Mortgage rates dropped further this week although inflation rose more than expected. Specifically, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 2.96% from 2.99% the previous week. With rates at or below 3% for the last 8 weeks, more homebuyers benefit from these low rates.
Meanwhile, layoffs continue to fall to their lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. In fact, Iowa (-6%), Kansas (-16%), South Carolina (-23%), South Dakota (-10%) and Vermont (-40%) reported fewer layoffs than pre-pandemic. As more people return to the workplace, the demand for housing is more likely to increase as Americans set their sights on homeownership. Nevertheless, the U.S. still has a high number of people on government assistance. Continuous jobless claims, which measure the number of people receiving checks for regular unemployment benefits, are over 3.3 million. After adding the people who receive Pandemic Assistance and other Relief, there are over 15 million people collecting unemployment assistance.