Market News 3-26-2020
Mortgage Market Update
Congress is passing a $2 trillion stimulus package to blunt the pandemic’s toll on the economy. The plan includes direct payments to Americans, as well as increased unemployment benefits. The Fed has pledged unlimited asset purchases to support markets as needed. The Fed’s purchases are helping to stabilize the mortgage bond market, which was experiencing record volatility. Jobless claims last week hit a record shattering 3.28 million as businesses shut their doors due to social distancing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NAR is urging swift passage of the SECURE Notarization Act, a bill enabling e-closings. More than half the states in the U.S. require an in-person notary. New home sales fell in February, but January’s numbers were revised up sharply. Further decline is likely though, with the COVID-19 virus disrupting the economy. Year-over-year home prices rose by 5.2% in January, according to the FHFA House Price Index. December to January appreciation slowed to 0.3%.