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  • Wed, Jun 21 2017
  • 11:36 AM » May Buyers Rush Past Market Challenges
    Published Wed, Jun 21 2017 11:36 AM by
    Existing home sales increased 1.1% in May, and 55% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. Although May inventory increased 2.1%, it remains 8.4% lower than a year ago and fell year-over-year for the 24th consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that at... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:35 AM » AIA: Architecture Billings Index positive in May
    Published Wed, Jun 21 2017 9:35 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From the AIA: Design billings maintain solid footing, with strong momentum reflected in both project inquiries and design contracts Design services at architecture firms continue to project a healthy disposition on the construction industry as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) recorded the fourth consecutive month of growth. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 53.0 , up from a score of 50.9 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.4, up from a reading of 60.2 the previous month, while the new design contracts index increased from 53.2 to 54.8. "The fact that the data surrounding both new project inquiries and design contracts have remained positive every month this year, while reaching their highest scores for the year, is a good indication that both the architecture and construction sectors will remain healthy for the foreseeable future," AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "This growth hasn't been an overnight escalation, but rather a steady, stable increase." ... • Regional averages: South (56.1), West (52.3), Midwest (50.4), Northeast (46.5) • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (55.8), multi-family residential (51.3), commercial / industrial (51.2), institutional (51.2) emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 53.0 in May, up from 50.9 the previous month. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services. Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:40 AM » Home sales data could present a warning sign to the Fed
    Published Wed, Jun 21 2017 8:40 AM by CNBC
    Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management breaks down three key items he is watching for on Wednesday.
  • Tue, Jun 20 2017
  • 2:26 PM » Mnuchin: White House won't rule out a second term for Fed's Janet Yellen
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 2:26 PM by CNN
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday left the door open for President Trump to ask Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to stay on for a second term.
  • 12:50 PM » Mnuchin Says Ultra-Long Bond Program Wouldn't Be a One-Off
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 12:50 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Mnuchin Says Ultra-Long Bond Program Wouldn't Be a One-Off Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks about protecting national security in allowing foreign investments in the United States and offers his definition of a 'dependable' U.S. dollar. He speaks with Bloomberg's David Gura from the SelectUSA ... and more »
  • 12:22 PM » The Fed: Fed's Evans suggests his support for another rate hike is no slam dunk
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 12:22 PM by Market Watch
    Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said Tuesday his support for another interest-rate hike this year is not a given.
  • 11:22 AM » Federal Reserve Board announces termination of enforcement action with JP Morgan Chase & Co.
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 11:22 AM by Federal Reserve
    Federal Reserve Board announces termination of enforcement action with JP Morgan Chase & Co.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 8:50 AM » Fed's Fischer says he's worried memories are fading about housing's pivotal role in financial crisis
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 8:50 AM by Market Watch
    Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Tuesday that he was worried memories might be fading about the pivotal role that housing played in the financial crisis. "House prices are now high and rising in several countries, perhaps as a result of extended period of low interest rates," Fischer said in a speech to a DNB-Riksbank conference in Amsterdam, Fischer noted that U.S. government's role in housing is increasing with Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac and the Federal House Administration "now the dominant providers of mortgage financing." The Fed's #2 said "there is more to be done" to strengthen the resilience of the housing finance systems. Just taking the possibility of severe stress seriously would help, he said. And government support for housing should always be made explicit, he added.
  • 8:49 AM » CoreLogic Reports Mortgage Credit Risk Edges Up Slightly
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 8:49 AM by
    —Credit Risk for New Loans Similar to Early 2000s— Shift to a higher percentage of home-purchase loans over refinance loans increased credit risk Higher share of investor, condo/co-op purchases and lower-documentation lending increased credit risk slightly, offsetting the lower risk of other underwriting metrics CoreLogic ® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its Q1 2017 CoreLogic Housing Credit Index (HCI ™ ) which measures trends in six home mortgage credit risk attributes. The HCI indicates the relative increase or decrease in credit risk for new home loan originations compared to prior periods. The six attributes are: borrower credit score, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), loan-to-value ratio (LTV), investor-owned status, condo/co-op share and documentation level. In Q1 2017, the HCI increased to 105.6, up 3.6 points from Q1 2016. Even with this increase, the level of credit risk in Q1 2017 is nearly the same as the average of 105.9 for the period of 2001 to 2003, a time frame that is considered to be a normal baseline for credit risk. The slight loosening in the credit index during the past year was partly due to a shift in the mix of purchase versus refinance originations because purchase loans exhibit higher risk attributes than refinanced loans. Beginning in Q1 2017, the HCI was revised to include a more comprehensive source of loan-level, non-agency, mortgage-backed securities data. The result is that the HCI more accurately captures the loans that exhibited higher risk features during the mid-2000s. “Mortgage rates during the first quarter of 2017 were up about 0.5 percentage points from a year earlier,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Since 2009, for every one-half percentage point increase in mortgage rates, the average credit score on refinance borrowers has dipped by 9 points, and this pattern...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:49 AM » HUD Report Calls for Greater Action to Reduce Injuries to Seniors in the Home
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 8:49 AM by HUD
    WASHINGTON - Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their home, resulting in injury, long-term disability and premature institutionalization. By 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be nearly $60 billion a year.
