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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for March 18th

Sunday, March 22, 2020 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

The Commerce Department reports that construction of new homes edged lower in February from January due in part to a big decline in multi-family dwellings. Housing Starts fell 1.5% to an annual rate of 1,599,000, down 1.5% from January while starts surged 39% year over year. Single-family starts rose 6.7% monthly and were up 35% year over year. Multi-family dwelling fell by 17% month over month. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 5.5% to an annual rate of 1,464,000.

Mortgage rates surged in the latest week but still remain just above all-time lows, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.74% from 3.47% for the week ending March 13, 2020. The Refinance Index fell 10% while the Purchase Index fell 1%. "The ongoing situation around the coronavirus led to further stress in the financial markets late last week, with unprecedented volatility and widening spreads. This drove mortgage rates back up to their highest levels since mid-February and led to a 10 percent decrease in refinance applications.

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