For 2020, the average cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner for 10 people was $46.90. This is a 4% decrease from last year and the lowest level since 2010. If you adjust for inflation, there hasn’t been a cheaper year since the survey started in 1986. Turkey prices dropped 7% year over year to $1.21 per pound – some retailers were selling as low as $0.29 per pound. The price of butter and, consequently, whipping cream has also dropped dramatically as the basic cost to bring food to market has also decreased with continued technological improvements in farming.
Rates – moved sideways this week and remain 1% lower than this time last year. The 10 year US Treasury Note has developed a downward trading pattern in the last 3 weeks but hasn’t broken out of its 2 month upward trajectory.
Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time increased to a 5 week high of 778K. This recent increase is attributed to rising numbers Covid Cases. While the number of continuing claims is dropping, the entire story isn’t pictured here as 132K of these folks moved on to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Additionally, benefits are simply expiring at the 39 week mark for many people.
Appreciation – the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, considered the ‘gold standard’ of home value reports showed a 7% year over year gain in home prices nation-wide. The 20-city index is up 6.6% and our sister city Seattle made it back into the top 3 with 10% year over year gains. A 7% gain on a $400,000 home over 12 moths would be $28,000 in equity – without counting amortization.
Mortgage Applications – the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that application volume increased nearly 4% from the previous week. Purchase applications are up 19% year over year while refinance apps are up 79%.
Inflation – the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) showed no change in inflation between September and October and that year over year it has slowed 0.2% to 1.2% year over year. This is a good sign for mortgage rates as inflation is the arch nemesis of long term rates.