Job openings, JOLTS, consumer price index, inflation, mortgage

June 08, 2021

Job openings continued to surge in April after a record-high number of openings seen at the end of March. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 9.3 million job openings at the end of April after the 8.1 million seen in March. The JOLTS or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary showed openings increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+349,000), other services (+115,000) and durable goods manufacturing (+78,000). In addition, the NFIB reports that a record high 48% of business owners have unfilled job openings. On Thursday, the inflation reading Consumer Price Index for May will be released and will be closely watched by both the Fed and the investing community. The 4.2% increase in April was the largest jump over a 12-month period since a 4.9% rise for the year ending September 2008. Most pundits saw an increase in prices in May and June and possibly even July with a decline seen beginning in August through the end of the year. Once again, headline inflation will be much higher than the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – something that has not been seen in 50-years and is unsustainable longer-term.

Read More

Home borrowing costs, housing market low supply

June 02, 2021

Home borrowing costs were essentially unchanged last week and remain at historically low levels. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 3.17% with 0.39 in points for the week ending May 28, 2021. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 4%, the Purchase Index declined by 3.1% while the Refinance Index declined by 4.6% and was 6% higher from a year ago. Spokesperson Joel Kan said, “Tight housing inventory, obstacles to a faster rate of new construction, and rapidly rising home prices continue to hold back purchase activity.”

The housing market continues to heat up as low supply and high demand continues to push up home prices and the amount of homes that sold above listing prices. The report shows that a bit more than half of homes (51%) have sold above their listing price in the four week period ending May 23, 2021, up from 26% one year ago. Also, many other sales records were hit which include the median home sale price of $354,250 and the number of days on the market, 17, from 36 a year ago. Asking prices also reached an average of $361,875, another record high.

Read More