Jobless Claims Slowing Down and Mortgage Volume Up

Last week initial jobless claims came in at 1.314 million.  This shows the number of individuals who claimed or filed for unemployment for the first time.  It came in better than the expectations of 1.4 million and was slightly lower than last week’s number of 1.413 million.  Continuing claims, which measures individuals who “continued” their file of unemployment, improved rather significantly from 18.76 million to 18.06 million.  This was one of the first very meaningful unemployment improvements in a long time, and may be pointing to a recovery. This is, however, a lagging indicator, so we will continue to monitor it closely. 

On the mortgage front, the Mortgage Bankers Association released their application data, and it showed that overall mortgage volume was up by 2.2% for the week of the 29th.  Purchase applications are up by 5% and year-over-year they are up 33%.  Refinances are up by 0.2% for the week and up by 111% compared to last year.   Also, it is important to know that refinances made up about 60% of all mortgage transactions as interest rates are at historically low levels.

As individuals get back to work and businesses reopen, we are poised for a very active and healthy housing market.  The stage is set with home buyer demand at record levels and historically low interest rates.