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  • Wed, Jan 23 2019
  • 1:29 PM » Forget home equity: Here's how homeowners are paying for that new kitchen
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 1:29 PM by CNBC
    Whether you're planning to spruce up your landscaping or make over your bathroom, odds are that you'll dig into your own pockets to foot the bill, according to a new survey from TD Bank. Here are the options you should consider as you pay for that home improvement project.
  • 1:29 PM » AIA: "Architecture billings slow, but close 2018 with growing demand"
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 1:29 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From the AIA: Architecture billings slow, but close 2018 with growing demand Architecture firm billings growth softened in December but remained positive for the fifteenth consecutive month, according to a new report released today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for December was 50.4 compared to 54.7 in November. Despite the positive billings, a softening in growth was seen across several regions and sectors, as well as in project inquiries and design contracts. "Given the concerns over the ongoing tariff situation, it is not surprising to see a bit of a slowdown in progress on current projects," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. " Growing anxiety over unstable business conditions and the partial shutdown of the government may lead to further softening in the coming months ." ... • Regional averages: Midwest (56.3), Northeast (51.6), South (49.4), West (49.2) • Sector index breakdown: institutional (53.1), commercial/industrial (51.2), mixed practice (50.2), multi-family residential (49.8 emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 50.4 in December, down from 54.7 in November. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services. Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions. According to the AIA, there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction.  This index has been positive for 15 consecutive months, suggesting a further increase in CRE investment in 2019.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:28 PM » No Pay Stub? No Problem. Unconventional Mortgages Make a Comeback
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 1:28 PM by
    Lenders are turning to borrowers with harder-to-document finances, helping drive growth in the kind of home loans panned for its role in housing meltdown. The post No Pay Stub? No Problem. Unconventional Mortgages Make a Comeback appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:29 AM » More homes are for sale, but fewer are affordable
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 11:29 AM by CNBC
    The supply of homes on the market is finally rising, after falling to record lows. But a growing share of those homes are still out of reach to most buyers.
  • 10:28 AM » Richmond Fed: "Fifth District Manufacturing Activity Was Soft in January"
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 10:28 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Richmond Fed: Fifth District Manufacturing Activity Was Soft in January Fifth District manufacturing activity was soft in January, according to the latest survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index rose from -8 in December to -2 in January but continued to indicate weak growth. The rise from December came from increases in the component indexes of employment and shipments, although the shipments index remained negative. The third component, new orders, dropped to -11, its lowest reading since June 2016 . Meanwhile, the index for backlog of orders fell to -21, its lowest reading since May 2009. However, manufacturers remained optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months. Survey results indicated continued growth in employment and wages in January , but firms still struggled to find workers with the skills they need. Respondents expected this struggle to continue, along with employment and wage growth, in the near future. emphasis added This was another weak regional manufacturing reading for January.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:55 AM » Buying or selling a house? Ask your agent if they working in your best interest
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 8:55 AM by CNBC
    Your real estate agent can guide you to the house of your dreams or help you snag a good price for your humble abode. But beware: he or she may not be required to operate in your best interest.
  • 8:07 AM » Senate sets votes but U.S. shutdown likely to go on
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 8:07 AM by Reuters
    There was no sign of quick relief for 800,000 federal workers going without pay because of the partial government shutdown as the U.S. Senate scheduled votes on competing proposals to end the month-long impasse that both faced long odds.
  • 8:02 AM » ECB shouldn't change policy now amid trade war and Brexit concerns, bank CEO says
    Published Wed, Jan 23 2019 8:02 AM by CNBC
    The European Central Bank should wait before announcing any new policy changes given that there are so many geopolitical uncertainties in the world, the CEO of the Dutch lender ING told CNBC Wednesday.
  • Tue, Jan 22 2019
  • 4:28 PM » Homebuilders face profitability risks despite a healthy market, housing analyst says
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 4:28 PM by CNBC
    Homebuilders' "pricing power is much more challenged" as construction costs continue to rise, Zelman & Associates CEO Ivy Zelman says.
  • 4:04 PM » The financial shock for 800,000 federal workers is about to get much worse as the shutdown drags on
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 4:04 PM by CNBC
    If the shutdown continues through the week, Friday will mark the second federal paycheck missed by affected federal workers, whose household budgets have been completely upended.
