Market News 6-18-2020
Mortgage Market Update
Retail sales rose 17.7% in May, well above the 8% forecast. Although still below prior levels, it was the biggest one-month jump of all time. Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of ‘significant uncertainty’ about the economic recovery in his semi-annual testimony before Congress, echoing his tone from last week. A second wave of layoffs and tepid demand saw initial jobless claims come in at 1.508 million last week. However, claims were lower for the 11th period in a row.
A strong rebound in permits suggests the new home market is starting to emerge from the covid crisis. Housing starts rose in May, though less than expected. Home builder sentiment posted its biggest monthly surge ever in June, helped by a faster-than-expected turnaround in homebuyer demand. Purchase mortgage applications hit an 11-year high last week as rates dropped. Apps were up 4% over the previous week and were 21% higher than a year ago.