Salt Lake City Mortgage Market Update for January 9, 2009

Mortgage rates in Salt Lake City have been up and down, but primarily ending the day pretty well.  We are seeing many pricing adjustments throughout the day, which is very unlike even a year or so ago when a lender or bank would release a rate sheet and that was pretty much the rate for the week.  Now, it’s a crap shoot from minute to minute.  As I write this I just received the third reprice of the day for one lender.

Nationally the average 30-year rate is running about 5.01%, and the one week projection is 5.00% and one month projection 5.02% so rates look to remaining within the current range for at least a few weeks.

The bad news, the Labor Department released their December figures this week and 524,000 jobs were lost nationwide last month, 24,000 more than anticipated (which I think it’s pretty bad that they even “anticipate” job losses).  Overall over 2,600,000 jobs were lost during 2008, the largest number of jobs lost since the disbanding of the war machine in 1945 as life returned to a peacetime status.

I’ve said it before, the real estate problems today are not the cause, they were just the first symptoms of a much, much bigger problem, which now has become very apparent.  If people don’t have jobs, or their hours have been cut dramatically because of a business slowdown, they can’t meet their bills.  And since their mortgage is usually the largest bill they have every mont it is the easiest to fall behind on.  I feel that until we as a nation start holding our elected officials and their self-serving policies accountable for this mess nothing is really going to change.

The upside?  Well, nationally the unemployment rate is 7.2%, but that means 92.8% of Americans are still employed.  And Utah’s unemployment rate is still nearly half the national average at just 3.4%, which is the same as 1998 and 2% less than 2004.  So at least for now Salt Lake City and Utah is still going strong and a great place to live and work.

For Salt Lake City, UT today’s average mortgage rates are as follows:

30-year fixed: 4.875%

15-year fixed: 4.625%

Conforming Jumbo 30-year fixed: 5.25%

FHA 30-year fixed: 5.00%

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