Market Forecast: Mortgage Applications, ADP Employment, and Consumer Credit

Blog posted On January 06, 2020

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The week ahead will be the first full week of the year.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release its first weekly mortgage application survey of 2020.  The ADP employment report and consumer credit are also scheduled for release. 

The MBA weekly mortgage application survey tracks week to week changes in the submission of new purchase and refinance mortgage applications.  Due to the holidays, the MBA did not release a mortgage application survey last week.  This week’s survey will cover the weeks ending 12/27 and 1/3.  For the week ending 12/20, new purchase application submissions declined 5.0% and refinance application submissions declined 5.0% for a composite decrease of 5.3%. 

The ADP employment report is based on data from approximately 400,000 US businesses employing approximately 23 million employees nationwide. In November, the ADP report showed the addition of 67,000 jobs, significantly lower than estimates.  Trade tensions may be impacting the labor market as employers hold off from hiring.

The consumer credit report tracks total outstanding consumer debt segmented by revolving and nonrevolving credit.  Revolving credit includes monthly debt like credit card statements and nonrevolving credit includes longer term debt like student loans and auto loans but excludes mortgage debt.  In October, total consumer credit increased at a rate of 5.5%.  Revolving credit increased 8.8% and nonrevolving credit increased 4.3%.  The data suggests consumer spending is healthy and holiday shopping reports will likely be positive. 

Consumer spending and job creation both impact the housing market indirectly.  When the labor market is strong, consumers are more likely to make investments like home purchases.  Low mortgage rates and a healthy economy could bode well for the Spring home buying season, predicted to start early in 2020. 


Sources: CNBC, Econoday, MarketWatch, MarketWatch, MBA, Mortgage News Daily