Market News 2-13-2020
Mortgage Market Update
Fed Chair Powell gave his semi-annual testimony before Congress. He said the Fed is “closely monitoring” the coronavirus for potential effects on the worldwide economy. Investor fears of the global economic impact of the coronavirus have helped keep mortgage rates low. As fears ebb, it will likely pressure mortgage rates higher. Despite stronger than expected jobs data late last week, mortgage rates continue to hold steady. The jobs data showed a strong labor market with increasing wages.
Near-record low mortgage rates are boosting application activity. The number of mortgages originated in Q4 of 2019 topped all quarters since the end of 2005. The MBA reports mortgage delinquencies hit in all-time low at the end of last year, with less than 3.8% of outstanding loans 30 days or more past due. Homes for sale inventory tumbled 14% in January, falling to the lowest level since 2012. Entry-level homes below $200,000 saw the steepest drop, down 19%.