The Federal Reserve released that latest economic statement last week after a surprisingly high employment numbers announced on Thursday. The Fed stated that inflation is stable hovering around 2% and that the current market conditions are strong and stable. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 304,000 new jobs were created in January 2019, which was much higher than the 2018 average of 223,000 jobs per month
The Federal Reserve's latest announcement restated their mandate to "foster maximum employment and price stability. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent." (https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20190130a.htm)
The US Equity markets experienced a dismal fourth quarter and for the first time ever, the S&P 500 will end the year with a loss after being positive for the first three quarters. The index was up 9 percent through the first three quarters of the year then fell 7 percent in October and accelerated those losses this month, in what is likely to be the index's worst December performance since the Great Depression.
The January bounce back has been nothing but spectacular with banks and small company stocks having their best January in 30 years. The Federal Reserve's latest comments that they will be holding on future interest rates hikes calmed investors fears that the Fed would continue to raise rates in the face of economic pressures.
How does this effect homeowners and future home buyers? The Federal Reserve rate and the US Treasury 30 year bond rate have direct implications on mortgage interest rates. When interest rates are stable mortgage rates also generally remain stable as well. The Current 30 year conventional mortgage rate is hovering around 4.5% and all indicators is that we should see similar rates throughout 2019.