Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
- Panic surrounding spread of the coronavirus and the global economic fallout have stocks plummeting. Investors seeking safe havens have turned to bonds, improving mortgage rates.
- The 10yr Treasury yield has reached record lows, falling below 1.0% for the first time in history. Markets are now extremely volatile, whipsawing between huge losses and gains.
- The Fed made an emergency policy rate cut of 0.5% this week. This cut to the Fed funds rate does not bring mortgage rates lower but is supposed to stimulate the economy.
- Construction spending rose 1.8% in January, the biggest monthly gain in 2 years. Spending on home construction climbed 2.1%, reflecting the largest increase since August.
- Mortgage applications rose 15.1% from a week earlier. As a result of historically low rates, refinance applications were up an astounding 224% from a year ago.
- Home buyers are having a tough time finding a home they want, and it will likely get worse. Freddie Mac puts the housing shortage at a 3.3-million-unit deficit nationwide.