Realtor.com boasted This Week in Real Estate that June realized two all-time high events; the most unique visitors in a single month, 86 million, and the most unique visitors in a single day, 7 million. As mortgage rates continue to hover around all-time lows and the employment market added 7.5 million jobs the past two months, purchase interest and activity is booming. Below are a few newsworthy events from the first full week of July that influence our business:
Realtor.com Sees Record-Breaking Traffic as Buyer Demand Grows. As buyers flooded into the market, realtor.com’s monthly traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. Realtor.com daily traffic also hit its highest level of 7 million unique users on June 25, signaling that buyers are ready to dip their toes into the market despite the global pandemic. Median listing prices continue growing at 6.2 percent over last year, faster than the pre-COVID pace. But with demand strong and for-sale inventory tight, supply remains the biggest factor slowing the recovery. Total listings remain 31% lower than last year and more listings will need to enter the market for sustained improvement in home sales, according to realtor.com. “The consistent, record-level home buyer interest we’ve detected on realtor.com over the last five weeks is setting up the tightest summer home-buying season on record,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.
Mortgage Purchasing Reaches Highest Level in Over 10 Years. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Application shows an uptick in applications for the week ending July 3, 2020. The Market Composite Index increased by 2.2% from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis and its constituent Purchasing and Refinancing indices increased by 5.3% and 0.4%, respectively. The combination of low housing supply and higher home prices led to another record high this week in the average purchase loan size of $365,700. This week’s purchasing level, on a seasonally adjusted basis, marks the highest level since January 2009.
Jobs Blowout! U.S. Housing Industry Reacts to Record 4.8 Million New Jobs in June. In a big surprise this week, U.S. employers added a much-larger-than-expected 4.8 million workers to payrolls last month. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate also fell to 11.1 percent. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun commented on the June job number with the following; “The country is undergoing extraordinary times and extraordinary movement is happening in the jobs data. The near 5 million job additions in a single month in June is off-the-chart the best ever by a wide margin and comes on top of 2.7 million job gains in the prior month. However, much more needs to occur to overcome the 20 million job losses in April.” The Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief Economist Mike Fratantoni also commented, “The job market recovered at a much faster than anticipated pace in June, with strong job growth and a surprisingly large drop in the unemployment rate. 7.5 million people returned to work in May and June following a temporary layoff, which is quite a rebound. However, there are still 10.6 million people with this status, and the longer they remain out of work, the greater the risk that their situation becomes permanent. “Although this surprisingly strong report will put some upward pressure on interest rates, we do not expect it will change the Fed’s commitment to keep rates at zero for the foreseeable future.”