American Entrepreneurship – according to the US Census Bureau in the last month nearly 450,000 new business were created. Since the pandemic Americans have started a whopping 6.7M new businesses – an all-time record. Microsoft, Uber, Disney, Revlon, Warby Parker, & GE were all started during economic downturns. Because these new businesses have skin in the game they will have a survivorship mentality. Hopefully this will be part of the positive legacy of covid-19.
Mortgage Rates – improved slightly this week as the price of mortgage backed securities continued their upward trend. Rates are down approximately 1/8% from this time last year.
Inflation – the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released the Consumer Price Index for June 2020. If you strip out food and energy prices you see a month over month increase of 0.9% and a year over year increase of 4.5%. The Fed’s target for annual inflation is 2%.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivered his Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to congress this week stating that inflation is transitory and temporarily boosted by last years’ pandemic decline. Strong demand from production bottlenecks caused price increases. 10% of the components comprise the majority of price increases in the CPI report (products that need chips & leisure and hospitality). The Fed will continue their monetary policy of low rates and quantitative easing (helps mortgage rates) until ‘substantial further progress has been made toward our maximum employment and price-stability goals’.
Jobs – The number of folks filing for unemployment for the first time decreased this week, and are only 1.5X higher than pre-covid levels. Approximately 13.8 M individuals are receiving unemployment benefits of some type. This is down from a pandemic high of 20M. Pre-covid levels were closer to 2M.
Forbearance Update – I’ve had a lot of folks tell me they are waiting to Purchase until After September when the Cares Act ends. Some people think it will cause supply to open up as forbearance will ‘end’. This post shows what will actually happen regarding forbearance programs in September and 3 reasons why I don’t think there will be an immediate or major impact on the housing market.