September 08, 2020 at 7:43am | Jeff Hallman
The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist says housing market activity is  “now outperforming” 2019. He adds there will eventually be a vaccine that will boost the economy, so he projects home sales will rise 8% in 2021.'s Housing Market Recovery Index is now ahead of its pre-shutdown baseline nationwide. All four regions and 43 of the 50 largest markets are now above that recovery benchmark. First American reports a 15% increase in house-buying power—how much home one can afford to buy given household income and the prevailing mortgage rate. They credit low mortgage rates and continued income gains.
TAKING PROFITS... Despite stronger-than-expected economic indicators and the Fed's ongoing fiscal and monetary support, stocks sagged under the weight of traders grabbing profits following four straight weeks of gains.
Jobs keep rapidly recovering with 1.372 million new nonfarm payrolls added in August. Civilian employment, including small-business startups, rose 3.756 million, and  the Unemployment Rate fell to 8.4%.
August ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing reads both showed strong expansion. Economists say full recovery could take a couple of years, but as one of them put it, "there should be no doubt we are headed in the right direction."
The week ended with the Dow down 1.8%, to 28,133; the S&P 500 down 2.3%, to 3,427; and the Nasdaq down 3.3%, to 11,313.

Bonds finished the week essentially flat. The UMBS 3.0% was down .02, at $105.34. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate also stayed relatively flat in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?... Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza is large enough to cover ten football fields, took 100,000 men twenty years to build, and Space Station astronauts have said it's relatively easy to see out their window.

JOBLESS CLAIMS DOWN, INFLATION SLOWS... Maintaining their downward slide, Initial Jobless Claims are expected to dip again. Inflation is forecast to grow at a slower rate, by both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) for wholesale prices.
U.S. financial markets were closed Monday, September 7, for Labor Day.

NOTE: Weaker economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.



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