Many folks received a check from the IRS this month – benefits can total up to $3,600 per child annually. This tax credit is currently set to last 1 year and projected to cut childhood poverty by 50%. The cost of this credit is $100B but the current annual cost of child poverty is estimated at $1T. Nearly 20% of children in the US live in poverty making America one of the worst countries in the West for child poverty rates. There will be a move to make this credit permanent as previous studies have shown significant returns on investing dollars in children to lift them out of poverty.

Rates –fluctuated marginally this week as the price of Mortgage Backed Securities ended the week very near to where they started. Rates are down approximately 1/8% from this time last year.


Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time increased from pandemic lows by 51K people last week. The total number of individuals receiving benefits is down 1.3M to 12.6M (down from 20M pandemic highs).

Existing Home Sales – the media is talking about the massive year over year median price increase of 23.4% – the largest since January 1999. Remember that medium price increase is not equal to appreciation – median price is simply the middle price in a list of homes sold arranged by value. The second graph shows how the number of sales on higher priced and luxury homes has increased dramatically due to inventory shortages at lower price points which skews median values.

Mortgage Applications for purchase fell 6% from the previous week and are down 18% year over year. Refinances declined 3% week over week and are down 18% year over year. The average conventional interest rate on contracts is 3.11% which includes 0.43 discount pts.

Forbearance – the share of mortgage loans in forbearance dropped 0.26% to a total of only 3.5%. Of the folks exiting forbearance 23% were making their payments, 28% deferred the balance, and 7.4% paid their loan off through selling or refinancing.


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