May 21, 2020 | Market Update

Market News 5-22-2020

Mortgage Market Update

Mortgage rates continue to hit record lows, and mortgage applications point to a remarkable recovery in homebuying. Purchase apps rose 6% last week, only 1.5% lower than a year ago. More than 8% of U.S. mortgages are now in forbearance, equating to roughly 4.1 million borrowers. However, the number of people needing such help is slowing. Initial jobless claims remained high last week as backlogs are being cleared, but they continued their week-too-week decline. More layoffs are expected.

Homebuilder confidence showed signs of bouncing back in May, after a record plunge in April. Although still in negative territory, the NAHB Housing Market Index was up 7 points. April existing home sales dropped 17.8% month-to-month and were 17.2% lower than April 2019. That puts the annualized pace at 4.33 million units, the slowest since September 2011. The drop in available home inventory pushed home prices to a new record high. The median price of an existing home sold in April rose 7.4% annually to $286,800.