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Home-shoppers, jobs report didn't raise mortgage ratesHome-shoppers, be cheerful: Job growth in June was surprisingly high, but the news hasn't had much effect on mortgage rates. They're staying near record lows.

Today's report said that employment increased in June by 287, 000. That's 107, 000 more jobs than the consensus forecast. Treasury yields barely reacted to the news, creeping up to 1.41% from yesterday's 1.39% as I write this. I'm surprised. I had expected a bigger jump in Treasury yields, which could have cascaded into an increase in mortgage rates, too.

But it looks like mortgage rates will remain about the same, despite this stronger-than-expected employment report. Whew!

History isn't our guide

This mild response from the bond and mortgage markets wasn't a sure thing. Sometimes a surprisingly jobs report results in a jump in mortgage rates. That's what happened last November. On the 1st Friday that month, the October employment report came in, and it showed that jobs had grown a lot faster than expected. Mortgage rates jumped an eighth of a percentage point, as the 30-year fixed rose from 3.98% to 4.11%.

Mortgage rates have plunged since November - as I said, the 30-year fixed averaged 3.52% in Banrate's survey this week - which makes this time a good refinance opportunity for lots of homeowners.

Will low rates stick around?

How long will the low rates last? Ask 2 housing economists and get 2 different answers.

"The stronger job market means mortgage rates will likely rise a bit from historic lows, " says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. He doesn't give a timetable.

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, said before the employment report came out that, even with a job-creation number on the positive side, "I'm not convinced that we're going to see mortgage rates go up" because there's so much global economic uncertainty. He's not convinced that enough has changed in the global picture for interest rates to go up. He thinks they'll keep falling.

Basically, Smoke is saying that global economic concerns exert more force on mortgage rates than a monthly employment report for the United States. I would say that these global economic concerns include the aftermath of Brexit, uncertainty of the Chinese economy and the strange U.S. presidential campaign.

For the 1st 3 hours after the release of the employment report, Smoke's forecast seems correct. Bond yields, and thus mortgage rates, have barely moved. We'll see if, over the next week or 2, Yun's prediction of slightly higher rates comes true.

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