.9 percent.
Perhaps the biggest news within the report was the 0.4 percent gain in wages from July to August, while year-over-year wages increased by 2.9 percent, the highest annual increase in nine years. Overall, this was a solid report as the labor sector is at or near what's considered full employment.
Home prices rose at a solid pace in July. Research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, were up 6.2 percent from July 2017 to July 2018 and 0.3 percent from June to July of this year. Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic's chief economist, noted that gains are beginning to moderate due in part to higher home loan rates and home prices. CoreLogic forecasts that home prices will rise 5.1 percent from July 2018 to July 2019.
Mortgage Bonds fell in the latest week, especially after the strong labor market news. Home loan rates remain historically attractive.