Happy Friday! Brian Manning here with the weekly update, let’s get right to it.
Monday this week, we had Builder Confidence. Builder Confidence reporting on an all-time high at a rating of 85. Builder Confidence is rated on a scale of 1-100, anything above 50 is considered good. 85 is pretty much the strongest report ever, so really good to see.
We also got the Cass Freight Shipping Index. So Cass Freight measures goods flowing around the country that are being purchased and they’re moved around by the end retailer, and this is down 1.8% year-over-year, but still much better than what it was previously. They also gave us some feedback on, what’s called the Freight Expenditure, so how much is it costing to move these goods around for us as consumers. On a year-over-year basis this was up 1.2% but on a month-over-month basis the cost of moving goods around was up 7%. I’m bringing this up because we’ve talked a lot about inflation in the past and as goods increase and the cost of delivering goods to us increases, there could be some inflationary impact there, which is not good for mortgage rates but it is what it is.
Tuesday this week, we got Housing Starts. Housing Starts were up 11% on a year-over-year basis. Month-over-month, they were up 8.5% and single family residences on a year-over-year basis for Housing Starts were up 22% which is unbelievable. And a really staggering number to me is that orders on new homes that have not been built yet are up 68%, so the new construction market is just certainly strong and on fire.
This Wednesday and every single Wednesday we get feedback from the MBA, which is the Mortgage Bankers Association and for purchase transactions, so new mortgage applications for purchase transactions on a year-over-year basis are up 22%. So still, just an incredibly strong purchase market.
Thursday of this week, we got existing home sales. Existing home sales were up 9.5%, so another blockbuster report and also every Thursday we get feedback on unemployment, so for the first time in quite a while, the initial unemployment claims were -800,000 which is good to see, it’s great to see that we’re starting to see those numbers go down a little bit. Continuing claims. So continuing claims are someone that’s going to obtain and receive unemployment for two or more weeks in a row and they can receive unemployment for up to 26 weeks. So continuing claims dropped from 10 million people down to 8 million people. So still, just an extremely high number but good to see a decrease there by about 2 million people, but to offset that, you have the pandemic assistance. So once you’ve kind of run the course through unemployment, 26 weeks is up, you can actually apply for the pandemic assistance to get a continual version of unemployment and that was up by about 500,000 people. So still, a lot of room for improvement in the labor markets.
I’m around all weekend, if you have any questions – let me know, I’d love to help you. If you need a pre-approval, call me on my cellphone, text me, I’d love to help you in any way I can. Happy Friday, have a great day.
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