What Home Buyers Are Getting Wrong About March 2020 Jobs Report

The economy is 21 million jobs richer since ten years ago. Stock markets have nearly tripled. Home values are at all-time highs. Homeowners aren't over-borrowed on equity.

April 06, 2020 by Dan Green

The Housing Headline

The U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs last month.

The News Behind The Housing Headline

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Non-Farm Payrolls report, a net 701,000 people lost their jobs in March 2020, and the Unemployment Rate rose to 4.4 percent nationwide.

The reading ends a 115-month winning streak for Non-Farm Payrolls which dates to September 2010.

For this month, economists are already predicting multiple millions of additional jobs lost and another rise in the Unemployment Rate.

Wall Street shrugged off the news.

More than ten million unemployment claims had been filed in the two weeks before the job report’s release, so last month’s decrease in employment was expected. Mortgage rates improved Friday.

Also notable: 59% of jobs lost in March were in food and drinking establishments.

Why This Housing News Matters To You

The jobs report is a primary signal for the health of the U.S. economy. However, there is no direct relationship between employment rates and home values; and a widespread loss of jobs won’t catalyze a collapse in housing.

As compared to the Great Recession, housing looks different today – even with the rise in unemployment.

The economy is 21 million jobs richer since ten years ago. Stock markets have nearly tripled. Home values are at all-time highs. Homeowners aren’t over-borrowed on their equity.

Today’s active home buyers see that:

  • Buyers still outnumber sellers
  • Mortgage approvals still happen
  • Interest rates are still low

Plus, with the government providing a backstop to the mortgage market, the most common mortgage loans are available and abundant.

That said, savvy buyers recognize that negative COVID-19 headlines cause fear and uncertainty, and that can create opportunity. Like you, home sellers are worried. The difference between you and a potential seller, though, is that you have data to give you focus.

A well-timed offer could help you find a deal.

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