The end of 2020 was an eventful one for the economy and its potential rebound after the pandemic.
Vaccinations began to roll out, the holiday season showing positive signs, and the U.S. market continued its growth.
Late 2020 Job Gains Fall Short of Expectations
While the rebound from unprecedented job losses caused by the partial shutdown of the economy has continued, the latest data released fell short of expectations.
The economy gained 245,000 jobs in November, below the consensus forecast of 450,000, and has now recovered more than half of the 22 million jobs lost.
Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop
The unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in November, but remained steady in December at 140,000 jobs were cut.
Reduced Economic Activity from Pandemic Results in Low Inflation
The reduced economic activity resulting from the coronavirus has caused a decline in inflation which has helped keep mortgage rates low, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
In November, the core PCE price index was just 1.6% higher than a year ago, down from an annual rate of increase above 2.0% in the months before the coronavirus pandemic.
Housing Momentum Continues with Steadily Low-Interest Rates
While rising case counts of the coronavirus have slowed economic activity, one sector which has remained red hot is housing.
In November, existing home sales were 26% higher than a year ago, near the best levels since 2006. The median existing-home price was 15% higher than a year ago, also close to record levels.
Mortgage Applications Rise
The results of record-low mortgage rates have been seen in the weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
One of the few obstacles to the amazing performance of the housing sector in recent months has been a lack of inventory. Inventory levels were down 22% from a year ago and remained the primary obstacle to even stronger sales activity.
Much like the past few months of 2020, investors will continue to monitor the current vaccine progress and the potential end of the pandemic’s impact on all aspects of the economy.
For further information on the mortgage rates and real estate, get in touch with one of the title and escrow specialists at Plymouth Title Guaranty Corporation.
Information accredited to MBSQuoteline.
Please note: The safety of our staff and clients is our highest priority. Effective immediately, Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. will be taking the following precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
All purchase transactions need to take place at a Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. closing office.
- If a party to the closing is not feeling well, please contact your closer before the closing so appropriate precautions can be taken.
- We ask visitors to utilize the restroom in our building upon arrival to thoroughly wash their hands before entering our office.
- Only individuals required to sign and/or deliver documents at closings will be allowed in our office. Specifically, closings will be limited to borrower(s), seller(s), agents, and lenders.
- All pens used in the closing will be given to the client after use.
- All closing rooms will be cleaned and disinfected in-between each closing.
- Those picking up checks at our office will be instructed to call our main line and request to speak to a staff member who will plan for delivery to the lobby or parking lot of our office.
- All staff will refrain from shaking hands before or after closings and ask clients to do the same.
Please be advised that our staffing may be impacted during this unprecedented event. While we are committed to continuing to provide outstanding service, we ask for your patience in the face of this pandemic.