WFH, Strong Purchase Applications, Rates Flat

WFH – the percentage of people working from home in the US increased from 15% to 50% in the last month. If your company offered WFH you had a 33% lower chance of being laid off during covid-19. Of course in the WFH environment team cohesion and creativity can suffer. As more companies shift to remote working the labor pool is expanded to the entire country.

Rates and the 10 year US Treasury moved sideways this week. The Fed continues to purchase over $4B in Mortgage Backed Securities PER DAY in an effort to keep rates attractive. Mortgage rates continue to languish at historic lows down approximately 1% from this time last year.

Jobs/GDP – last week 2.1M people filed for unemployment for the first time which is 10X pre-covid levels. People are back to work and unemployment is estimated to be around 14.8% though some of those folks are receiving a salary temporarily with PPP loans.Estimates for GDP put Q2 at a staggering -34% with only a 15% bounce back in Q3.

Applications: the Mortgage Bankers Association data showed purchase applications are up for the 6th straight week (after being down 35%) and are up 9% year over year! refinance applications continue to make up roughly 2/3rds of all applications and are up 176% from the previous year as rates are down appropriately 1% from this time last year.

Mortgages in forebearance

Forbearance: the number of people entering forbearance has leveled off. Currently there are 4.2M mortgages in forbearance which is approximately 8.4% of mortgages. Approximately 40% of these folks in forbearance are making payments.

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