Market Forecast: JOLTS, Consumer Credit, Mortgage Apps

Posted On November 06, 2017

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Housing activity typically slows down during the fall and winter seasons, with predictions for next year starting to come in.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) forecast that new purchase origination volume will increase next year and refinance origination volume will start to decrease.  Coming up this week are job openings, consumer credit, and the weekly mortgage application survey.

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reports on employment data regarding job openings, hirings, and voluntary quits.  In a healthy job market, there are enough job openings that workers are confident they will find comparable employment if they quit their current position.  In August, there were 6.082 million job openings. 

Consumer credit measures the total outstanding amount of debt segmented by revolving and nonrevolving debt.  Revolving debt counts monthly debts like credit card statements and nonrevolving debt includes longer-term debt like car payments and student loans.  When consumers borrow confidently, they believe they will be able to repay debts.  If consumers are borrowing too much, it may be a sign of economic trouble to come.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases a weekly survey of new purchase and refinance mortgage applications.  Last week, both new purchase and refinance applications declined.  Mortgage rates have started to trend upward, and the MBA forecasts that new purchase origination volume will increase and refinance origination volume will decrease in the coming year. 

The job market and consumer credit activity impact home buying.  When unemployment is low and wages are growing then consumers are able to engage in responsible borrowing and spending habits, like financing a home. 


Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily