Tag Archive for ‘COVID-19’

Refinancing Soars in First Full Week of New Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Application Survey shows that, for the week ending January 8, 2021, mortgage application activity increased by 16.7% from the prior week on a seasonally adjusted basis, as indicated by its Market Composite Index. One of its two constituent indexes, the Purchasing Index, increased by 8% from the previous week while the other, the… Read More ›

Residential Construction Offsets All the Jobs Lost in March and April

After seven consecutive months’ job gains, nonfarm payroll employment fell by 140,000 in December as virus cases surged. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7% in December. Total construction industry (both residential and non-residential) employment totaled 7.4 million in December. Residential construction employment rose by 22,700 in December to 3.0 million. In the past eight months, residential construction added 472,500… Read More ›

Jobless Claims Were Little Changed

During the week of New Year’s, weekly initial jobless claims totaled 787,000, little changed from the previous week. Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, decreased by 126,000. Weekly initial jobless claims peaked at nearly 7 million in the spring of 2020 and have remained at around 0.8 million since the fall of 2020 and into 2021,… Read More ›

Consumer Confidence Falls to 4-month Low in December

After a strong rebound in September, consumer confidence fell for the second consecutive month in December, as job growth continued to slow and more states re-imposed restrictions on business due to resurgence of COVID-19. The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, dropped 4.3 points from 92.9 to 88.6 in December, the lowest level since August 2020. The Present… Read More ›

Second Home Markets Show Construction Growth

For the third quarter of 2020, NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) found construction gains for traditional second home markets. High-concentration second home counties were defined based on the proportion of the local housing stock that are non-rental properties and not classified as their taxpayer principal residences. Counties with relatively high concentrations1 of such residences were designated as “second home… Read More ›

Jobless Claims Rise to the Highest Level Since Early September

In the week ending December 12, weekly initial jobless claims increased to 885,000, the highest level since early September. Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, decreased by 273,000. The number of initial jobless claims increased in the first two weeks of December as cities and states tightened COVID-19 restrictions. According to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims… Read More ›

Jobless Claims Rise to 853,000

In the week ending December 5, weekly initial jobless claims increase to 853,000, the highest level since mid-September. Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, ticked up for the first time after twelve consecutive decreases. There is no doubt that the labor market is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic gradually. However, increases in both initial jobless claims… Read More ›

Multifamily Construction Shifts to Lower Density Markets in 3Q20

Multifamily construction shifted into less dense markets during the third quarter of 2020, per the latest NAHB Homebuilding Geography Index (HBGI). This change is similar to the evolving geography for single-family home building, as housing demand moved to lower cost, more affordable markets. The multifamily data confirm that these shifts in demand are not just occurring for single-family home building… Read More ›

Treasury-Mortgage Spread Significantly Narrows in November

In November, the yield on the 10-year Treasury trended upwards while the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate, as measured by Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), continued to fall. Thus, the widely tracked spread between these two indicators, i.e. the spread, narrowed. The above figure shows that, per the latest month’s data, the spread was as low as 179 basis… Read More ›

Residential Construction Is Recovering Faster Than Non-Residential Construction

Job gains slowed sharply in November as the COVID-19 surge continued. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 245,000 in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%. Total construction industry (both residential and non-residential) employment totaled 7.4 million in November. Residential construction employment rose by 15,400 in November to 2.9 million. In the past seven months, job gains in residential construction offset… Read More ›