Student Loan interest resumes in September and loan payments start in October after a 3.5 year hiatus. Many of the largest pre-pandemic loan servicers are gone and new repayment plans are available for low-income borrowers. Makes sure to log into the U.S. Government fed loan portal and figure out which repayment plan makes the most sense for you. The Department of Ed made a calculator that can help. There are lots of different structures and depending on your financial goals (less overall interest, lower monthly payment) you will need to determine how to structure repayment.

Mortgage Rates ended the month on of August on a positive note as the price of Mortgaged Backed Securities (MBS) recovered their losses over the pass 3 weeks. Unfortunately, MBS weren’t able to break above the 3-month trendline. Rates are up approximately 1% from this time last year.

Jobs – the BLS Jobs Report showed 187K job creations during August, which was slightly more than expected. In 2022 the average job creations were over double what they are now so the job market is tightening. Average weekly did increase a little bit which coincided with a slight uptick in hours worked.

Home Values – The Case Shiller Home Price Index, considered the ‘gold standard’ for appreciation showed that home values increased 0.65% in June and are flat year over year. The FHFA, which measures values on homes with conforming loans, is up 3.1% year over year.

Loan Performance – the Core Logic Loan Performance Insights, which tracks late payments on mortgages, showed that loans are continuing to perform well. Year over year the number of folks that are 30 days + late are down 0.3% to 2.6%. The number of loans in foreclosure remain near historic lows at 0.3%. Keep in mind that over 1/3rd of homes are owned free and clear and do not show up in this report.

Inflation – the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) showed that inflation rose 0.2% in July and year over year the index is up slightly to 3.3%. This is more in line with the US long-term average and is down significantly from 2022 highs of over 6%

Rents – Apartment List’s Rent Report showed that new-lease rents declined 0.1% in August and are down 1.2% year over year. When including renewals Core Logic is showing a 3.3% year over year increase in rents. This will eventually carry over into CPI and other inflation reports which should be favorable to mortgage rates as they track with inflation.

Mortgage Applications to purchase homes increased 2% last week and are down 27% year over year. Refinances increased 3% last week and are down 28% year over year.

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