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Mortgage Market Update 9/6/19

Rates inched lower Friday following the release of key employment data for August.  The economy added 130,000 jobs last month, below the consensus forecast of 150,000.  In addition, downward revisions subtracted 20,000 jobs from prior months.  The unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, as expected.  Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, rose 0.4%, beating expectations.  In other news, the Trump Administration announced that it would support returning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private hands.  The process, which does not require approval by Congress, could take years to implement.  Treasury officials said they would aim to privatize the firms in incremental steps without making it more difficult or expensive to obtain mortgages.  If the Administration follows through with its plan, Fannie and Freddie would return to a status similar to before the financial crisis.  In an effort to reduce the federal government’s role in the mortgage process, Treasury officials indicated they would need to reassess the extent to which the companies remain involved in the financing of investment properties, second homes, and cash-out refinances.

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