Mortgage Rates Remain Low - 9/18/20
- Consumer spending slowed in August, as extended unemployment benefits ran out for millions of Americans. Despite being lower than expected, retail sales still increased 0.6%.
- The Fed left policy rates unchanged at this week’s meeting and signaled near-zero rates will last through 2023 to aid the economy on its rebound from the coronavirus shutdowns.
- Jobless claims fell slightly less than expected last week, suggesting the labor market recovery has slowed. Nearly 30 million people remain on unemployment benefits.
- Single-family home construction increased 4.1% for the month. Overall, housing starts fell more than expected in August, as multi-family home construction slumped.
- Builder confidence remains at an all-time high as housing leads the economic recovery. This month’s level beat last month’s record high despite labor shortages and rising lumber prices.
- Purchase mortgage applications last week were 6% higher than a year ago, though down 1% from the previous week. Total applications declined 2.5% for the week.