3% minimum down payment now available on conventional loans (previously 5% was required)
In an effort to open up lending, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they will start backing mortgages with down payments of as little as 3% of the home's price.
FHA has also revamped their lending guidelines and lowered their monthly MIP from 1.35% to 0.85%
This big change should significantly lower a borrowers monthly payment allowing them to afford a more expensive home then they previously were able to.
The Dec employment report made 2014 the best employment year since 1999. The unemployment rate declined to 5.6% from 5.8% in Nov on forecasts of 5.7%. Non-farm jobs were generally expected up 245K, as reported up 252K, Nov non-farms revised from +321K to 353K and Oct revised upward by 20K. Private jobs were thought to be up 238K, as reported240K. Average hourly earnings for all employees dropped by 0.2%, the biggest since comparable records began in 2006, to $24.57 from the prior month
The other story this morning; more terrorist attacks in France. Two additional hostage situations presently happening with more deaths after the attack two days ago at a French magazine office. French police faced off with gunmen on two fronts this morning, as the suspects behind the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo holed up with a hostage in a printing facility north of Paris and prosecutors said another gunman took captives in a kosher grocery store. The events may be off-setting the stronger employment data this morning.