Mortgage rates remained at record lows in the latest survey though they have inched higher in the first couple of business days in January. The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell four basis to 2.86% with 0.32 in points. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, rose 1.7%, the Purchase Index fell 1.6% while the Refinance Index rose 3%. The MBA's Joel Kan said, "The steady demand for home buying throughout most of 2020 should continue in 2021. MBA is forecasting for purchase originations to rise to $1.59 trillion this year - an all-time high."
Private payroll growth turned negative in December with big losses seen in the leisure and hospitality sector of the economy. Several states are still under lock down measures due to the coronavirus fallout. ADP Private Payrolls fell by 123,000 in December, the first loss seen in eight months. Leisure and hospitality lost 58,000 jobs while the transportation and utility sector shed 50,000. "As the impact of the pandemic on the labor market intensifies, December posted the first decline since April 2020," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "The job losses were primarily concentrated in retail and leisure and hospitality."