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Jobless Claims Break Below One Million

Jobless Claims dipped below one million in last week’s report.  That marks the lowest claim number since mid-March, which is a span of 21 weeks.  This latest report showed that there were 963,000 jobless claims for the week of August 8th.  This was 228,000 less than the prior week’s reporting and certainly moving in the right direction.  Initial Jobless Claims measures the amount of people who file for unemployment for the first time.  Continuing Claims, which measures people who continue to report unemployment, decreased by 604,000 people, bringing the total number to 15.5 million. 

Another benefit that you might have heard of is called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims (PUA).  This was created for those workers who might not be able to file for unemployment like contractors and gig workers.  PUA claims were 488,000 for the week of August 8th.  Total PUA claims improved by 2.2 million, dropping to 10.7 million people.

On the surface, this data does look really positive, and it certainly is moving in the right direction, but claims are still very high. As virus fears lesson and possible vaccines progress, these numbers will continue to improve. 

Call your Advisors Mortgage Loan Officer today to discuss the current market in more detail and to learn what you qualify for.

Sources:

https://bit.ly/2BQGQd4


Jobs Report Breakdown

On Friday last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their Jobs Report numbers and they showed that there were 1.8 million jobs added in the month of July in the US.  This number came in hotter than the expected 1.5 million jobs.  The unemployment rate, which is also part of this report, showed that it improved by 0.9% dropping from 11.1% to 10.2%.  This number also came in stronger than expectations, beating its estimates of 10.5%.  Here is what they said, “Household survey interviewers have been instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to temporary, coronavirus-related business closures or cutbacks as unemployed on temporary layoff. BLS and Census Bureau analyses of the underlying data suggest that this group still may include some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff.”  

Also, some experts are saying that the unemployment rate is not correctly accounted for because groups of people labeled “not actively seeking work” are not included in the unemployed total amount.  This group is roughly 7.7 million people and should be included, which would bring the real unemployment rate closer to 15%.  Lastly, average hourly earnings increased slightly by 4.8% when comparing earnings to last year’s numbers. 

Overall, this was a stronger report, and hopefully the economy will continue to improve and work its way out of this Covid quagmire.

Sources: https://bit.ly/3a5rH4e

Call your Advisors Mortgage Loan Officer today to discuss the current market in more detail and to learn what you qualify for.


Pending Home Sales Surge in June

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales, which represents signed contracts on existing homes, rose 16.6% in June.  This surge represents the second consecutive month of double-digit gains.  NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun stated, “It is quite surprising and remarkable that, in the midst of a global pandemic, contract activity for home purchases is higher compared to one year ago.”  Yun also pointed out that, “Consumers are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates resulting from the Federal Reserve’s maximum liquidity monetary policy.”  The NAR is expecting these record low interest rates to remain for the next eighteen months!

A breakdown by region has the Northeast leading the way with a 54.4% monthly increase in pending sales, the Midwest at 12.2%, the South at 11.9%, and West at 11.7%.  Overall, the Northeast’s impressive increase may be attributed to a longer lockdown versus the other regions. 

Sources:

https://cnb.cx/39SItn0

https://bit.ly/3fiAj8A

Call your Advisors Mortgage Loan Officer today to discuss the current market in more detail and to learn what you qualify for.


Resilient Housing Market

Signed contracts on new homes were up 13.8% for the month of June.  This is a very large increase and much stronger than the estimated 4%.  Adding in June’s demand, annual sales are up 7%.  Median home pricing for the year has increased by 5.8% to $329,300.  This was a very strong report, and proves that the housing market is very resilient and strong, especially when analyzing the new construction home sector.

Another strong housing report was released last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  Their Home Price Index showed that home prices fell in May slightly by 0.3%, but are still up by 4.9% since May of 2019.  This data is slightly lagging as it’s from May, plus it only analyzes data on single-family homes with conforming loan amounts.  Despite these facts, it still shows strength as home pricing is still on the rise.

Lastly, the strongest of the reports, Existing Home Sales, showed that sales on already-built or “existing” homes, increased by a whopping 20.7% for the month of June.  This was the largest one month jump ever.  Last year’s numbers showed that sales were down 27% at the time, further reflecting the massive improvement we’re seeing this year.  Also, inventory numbers were down by 18.2% for the month, which makes you wonder, if there were more homes available for sale, would these numbers be even stronger?

As seen in each of these reports, the housing market is very resilient and demand for homes is still very strong.

Sources: 

http://bit.ly/2MJU6mf

https://bit.ly/3f4R6fl

http://bit.ly/2sq38xg


Home Prices Continue to Rise and New Home Sales Skyrocket

According to the latest Radian Home Price Index data, home prices across the US grew at an annualized rate of 6.3% over the first half of this year.  In addition, from July 2019 to June 2020, home prices have increased 8.1%, which is an increase over last month’s 7.8% year over year recording.  The uptick from last month is a welcome sign and is an indicator that home price gains are gaining momentum despite all of the challenges presented for home buying and selling during a global pandemic. 

The demand for newly built homes also continues to increase.  Sales of newly built homes jumped 55% annually in June, according to a monthly survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.  This large move represents the highest pace of growth sales since the height of the housing boom in 2005.  Sales of new homes were the strongest in the Northeast, with an 86% annual jump, followed by Florida, which saw an 84% jump. 

Both reports are strong indicators that the housing market is as strong as ever and is resistant to the challenges presented during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Call your Advisors Mortgage Loan Officer today to discuss the current market in more detail and to learn what you qualify for.

Sources:

https://bit.ly/3hcuPNU

https://cnb.cx/2WARyeU


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