Three positive economic indicators in 2021:
1.) People are spending money again – retail sales are up 5% and bar/restaurant sales are up 7%
2.) The lives of more economically vulnerable people are improving – 5 million fewer people reported not having enough food to eat (unfortunately there are still 24M people short on food) and only 23% of folks worry about losing income (down from 31%)
3.) Financial markets are all betting on continued growth – the stock market, bond market, and housing market are showing optimism and the price of copper is up 18% (used in lots of types of goods).
Mortgage Rates – increased again this week marking the 4th straight week of rate increases culminating in a 0.5% increase on most programs. Fortunately Mortgage bonds bumped up nicely Yesterday and stymied the bleeding. Year over year rates are down 5/8%
New Home Sales – are up nearly 20% year over year in spite of inventory being down 6%. Median home prices are up 5.3% year over year.
Home Sales – are up 13% year over year despite inventory levels being down 24% from this time last year.
Appreciation – the latest Case Shiller report showed that home values increased 10.4% from Dec 2019 – Dec 2020. A $400,000 home purchased in December 2019 would have increased in value by $41,600 in 12 months.
Mortgage Application volume decreased 11% from last week. Purchases are up 7% year over year and refinances are up 50%.