Economic Odds and Ends

In today’s economic releases, mortgage applications for the week ending December 4th were down -1.2%. The fourth overall decline in the Mortgage Banker Association Index over the last five weeks was a result of the -5.0% drop in new purchase applications, while refi apps rose by +1.8%. Last week, applications for refinancing existing loans made up 72% of all activity. With Freddie Mac reporting both the 15- and 30-year average fixed rate mortgages reaching new record lows as of December 3rd, the incentive to refinance is fully intact. At 2.71%, the average 30-year loan is now down 97 basis points from a year ago, while the 15-year, at 2.26%, is down 88.rare that a weaker-than-expected employment report is perceived as good news, but that’s the case this morning. November nonfarm payrolls increased by just 245k, falling well short of the 460k median forecast. Although the cutoff for data collection was the 12th of the month, the slower pace of job growth in the company survey was already reflecting the mounting number of new coronavirus cases…which has only worsened in recent weeks.

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