The death toll from the coronavirus already has passed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, that bruised the world’s economy in 2003.
Back then, China accounted for about 4% of global GDP. Today, the world’s most populous nation accounts for about 17%.
That’s making investors around the world anxious, and when they get anxious they tend to sell off stocks and seek the safe haven of U.S. bonds. An increase in competition for bonds means investors, including the people who buy mortgage-backed bonds, have to take lower yields. That translates into lower mortgage rates.
Pandemics are terrible things for humans to experience, and already more than 490 people have died in China. Since we can’t control that, we’re left to analyze potential economic impacts, which will be major in the mortgage sector.