Consumer Trends, Rates Inch Up, Home Sales on Fire

In addition to purchasing more groceries, consumer buying patterns have impacted other non-obvious sectors. Sales are up on cigarettes, used cars, energy, camp supplies, and fake meat.

Rates – moved up slightly this week as the 10 Year US Treasury increased for the 3rd consecutive week. Rates are down 3/4% from this time last year.

Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time came down slightly last week and is hovering at the one million level which is 5x pre-covid levels. The number of people receiving unemployment assistance on an ongoing basis is approximately 28 million or 16.5% of the workforce.

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Home Sales – the number of homes in contract in July increased nearly 6% from June and is up from last year a whopping 15.5% – an increase of 9% from the last report. This increase in sales comes at a time of historically low inventory. For every 10 listings there are 9 contracts.

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New construction – new construction sales continue to accelerate at break neck speed – up 36% from July last year. 60% of new construction is selling for over $300K now and the median price is up to $330K. Singles folks are purchasing new builds at levels 3 times the previous report, up 15% New construction makes up 10% of the housing market.

Applications – Application volume is down 6.5% from last week. While refinance volume decreased purchases are still up 0.4% from the previous week and a staggering 33% year over year.

Forbearance – the share of mortgages in forbearance remained at 7.2% this week. 61% of these are in extension programs which last for up to 180 days.

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