  • 2:05 PM » Wall Street drops over 1.5 percent as global growth worries resurface
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 2:05 PM by Reuters
    U.S. stocks tumbled over 1.5 percent on Tuesday on concerns of global growth after the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast, China reported a sharp slowdown and a few U.S. companies gave disappointing earnings outlooks.
  • 2:05 PM » Senate to vote on Trump plan to re-open government this week: McConnell
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 2:05 PM by Reuters
    U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the Senate would vote this week on President Donald Trump's proposal to end a partial government shutdown.
  • 12:50 PM » Comments on December Existing Home Sales
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 12:50 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 4.99 million in December A few key points: 1) The key for housing - and the overall economy - is new home sales, single family housing starts and overall residential investment. Unfortunately this key data is not currently being released due to the government shutdown .  However, overall, this is still a somewhat reasonable level for existing home sales, and the weakness at the end of 2018 was no surprise given the increase in mortgage rates. 2) Inventory is still low, but was up 6.2% year-over-year (YoY) in December. This was the fifth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in inventory, and the largest YoY increase since January 2014. 3) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus. See: Lawler; Early Read on Existing Home Sales in December: Big Drop .   The consensus was for sales of 5.24 million SAAR, Lawler estimated the NAR would report 4.97 million SAAR in December, and the NAR actually reported 4.99 million SAAR. Click on graph for larger image. The current YoY increase in inventory is nothing like what happened in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 (see red arrow), inventory kept increasing all year, and that was a sign the bubble was ending.  In 2018 (light blue arrow), inventory followed the normal seasonal pattern. Although I expected inventory to increase YoY in 2018, I also expected inventory to follow the normal seasonal pattern (not keep increasing all year). Also inventory levels remains low, and could increase much more and still be at normal levels. No worries. The second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA). Sales NSA in December (377,000, red column) were below sales in December 2017 (427,000, NSA), and sales were the lowest for December since 2012. For the year, sales totaled 5.342 million, down 3.1% from 5.511 million in 2017.  This was also below sales in 2016 (5.452 million...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:50 PM » The unusually large drop in home sales has real estate agents baffled
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 12:50 PM by CNBC
    The 4.6 percent monthly drop in existing home sales was unusually large, regardless of direction. The tally from the National Association of Realtors usually moves in the very low single digits month-to-month.
  • 10:58 AM » TREASURIES-U.S. yields fall on economic, trade worries
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 10:58 AM by CNBC
    *China grew at slowest pace in 28 years in 2018. *Huawei's CFO arrest stokes U.S.- China trade tension. Treasury yields dropped on Tuesday as investors shifted some cash back into the bond market, prompted by worries over slowing global growth and trade tensions between China and the United States.
  • 9:35 AM » Amid the government shutdown, here are the best and worst ways to borrow money
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 9:35 AM by CNBC
    Without a paycheck, many workers may have to secure a short-term loan to get by. However, not all types of borrowing are created equal. Here are some of the best and worst loans out there.
  • 8:07 AM » ECB May Offer New Long-Term Loans to Prevent Tightening
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 8:07 AM by Bloomberg
    ECB May Offer New Long-Term Loans to Prevent Tightening    Bloomberg The European Central Bank's targeted longer-term refinancing operations won't mature until 2020 but banks will already be squeezed for liquidity this year.
  • 8:05 AM » Pit Stop or Peak Is the Big Question Hanging Over Fed This Year
    Published Tue, Jan 22 2019 8:05 AM by Bloomberg
    Pit Stop or Peak Is the Big Question Hanging Over Fed This Year    Bloomberg Deciphering the intentions of Federal Reserve officials rarely gets this easy. As one after another preaches patience before their next interest-rate move, ...
