While we wait for our miracle, the index of contracts signed on existing homes, Pending Home Sales, rose 2.4% in February, up now two months in a row. This bodes well for existing home sales closing in March and April.
In addition to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHA and VA are now easing standards for property appraisals and verification of employment on some loans. Please contact us for specifics.
Freddie Mac’s chief economist noted, “homebuyer demand has declined in response to current economic conditions,” but “stimulus is on the way and will provide support for both consumers and businesses.”
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
LOSSES BEAT GAINS… Investors saw some good days, but the bad days were bigger, sending the three major indexes off for the week, as the once booming economy now slows following measures to contain the coronavirus.
With non-essential businesses closed in most of the country, and travel severely diminished, another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment. Plus, with the drop in hiring, there was a decline of 701,000 Nonfarm Payrolls in March.
More evidence of a dramatically slowing economy came as the ISM Manufacturing Index fell back into contraction territory, although the ISM measure of the much larger services sector stayed above 50, still showing growth.
The week ended with the Dow down 2.7%, to 21,053; the S&P 500 down 2.1%, to 2,489 and the Nasdaq down 1.7%, to 7,373.
Safe-haven interest, falling stocks, and economic worries drove bonds north. The UMBS 4.0% ended UP .96, to $106.80. For two weeks in a row, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?… The National Association of Realtors chief economist says the spring buying peak will be delayed, not canceled: “people who are staying home right now, once the all-clear signal is given, will be going back into the market.”