March Housing Starts fell 22.3%, their biggest monthly drop since 1984, as builders cut activities, uncertain about buyer demand, supply chains, and social distancing with work crews. Here’s more on COVID-19’s effect on the report.

Yet the year began so well, starts are still up versus a year ago! Nonetheless, the National Association of Home Builders confidence index fell from a very strong 72 to a weak 30 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Freddie Mac’s chief economist noted: “daily economic activity metrics suggest the economy will likely not decline much further. Going forward, the key question is no longer the depth of the economic contraction, but the duration.”


NEW HOPES SPIKE STOCKS… Stocks rallied on hopes some U.S. states and European countries could soon reopen their economies, as we got more evidence the COVID-19 case curve is flattening, particularly in the New York epicenter.

Germany, Austria, and Denmark are relaxing shutdown restrictions, while news here featured quicker tests, and a potential treatment and vaccine. Plus, the White House released new guidelines for states to reopen their economies.

Federal programs continue to help, though more money is already needed for the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Economic data underscored the downturn’s depth, but investors traded on its possibly shorter duration.

The week ended with the Dow UP 2.2%, to 24,242; the S&P 500 UP 3.0%, to 2,875; and the Nasdaq UP 6.1%, to 8,650.

The stock market’s recovery hopes were not seen in the bond market. The UMBS 4.0% ended UP 0.03, to $106.64. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate continued to hover near historical lows 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?… The current surge in refinances should help power the recovery. One observer noted that refis put “a lot more spendable money in the average American’s pocket and that will benefit us when the recovery occurs.”

By Published On: April 20th, 2020

Share This Article!

Related Posts

Ready to get started with a Buyer or Listing Agent, or just have a question?

Schedule a Free One-on-One Appointment!

We have an answer, and we would be thrilled to get to know you!

Schedule your appointment today. 

Find Your Home’s Value!

Zillow can tell you, 1) what the algorithm thinks your home is worth, and 2) how to worry about your value. We can show you what your home should be worth in Today’s Market! 

MY FREE “10 Things I Do For All My Clients” Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet is the must-have for any Buyer or Seller in today’s real estate market! Hold your Agent ACCOUNTABLE to these standards and never miss a beat in any transaction.

Want to know more about a particular area?

Download one of my Free Area Guides for Nashville, or Clarksville, Franklin, Brentwood, or any of the other areas we serve!