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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for September 10th

Friday, September 11, 2020 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits remained below the 1 million mark in the latest week though over 13 million remain unemployed - so there is "more wood to chop." Weekly Initial Jobless Claims were unchanged at 884,000 and down from the 6 million mark seen in late March. Hopefully, Congress can come together to help those in need. There has been catastrophic losses in the restaurant and hospitality industry that might be averted or subdued, should Congress act swiftly.

Mortgage rates hit record lows in the latest survey due to a slight slowdown in economic activity at the end of the summer. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.86% with 0.8 in points and fees. That is the lowest rate since records began in 1971. Low rates have been a big support for the positive gains in the housing market as of late but there could be a hurdle ahead for potential buyers. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist said, "Heading into the fall it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity."

Gas prices remained low during the summer months and were the cheapest since 2004 at $2.15. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline has risen to $2.20 but as the fall and winter appear, Americans to drive less after the drop off in demand that has been seen since the pandemic began. A year ago the price was $2.56. "Summer may be fading into the rear-view mirror, but less expensive gas prices are not," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "Moving into fall we traditionally see a drop in demand and further savings at the pump. This year that means pump prices could possibly push even lower then we've already seen in 2020."

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