Tag Archive for ‘COVID-19’

Household Balance Sheets: 1Q20

The first quarter of 2020’s Financial Accounts of the United States, the Federal Reserve’s flow of funds data, show the aggregate values of households’ assets and liabilities in the nation. Households’ real estate assets totaled $30.3 trillion and liabilities totaled $10.7 trillion, making homeowners’ equity $19.7 trillion or 65% of total household real estate. The first quarter’s data saw a… Read More ›

Declines for Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims

Weekly initial jobless claims continued to decline in the week ending June 6 and continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, declined to 20.9 million in the week ending May 30. The data indicate that workers are returning to work, albeit slowly, as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased. The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance… Read More ›

Home Purchasing Climbs for Eighth Straight Week

The latest round of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Application Survey showed an increase in its benchmark Market Composite Index for the week ending on June 5 by 9.3% from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis. Refinancing activity, which had been showing week-to-week declines since the second week of April, showed a sharp turnaround this week and… Read More ›

Consumer Prices Drop for a Third Month

In May, the CPI and the “core” CPI fell for the third straight month amid the current recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The data are a reminder that deflation is a greater risk during an economic downturn. However, as the economy rebounds, those deflationary pressures will ease. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the Consumer Price Index… Read More ›

Uncertainty Looms as Economy is Poised for Recovery

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate has been known to follow, albeit loosely, the 10-year Treasury yield. The latter is a widely tracked economic indicator and serves not only as a sign for the pulse of the U.S. economy, but also as a premium for pricing myriad financial instruments, upon which characteristics specific to the financial instrument are added. Throughout the… Read More ›

April Consumer Credit Indicates Recovery Challenges

The Federal Reserve’s latest G.19 Consumer Credit Report shows trends in consumer credit, excluding loans secured by real estate, through April 2020. In April, consumer credit decreased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19.6% from the previous month, with revolving debt1 decreasing by 64.9% and nonrevolving debt2 decreasing by 4.0 percent. Consumer credit totaled $4.1 trillion on a seasonally… Read More ›

Surprise Data: Unemployment Rate Drops to 13.3% in May

In May, the unemployment rate posted a surprise decline to 13.3% and total payroll employment rose by 2.5 million as the economy partially reopened. Residential construction employment rose by 226,000 in May to 2.7 million, partially reversing a loss of 422,000 in April. Total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) employment rebounded to 7.0 million in May. In the Employment… Read More ›

Multifamily Construction Gaining Market Share in Low Density Markets

In the last analysis of NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index (HBGI), single-family construction was shown to be expanding faster in regions of lower population density. The COVID-19-induced public health crisis has added momentum to this trend. Moreover, multifamily residential construction has been on a similar trajectory of growth that intensified in 2019, regardless of the virus impact. Indeed, over the… Read More ›

Initial Jobless Claims Continue to Fall

The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending May 30th. Weekly initial claims fell below 2 million for the first time since the week ending March 14th. Continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, rose slightly to nearly 21.5 million in the week ending May 23rd. The data indicate… Read More ›

HBGI: Increased Home Building in Lower-Density Markets Ahead

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to hasten a housing trend already taking place across the nation – residential construction activity that is expanding at a more rapid rate in lower density markets such as smaller cities and rural areas. This conclusion is among the findings of the latest quarterly National Association of Home Builders Home Building Geography Index (HBGI). An… Read More ›