Market News 4-17-2020
Mortgage Market Update
Retail sales suffered a record drop of 8.7% in March, as stay-at-home orders and mandatory business closures to control the spread of COVID-19 curbed spending. Over 1.3 million Paycheck Protection Program loans were approved for more than $296 billion through Wednesday 04/15, quickly nearing the program’s $349 billion limit. Jobless claims fell last week but were still a massive 5.25 million. The four-week sum of 22 million filings compares with roughly 21.5 million jobs added since June 2009.
Home builder confidence plunged to 30 in April, down from 72 in March. The index’s unprecedented drop is attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. New home construction was down 22% from a month ago as home building activity was curtailed. A 6.8% drop in permits indicates construction could continue to slow. Mortgage applications were up 7.3% for the week, with refinance apps up 10% over last week and 192% higher than a year ago. Purchase apps were down 35% from last year.