The Atavistic Component of Republican Economic Sentiment as Overall Sentiment Jumps

One of the mysteries of recent times has been the divergence between conditions (say, as measured by the Misery Index) and measured consumer sentiment. Figure 1 shows the U.Michigan sentiment index (FRED variable UMCSENT) vs. the sum of inflation and unemployment rates over the 2016-24M01 period. The jump in UMCSENT of 9 was about 2 … Read more

Mortgage demand jumps nearly 10% to start the year, even as interest rates tick up again

A “For Sale” outside a house in Hercules, California, US, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Homebuyers are facing a worsening affordability situation with mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in more than a decade. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Mortgage rates moved a little bit higher last week, for the second … Read more

Mortgage refinance demand jumps as rates fall

Homes in Hercules, California, US. Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images After surging over 8% in October, mortgage rates are falling back toward 7% again, and that is jump-starting the refinance market. Last week, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.17% from 7.37%, … Read more