Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.



Mortgage rates continue to hit record lows, and mortgage applications point to a remarkable recovery in homebuying. Purchase apps rose 6% last week, only 1.5% lower than a year ago.

More than 8% of U.S. mortgages are now in forbearance, equating to roughly 4.1 million borrowers. However, the number of people needing such help is slowing.

Initial jobless claims remained high last week as backlogs are being cleared, but they continued their week-too-week decline. More layoffs are expected.


Homebuilder confidence showed signs of bouncing back in May, after a record plunge in April. Although still in negative territory, the NAHB Housing Market Index was up 7 points.

April existing home sales dropped 17.8% month-to-month and were 17.2% lower than April 2019. That puts the annualized pace at 4.33 million units, the slowest since September 2011.

The drop in available home inventory pushed home prices to a new record high. The median price of an existing home sold in April rose 7.4% annually to $286,800.


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.


Consumer prices saw their largest drop ever in April, as the economy reeled from restrictions imposed to control the coronavirus. The CPI excluding food and energy fell 0.4%.

Producer prices also tumbled in April, the largest annual decline since 2015. The data could bolster some economists' predictions for a brief period of deflation to come.

Initial jobless claims came in last week at 2.981 million. The number is down from 3.176 million the week before, the 6th straight weekly drop.


The number of loans in forbearance has continued to grow, reaching more than 4 million between the GSEs and FHA/VA/USDA. This doesn't include jumbo or other privately held loan types.

Homebuilders are offering more discounts and free upgrades to attract buyers. Builders are hoping to move more inventory by sweetening the pot.

Despite the COVID pandemic and huge unemployment numbers, tenants are keeping up with their rent. More than 80% of renters nationally made a full or partial payment for the month of April.


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.


The U.S. services sector contracted for the first time in about a decade last month, as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activity to a screeching halt.

Household debt increased to a total of $14.3 trillion last quarter, the 23rd straight quarterly increase. Mortgage borrowing rose by $156 billion to $9.71 trillion.

Jobless claims came in at 3.17 million last week, bringing the 7-week total to 33.5 million. Despite huge numbers, the weekly decline in initial claims is a positive sign.

Over 3.8 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, representing 7.54% of all mortgages. The good news is that forbearance requests are now coming in more slowly.

A new study by ATTOM Data Solutions shows that May and June are the best months to sell a home, based on a study of 33 million single-family home sales from 2011-2019.

New-home transactions have reportedly doubled in the last two weeks as millennials from 31 to 40 years old show an increasing desire to buy.



Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.


The Fed met this week, leaving policy rates unchanged as expected. The Fed committed to continue buying bonds, which should help keep rates low.

The 1st qtr GDP declined more than expected, down 4.8% versus estimates of 3.5%. This was the first negative reading since 2014, though not as bad as the worst of the financial crisis.

Jobless claims remain elevated as another 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week. That brings the total to more than 30 million filings in the last 6 weeks.


According to Case-Shiller, home prices gained 4.2% in February, reflecting the strength of the housing market before the economy shut down to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Pending home sales were down 21% in March. The NAR says this is a temporary issue due to the coronavirus induced shutdown, while most of the country shelters at home.

Homeownership reached an 8-year high before the coronavirus. More than 65% of Americans owned a home in the 1st qtr of this year. Homeownership has been on an upswing since 2016.



Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.


A recent Reuters poll shows a majority of economists believe we will see a "U-shaped" economic recovery, in which the economy will stabilize a while before climbing to previous levels.

After the first round of paycheck protection funding disappeared quickly, Congress approved a new $484 billion relief package. It includes $310 billion for small businesses.

4.4 million workers joined the ranks of the unemployed last week, bringing total new jobless claims to 26.5 million in the last 5 weeks.



According to the FHFA, house price growth continued to accelerate through February, with the Housing Price Index posting a gain of 0.7%, which is a 5.7% increase year over year.

Existing home sales dropped 8.5% in March as sellers took properties off the market. Expectations for upcoming months' sales will be dictated by overall economic conditions.

New home sales also fell in March, as the coronavirus outbreak battered the economy. The 15.4% drop was the largest in more than 6 years.


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