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Market Perspective


Market Perspective: Coronavirus and the Mortgage Market
Safer Assets, Lower Rates, and a Refi Boom
As the coronavirus began to spread across the globe, investors shifted to safer assets, which caused rates to fall.
Mortgage Rates January-February Head Down[1]
Consumers Rushed to Refinance
Rates Go Rogue
As businesses shut down and unemployment rose, the Federal Reserve stepped in to stimulate the economy.
$700 Billion Quantitative Easing Plan Announced[4]
Fed Funds Rate Dropped to 0%[4]
Borrower: Can I refi to a 0% rate?! Lender: Let me explain...
Mortgage Rates Edged Up, Despite the Fed's Efforts[1]
Uncharted Territory - Fed announced unlimited QE[5]
Lending Standards Tighten
Mortgage Rates Edged Up, Despite the Fed's Efforts[1]
Showing slowed. Housing inventory declined[8]. Mortgage purchase applications dropping weekly[2].

“The temporary softening of the real estate market will likely be followed by a strong rebound once the economic ‘quarantine’ is lifted.”

— NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

The coronavirus has triggered a rollercoaster of events in recent months, the effects of which have been felt nearly everywhere. And it’s likely that we will see additional changes in the housing industry as the pandemic unfolds.

[1] Freddie Mac, Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.
[2] Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
[3] Ellie Mae® Origination Insight Report, February 2020.
[4] Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Statement, March 15, 2020.
[5] FOMC Statement, March 23, 2020.
[6] MBA, Credit Availability Index.
[7] National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Flash Survey: Economic Pulse.
[8]®, Initial Impact of Covid-19 on the Housing Market, April 2020.

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