Industry News

Slow job growth sustains real estate market

Low rates expected to stir home sales to 5.92-million-unit pace

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Even with strong economic growth, the job market recovery has been slow, which should help to keep pressure off of interest rates and sustain home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said job gains have been modest over time but the rate of growth is relatively weak. He also noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Household Survey showed there were 1.3 million jobs produced last year. "That's a wider measure of jobs than a separate survey of companies because it includes the self-employed, but we still have a way to go to recover all the jobs lost early in the decade," he said. "The silver lining now is that interest rates probably won't move much until late in the year when the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.4 percent." Lereah said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage should trend up very slowly, reaching 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter. "Keeping interest rates close to historic lows will sustain very strong ho...