Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level, albeit still at lofty levels, since the explosion in March. The Labor Department reports that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose by 1.1 million in the week ended August 1, versus the 1.4 million expected. It was the lowest level since the 6.87 million reported for the week ended March 28, 2020. Continuing claims declined by 844,000 to 16.1 million. The report comes ahead of tomorrow's Jobs Report for July.
Mortgage rates continued to hit fresh record lows in the latest survey giving potential buyers more purchasing power and strengthening demand. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.88% this week with 0.8 in points and fees. A year ago, the rate was 3.60%. However, Freddie Mac says that the main barrier to rising housing demand remains the lack of inventory, especially for entry-level homes.