The Federal tax deadline was delayed to May 17th but please read the fine print – not all states have extended their deadline to conform with federal guidelines and some states have even pushed it out further. If you are self employed and you pay quarterly estimated taxes, the due date for first quarterly payment of April 15 has not been delayed. If you are obliged to make quarterly estimated payments and you haven’t filed 2020 taxes yet you could be underpaying and face penalties.
Rates – improved slightly this week as the price of Mortgage Backed Securities closed above the 25 day move average for the first time since January. Mortgage rates are down 1/8% from this time last year.
Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time increased week over week for the second consecutive week. The number of filings is still nearly quadruple the number of filings pre-covid. 18.2M individuals are receiving unemployment benefits of some type nearly 6X the 3.4M of this time last year.
Home Appreciation – Core Logic reported a 10.4% increase in home prices nationwide between Feb 2020 and Feb 2021. They are forecasting a 3.2% increase over the next 12 months. This forecast number has been off pretty significantly since the pandemic as they did forecast loss of 6.6% in values last year.
Mortgage Application volume decreased by 5% from the previous week. Purchases are up 51% year over year (the economy was largely closed this time last year) and refinances are down 20.4% year over year. Refinances now make up only 60% of the volume (down from 75% a few months ago).
Inflation – the Producer Price Index which measures wholesale inflation, rose by 1% in March. On a year over year basis it is up 4.2%, the highest increase since 2011. China’s PPI came in at 4.4% so the rest of the world will be importing higher prices.