Market Update: Stimulus Aid, Increased Mortgage Rates, and Continued Growth in the Housing Markets
With more information and reports released, we can learn more about how the economy is continuing to move during a hectic start to 2021.
Inflation Remains Low; Investors Wary of a Late 2021 Spike
While current inflation levels remain low, investors are divided about its outlook for later in the year.
The reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused a decline in inflation and the latest figures revealed that current levels are even lower than expected.
Investors are concerned inflation may increase significantly later in the year as it remains low now due to economic activity being restrained by rising COVID-19 cases.
FED Expects Temporary Rise in Inflation in Late 2021
Fed Chair Powell suggested that easy monetary policy will remain in place for a while since the economy is “a long way from our employment and inflation goals.”
While investors are concerned about rising inflation, Powell appeared to be less worried. He said that we might see higher inflation later this year because of pent-up demand, but that most of the increase would be just temporary.
Mortgage Rates at Highest Level in Months
Mortgage rates have been on an upward path this year, and that trend has continued.
Extremely strong economic reports were negative for mortgage markets. With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine gaining steam and additional government stimulus on the way, most investors expect that future data will be even more impressive. As a result, mortgage rates were at their highest levels in months.
Home Sales Continue to Surge; Inventory a Continued Obstacle
The spectacular rebound in the housing sector from weakness during the spring has continued. In January, Existing Home Sales unexpectedly increased from December and were 24% higher than a year ago.
Inventory levels were down 26% from a year ago and remained the primary obstacle to stronger sales activity.
COVID Continues to Slow Job Growth
The monthly Employment report made it clear that the spread of the coronavirus has slowed the pace of labor market improvement in recent months.
In January, the economy gained 49,000 jobs, which was very close to expectations, but revisions subtracted 159,000 jobs from the results for prior months.
The biggest surprise was the sharp drop in the unemployment rate to 6.3%, far below the consensus forecast of 6.7%.
COVID Relief and Vaccines Aim to Release Pent Up Demand
President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion package was passed through the house and senate.
Both the government and the Fed are providing massive amounts of stimulus to boost the economy, and the vaccine rollout is expected to unleash enormous pent-up demand in hard hit areas such as travel.
For further information on the mortgage rates 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.