  • Fri, Jan 18 2019
  • 2:57 PM » Consumer Sentiment Declined in January, Lowest since 2006
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 2:57 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the University of Michigan: Preliminary Results for January 2019 Consumer sentiment declined in early January to its lowest level since Trump was elected . The decline was primarily focused on prospects for the domestic economy, with the year-ahead outlook for the national economy judged the worst since mid 2014 . The loss was due to a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown, and the lack of clarity about monetary policies . emphasis added CR Note: Sentiment is a coincident indicator.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:46 PM » 2018 Third Quarter Mortgage Originations Grow from Prior Quarter
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 1:46 PM by
    Household Debt and Credit reports, released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, show that mortgage balances, which make up the majority of household debt, increased by $141 billion in the third quarter of 2018 from the previous quarter to reach an outstanding amount of $9.14 trillion. They also show that mortgage originations increased by about $8 billion from... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:14 PM » BLS: Unemployment Rates Higher in 4 states in December; Lower in 3 States
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 12:14 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary Unemployment rates were higher in December in 4 states, lower in 3 states , and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fourteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 36 states and the District had little or no change. ... Iowa had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.4 percent. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.3 percent. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 1976. At the worst of the great recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red). Currently only one state, Alaska, has an unemployment rate at or above 6% (dark blue).  Only two states and the D.C. have unemployment rates above 5%; Alaska, West Virginia. A total of seven states are at the series low.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:54 AM » Banks, credit unions offer 0 percent interest loans during the government shutdown
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 10:54 AM by CNBC
    Amid the stalemate in Washington, credit unions and banks are offering accomodations to federal workers. Their best offers include interest-free loans.
  • 10:53 AM » The record government shutdown, if not resolved soon, could be 'fodder for recession': Moody's
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 10:53 AM by CNBC
    "If this drags on into February, March, then growth rates are going to fall to a place where unemployment will start to rise," economist Mark Zandi warns.
  • 10:13 AM » Industrial Production Increased 0.3% in December
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 10:13 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production moved up at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. In December, manufacturing output increased 1.1 percent, its largest gain since February 2018. The output of mines rose 1.5 percent, but the index for utilities fell 6.3 percent, as warmer-than-usual temperatures lowered the demand for heating. At 109.9 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.0 percent higher in December than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.1 percentage point in December to 78.7 percent , a rate that is 1.1 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2017) average. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 12.0 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967). Capacity utilization at 78.7% is 1.1% below the average from 1972 to 2017 and below the pre-recession level of 80.8% in December 2007. Note: y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change. The second graph shows industrial production since 1967. Industrial production increased in December to 109.9. This is 26% above the recession low, and 4% above the pre-recession peak. The increase in industrial production was above the consensus forecast.  Capacity utilization was also above consensus.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:25 AM » Fed's Williams calls for 'patience and good judgment' before raising rates
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 9:25 AM by CNBC
    Growing economic headwinds and anxiety about the pace of growth are cause for the Federal Reserve to be cautious about hiking interest rates further, John Williams, president of the central bank's New York region, said in a speech Friday.
  • 8:05 AM » Maryland Commission should reject adoption of NCLC's Model Arbitration Act
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 8:05 AM by
    According to a report issued earlier this month, the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission is considering the adoption of the "Model State Consumer and Employee Justice Enforcement Act" developed several years ago by the National Consumer Law Center. The Model Act proposes a number of "state interventions" aimed at preventing the alleged harms caused by... Continue Reading
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:03 AM » Fed's Evans Says He Won't Be Surprised If Funds Rate Is Higher at Year-End
    Published Fri, Jan 18 2019 8:03 AM by Bloomberg
    Fed's Evans Says He Won't Be Surprised If Funds Rate Is Higher at Year-End    Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans discusses the path of monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy with Bloomberg's Kathleen ...
  • Thu, Jan 17 2019
  • 3:26 PM » Inflation Is Flagging in European Capital of Negative Rates
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:26 PM by Bloomberg
    Inflation Is Flagging in European Capital of Negative Rates    Bloomberg The country with the European Union's lowest interest rates also has one of the bloc's lowest rates of inflation.
