Home borrowing

April 28, 2021

Home borrowing costs fell in the latest week and remain at historically low levels. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined three basis points to 3.17% with 0.30 in points for the week ended April 23, 2021. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 2.5%, while the Purchase Index declined by 4.8%. The Refinance Index fell 1.1% and is down 18% from a year ago. Spokesperson Joel Kan said, “The purchase market’s recent slide comes despite a strengthening economy and labor market. Activity is still above year-ago levels, but accelerating home-price growth and low inventory has led to a decline in purchase applications in four of the last five weeks.”

Earnings season is now well underway with the latest numbers slanting positive as the economy strengthens. With about a third of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported, 84% have turned in a positive earnings surprise, according to FactSet. On Tuesday, earnings from tech giants Google and Microsoft saw the search engine and the software provider both beat on revenues and profits but investors felt Microsoft numbers could have been better. Apple will report after the close today.

After a sharp rise in January, February and early March, gas prices have leveled off in the past month but rose 2 cents in the latest week. Gasoline demand recorded its second highest measurement since mid-March 2020, indicating that motorists are filling up more often. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.88. A year ago the price was $1.76 at the height of the shutdowns.