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It’s Just The Facts: January 2020

  1. POPULATION – Between 7/01/18 and 7/01/19, the Census Bureau estimated that the US population grew from 326.688 million to 328.240 million, an increase of just +0.48%, i.e., less than 0.5 of 1% growth rate between 2018-2019. That’s the lowest year-over-year growth rate in the United States since 1918 or 101 years earlier (source: Census Bureau).
  2. LIVING LONG – The life expectancy at birth of an American baby in 1970, i.e., 50 years ago, was 70.8 years. The life expectancy at birth of an American baby today is 78.6 years. Thus, life expectancy in the United States has increased 7.8 years over the last half century, i.e., American life expectancy at birth is increasing at the rate of 1.5 years every decade (source: Center for Disease Control).
  3. HOUSING – The average interest rate nationwide on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.74% at the end of 2019. The record low national average was 3.31% as of 11/22/12 or just over 7 years ago (source: Freddie Mac).
  4. OVERSPENDING – The national debt of the United States was $23.201 trillion as of the close of business on Tuesday 12/31/19, an increase of $10.9 trillion over the last 10 years (source: Treasury Department).
  5. CLOSED FOR GOOD – More than 9,300 American retail stores closed in 2019, exceeding the all-time record of 8,139 store closures from 2017 (source: Coresight Research).
  6. REALLY LOW – Inflation, as measured by the “Consumer Price Index” (CPI), was up +2.3% for 2019. For the decade of the 2010s, inflation was up just +1.8% per year, the lowest decade of inflation in the USA since the 1930s. By comparison, the decade of the 1970s suffered +7.4% annual inflation (source: Department of Labor).
  7. THEY OWN IT NOW – Banks foreclosed on 143,955 homes nationwide in 2019, down 37% from 230,305 foreclosures in 2018 and down 51% from 291,579 foreclosures in 2017. The worst single month of foreclosures in US history – 102,134 foreclosures in September 2010 (source: ATTOM Data Solutions).
  8. PAYING FOR STUFF – 64% of 4,441 Americans surveyed in the 4th quarter 2019 indicated they “strongly or somewhat agree” that a “wealth tax” on the “very rich” is an appropriate method to “support public programs” in the United States (source: Reuters/Ipsos Poll).
  9. DOWN FROM SEVENTY PERCENT – The top marginal income tax rate for individual taxpayers has been reduced 8 times since 1980, i.e., 8 times in the last 40 years (source: Tax Policy Center).
  10. MORE WOMEN THAN MEN – For the 1st time since April 2010, women make up the majority of the US workforce. As of the end of December 2019, there were 76.246 million American women working full-time, vs. 76.137 million American men. In the last 12 months, 1.52 million working women have secured jobs, more than double the 586,000 men that have joined the workforce (source: Department of Labor).
  11. WHAT IF? – The average interest rate paid by the US government on its interest-bearing debt was 2.429% as of 12/31/19, more than two percentage points less than the 4.508% paid as of 12/31/04, i.e., 15 years ago (source: Treasury Department).
  12. ADVANTAGE: SELLERS – The number of existing single-family homes for sale has been tracked nationally since July 1982, i.e., for nearly 4 decades. The total peaked in July 2007 at 3.4 million but has now fallen to its all-time low of 1.22 million in December 2019 (source: National Association of Realtors).
  13. UNLIKELY – The Fed Funds futures market is forecasting an 87% chance of no change in rates by the Federal Reserve at this week’s meeting as of the close of trading last Friday 1/24/20 (source: CME Group).

Courtesy of Mortgage Market Guide