Market News 12-20-19
Mortgage Market Update
A phase one trade deal with China was announced late last week and is expected to be signed in January. Trade talk headlines have caused volatility in mortgage rates. Manufacturing data this week points to increased orders, shipments and work hours for employees. Easing trade tensions likely support a turnaround in manufacturing. Jobless claims dropped from a 2-year high last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength. Claims remain near the lowest levels in about a half century.
Housing starts increased more than expected in November, and permits for future construction hit a 12-1/2-year high. Housing starts jumped 13.6% year-over-year. Despite inventory shortages in some areas and an unexpected dip in November, existing home sales still rose 2.7% from a year ago. Seniors who own a home saw housing wealth grow by 0.3% in the 3rd qtr, equating to $24 billion. The increase brought senior housing wealth to a record high of $7.19 trillion.