  • 3:26 PM » US weighs lifting trade tariffs against China: DJ, citing sources
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:26 PM by CNBC
    US weighs lifting trade tariffs against China: DJ, citing sources<br/>
  • 3:24 PM » California Existing Homes in December: Sales Down 12% YoY, Inventory Up 31%
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:24 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The CAR reported: California home sales close year on downward trend as home prices post mild gains, C.A.R. reports California home sales declined for the eighth straight month in December, and a stagnating market for much of the year pushed sales lower in 2018 for the first time in four years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 372,260 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2018 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. December's sales figure was down 2.4 percent from the revised 381,400 level in November and down 11.6 percent from home sales in December 2017 of 420,960. December marked the fifth month in a row that sales were below 400,000 and the lowest level of sales sold since January 2015. "The housing market continued to shift in December and drift downward as sales have fallen double digits for the past three out of four months," said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. "This trend is expected to continue, as buyers remain cautious about the murky housing market outlook due primarily to the volatility in the financial markets and uncertainty in the economic and political arenas. "Additionally, housing markets in and around the wildfire areas have been exhibiting unusual patterns that could remain unsettled for the next few months. The impact, however, is confined mostly within the region and should not have a noticeable effect in the housing market at the state level." ... Statewide active listings rose for the ninth consecutive month after nearly three straight years of declines, increasing...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:39 PM » Price Cuts on New Construction Homes Becoming More Common
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 2:39 PM by The Basis Point
    Home shoppers may be able to find a better deal on a new construction home than they could a year ago. A new Zillow® analysis finds that price cuts were more common in the fourth quarter of 2018 than in the first quarter.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Basis Point
  • 12:01 PM » Minnesota federal court decision is warning to lead generators
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 12:01 PM by
    A Minnesota federal district court recently ruled that lead generators for a payday lender could be liable for punitive damages in a class action filed on behalf of all Minnesota residents who used the lender's website to obtain a payday loan during a specified time period. An important takeaway from the decision is that a... Continue Reading
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:31 AM » California's housing affordability crisis looms over the state's problems with teachers
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 11:31 AM by CNBC
    California's housing affordability crisis has contributed to the challenge of school districts attracting and retaining teachers but some are fighting back with special educator housing.
  • 10:58 AM » 70,000 low-income renters at risk as shutdown puts assistance programs in jeopardy
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 10:58 AM by CNBC
    A number of government-funded rental assistance programs are in jeopardy as the longest shutdown in U.S. history wears on. Experts say more than 70,000 low income renters are at risk, with that number increasing each day.
  • 10:51 AM » Remodelers' Confidence Holds Relatively Steady in Fourth Quarter
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 10:51 AM by
    The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) dropped one point to 57 in the fourth quarter, essentially unchanged from the third quarter (58), according to the National Association of Home Builders (Figure 1). Since the first quarter of 2013, the RMI has been at or above 50, which means that more remodelers report that market activity is higher than report that it... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:26 AM » Philly Fed Mfg "Continued to Grow" in January
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 10:26 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Philly Fed: January 2019 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey Manufacturing activity in the region continued to grow, according to results from the January Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey . The survey's broad indicators remained positive, although their movements were mixed again this month: The general activity and new orders indicators increased from their readings last month, while the indicators for shipments and employment decreased. The firms reported growth in the underlying demand for their products and are generally optimistic about future growth and employment. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a revised reading of 9.1 in December to 17.0 this month . Over 30 percent of the manufacturers reported increases in overall activity, while 13 percent reported decreases. The new orders index increased 8 points to 21.3, its highest reading in six months. The firms continued to report overall higher employment, but the current employment index fell nearly 10 points to 9.6, its lowest reading in 16 months. emphasis added Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index: Click on graph for larger image. The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through January), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through December) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through December (right axis). This suggests the ISM manufacturing index will show expansion again in January, at about the same level as in December.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:06 AM » Trading operations stung banks in fourth quarter but dovish Fed fuels hope
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 8:06 AM by Reuters
    Big trading operations were a thorn in the side of the top U.S. banks in the fourth quarter as fears about global growth sent credit markets into a tailspin, but a "dovish" turn from the Federal Reserve may mean the drama is over for now.
  • 8:02 AM » The mortgage industry isn't ready for a foreclosure crisis created by climate change
    Published Thu, Jan 17 2019 8:02 AM by CNBC
    As extreme weather events become more frequent in places where borrowers might not have flood or fire insurance, the risk of foreclosure rises. Some now predict that the nation could face a climate-related inspired housing crisis.
  • Wed, Jan 16 2019
  • 3:48 PM » US labor market tightens, wages grow moderately, Fed says
    Published Wed, Jan 16 2019 3:48 PM by CNBC
    Labor markets tightened across the U.S. as businesses struggled to find workers at any skill level and wages generally grew moderately.
  • 3:48 PM » UK PM May wins confidence vote; now to search for Brexit consensus
    Published Wed, Jan 16 2019 3:48 PM by Reuters
    Prime Minister Theresa May's government won a confidence vote in the British parliament on Wednesday, clearing the way for her to attempt to forge a consensus among lawmakers on a Brexit divorce agreement.
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Mortgage Rates:
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