The housing sector continues to be an anchor for the U.S. economy fueled in part by low rates. October Housing Starts rose 5% from September to an annual rate of 1,530,000 versus the 1,445,000 expected. September's numbers were revised higher to 1,459,000 from 1,415,000. Starts were up 14% annually. The closely watched single-family sector rose a solid 6.4% month over month and up a whopping 30% annually.
Mortgage rates continue to hover at record low levels aided in part by the Federal Reserves asset purchase program enacted to hold rates at low levels. The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.99% in the week ending November 13, 2020, with 0.37 in points. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 0.3% while the Purchase Index rose 4%. The Refinance Index fell 2% and is up a scorching 98% from the same week a year ago. "Housing demand remains supported by the ongoing recovery in the job market, and an increased appetite from households seeking more space because of the pandemic," said Joel Kan, Mab's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.
After a tumultuous year where COVID-19 wreaked havoc across all sectors of the economy, many are looking ahead to 2021 for relief. The MBA has released its stats for the industry. The MBA is forecasting overall mortgage origination to be around $2.56 trillion and would be the 2nd-highest origination total in the last 15 years. Purchase originations $1.59 trillion, refinance $937B. The MBA sees a 3.3% 30-yr fixed-rate mortgage by Q4 2021.