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Consumer confidence, mortgage rates rise, economy helps home buyers

Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 10:42:59 AM

The U.S. economy is looking up, and more American consumers are confident, thanks in part to positive trends in the housing market and solid residential financing. 

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased over the past week to minus 27, the best outlook the news source has seen since January 2008. One factor has been real estate, property values and better employment opportunities for many, the source stated.

The monetary impact residential financing has on homeowners isn't an issue for some, and price dips in other economic segments has many optimistic about the future.

"Sustainable, albeit modest growth in the labor market and the economy likely bolstered consumer spirits," Bloomberg LP senior economist Joseph Brusuelas told the news source. "The key to sustained improvement is acceleration in hiring and an improved wage environment, something that has been a significant challenge during the current business cycle." 

Freddie Mac recently updated its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing a slight rise in rates for the start of the August. For the 30-year FRM, the average was 4.39 percent, and the 15-year FRM is currently 3.43 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, noted that the recent Federal Reserve statement might have had an effect on rates, but the Fed didn't make any alterations to its policies. 

However, the statement did mention mention economic growth, possibly bolstered from housing market gains.