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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.

 

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

 

 

  • The economic fallout from the now pandemic COVID-19 coronavirus continues to grow. Stocks have plummeted globally and have now entered a bear market. 
  • Mortgage rates have recently spiked higher, despite stocks' losing ground. The media will be late reporting this, as most won't see it until next week's Freddie Mac rate survey.
  • Central banks around the world are announcing stimulus plans to combat the global economic slowdown from the virus. The Fed meets next week and is likely to announce something.

 

 

  • The FHFA reminded mortgage servicers this week that borrowers who are unable to make their monthly mortgage payments due to COVID-19 should be offered forbearance options.
  • Due to the coronavirus, NAR has suspended all non-essential travel for staff and volunteers through April 11th or until further notice as it monitors the situation.
  • NAR has issued guidance to Realtors as they serve clients amid COVID-19 concerns. Tips include fair housing reminders related to showing homes and open houses.

 


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