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Market Forecast: New Home Sales, Mortgage Apps, and Weekly Jobless Claims

  • December 23, 2019

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Mortgage rates did not move significantly last week.  This week, markets are closed on Wednesday in observance of the Christmas holiday.  In housing news, this week, the new home sales report and the weekly mortgage application survey are scheduled for release.  Another market-moving report scheduled for release is the weekly jobless claims report. 

New home sales or the sales of newly constructed homes make up approximately 10% of all real estate transactions.  In October, new home sales fell slightly, down 0.7% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000.  Year-over-year, sales are up 31.6%. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly mortgage application survey tracks week to week changes in new purchase and refinance mortgage applications.  Mortgage activity slowed for the week ending 12/13.  New purchase applications declined 2.0% and refinance applications fell 7.0% for a composite decrease of 5.0%.  Home buying and refinance activity may be slowing down toward the end of the year, with home shoppers and homeowners delaying mortgage moves until after the holiday season. 

The weekly jobless claims report tracks changes in the applications for unemployment.  Jobless claims have been historically low as the labor market continues to fire on all cylinders.  For the week ending 12/14, initial jobless claims dropped to a level of 234,000 and continuing claims increased slightly to a level of 1.72 million. 

The 2020 housing predictions are in, and many forecasters are predicting low mortgage rates and a steady increase in home sales.  If you’d like to start your new year in a new home, please let me know. 


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

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