Mortgage Market Update

Fannie Mae released its January 2014 National Housing Survey this week revealing that consumers are positive regarding access to mortgage credit while their views towards the economy are improving. 52% of respondents thought it would be easier for them to get a home loan today, an all-time high. The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased 8 percentage points from last month, to 39%.

History was made today when new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history. Ms. Yellen is in front of Congress this week testifying on the state of the U.S. economy, along with monetary policy. Ms. Yellen did say that the labor markets have made some progress, but still have a lot of improvement ahead. Ms. Yellen went on to say that the Fed policy makers could pause on easing back on stimulus if the economy weakens.

The Labor Department reported this morning that its JOLTS report, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, showing a second straight month fall in the hires rate, now at 3.2% and the lowest since June of 2012. Compared to December, the total job openings rate fell 0.1% to 2.8%. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by the number of employees who worked or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month.