  • 8:48 AM » Lennar's profit beats as home sales gain steam
    Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 8:48 AM by CNBC
    Lennar, the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, as it sold more homes at higher prices.
  • Mon, Jun 19 2017
  • 11:05 PM » Q2 GDP Forecasts being Revised Down
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 11:05 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Merrill Lynch: Housing starts were a big disappointment in May, plunging 5.5% to 1,092k saar from 1,156k in April. ... Feeding the data into our tracking model sliced 0.1pp from our 2Q estimate, leaving us at 2.2% qoq saar . From the Altanta Fed: GDPNow The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2017 is 2.9 percent on June 16, down from 3.2 percent on June 14. The forecast for second-quarter real residential investment growth decreased from 1.8 percent to 0.4 percent after this morning's housing starts release from the U.S. Census Bureau. emphasis added From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.9% for 2017:Q2 and 1.5% for 2017:Q3.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:05 PM » Another part of the real estate market is starting to crumble
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 11:05 PM by Market Watch
    Landlords may have finally pushed apartment tenants to the limit of what they can afford, says John Coumarianos.
  • 11:05 PM » Fed's Dudley confident U.S. inflation should rebound with wages
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 11:05 PM by Reuters
    PLATTSBURG, NY (Reuters) - U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rebound alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, an influential Federal Reserve official said on Monday, reinforcing the message that a recent patch of weak data is unlikely to derail plans to keep raising interest rates.
  • 11:04 PM » Home Builders, Home Sellers Suddenly Shy
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 11:04 PM by
    Steadily rising construction of new homes has given a jolt of adrenaline to the economy, but a building slowdown raises questions. The post Home Builders, Home Sellers Suddenly Shy appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:40 AM » Fed's Dudley says he's not paying attention to bond market's signals of concerns
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 9:40 AM by Market Watch
    New York Fed President William Dudley said Monday that the economy is in pretty good shape and he is not paying much attention to signals of concern from bond market, according to news reports. In a roundtable discussion in Plattsburgh, New York, Dudley said the economic outlook was "pretty good." He said he wasn't taking too much of a signal from low bond yields. U.S. yields are relatively high compared with Japan and Europe, he noted. The bond market is pricing in much fewer rate hikes over the next two years than the four moves the Fed has penciled in. Dudley said the Fed has to keep raising interest rates to avoid having to move so rapidly in the future that the tightening might cause a recession. The dollar and Treasury yields moved higher on the back on his comments.
  • 8:52 AM » Million-Dollar Housing Boom: Cities Where Seven-Figure Listings Have Skyrocketed
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 8:52 AM by
    With a housing shortage pushing prices higher, the share of homes listed for $1 million and over has been on the rise-nowhere faster than these cities. The post Million-Dollar Housing Boom: Cities Where Seven-Figure Listings Have Skyrocketed appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:50 AM » NAHB Estimates 79,000 Single-family Tear-down Starts in 2016
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 8:50 AM by
    Roughly 10.2% of single-family homes started in 2016 qualify as tear-down starts, up from 7.7% in 2016, according to the latest estimates from NAHB. As defined here, a tear-down start means a home built on a site where a previous structure or evidence of a previous structure was present before the new home was started, as reported by the new home’s... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:50 AM » This week: Big news on banks and the housing market
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 8:50 AM by CNBC
    This week, the Fed will explain itself. Plus, reports on the health of big banks, the housing market and more.
  • 8:48 AM » Are bond markets turning on the White House?
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 8:48 AM by CNBC
    It's not a good idea to dismiss the falling bond yields in reaction to the Fed's difficult work of steering the U.S. economy in an environment of rising uncertainties, Michael Ivanovitch writes.
  • 8:48 AM » Bond Traders Still Come Out as Winners After Four Fed Rate Hikes
    Published Mon, Jun 19 2017 8:48 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Bond Traders Still Come Out as Winners After Four Fed Rate Hikes Bloomberg It's been 18 months since the Federal Reserve's first post-crisis increase in interest rates. Four hikes in, investors in the $14 trillion Treasuries market are laughing all the way to the bank. The 10-year yield ended last week at 2.15 percent, after ... and more »
  • Fri, Jun 16 2017
  • 4:57 PM » Weak inflation erodes conviction at Fed on rate hikes
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 4:57 PM by Reuters
    DALLAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When the Federal Reserve raised rates earlier this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed confidence that recent weak inflation readings were transitory. Fed officials on Friday signaled that doubts are simmering.
  • 4:57 PM » Freddie Mac Announces Pricing of $198 Million Multifamily Small Balance Loan Securitization
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 4:57 PM by
    Freddie Mac Announces Pricing of $198 Million Multifamily Small Balance Loan Securitization
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:56 PM » Fed should be cautious on further rate hikes, Kaplan says
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 2:56 PM by CNBC
    The Fed should be cautious about any further rate hikes, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said, just two days after he voted to raise rates.
  • 2:33 PM » From Reagan top to Trump bottom? A presidential chart of the 10-year yield
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 2:33 PM by CNBC
    If a multi-presidential-term chart of the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield is any indication, a bottom for the 10-year Treasury note yield may be in store.
  • 2:24 PM » US Consumer-Sentiment Drop Shows Post-Election Bump Fading
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 2:24 PM by Bloomberg
    US Consumer-Sentiment Drop Shows Post-Election Bump Fading Bloomberg The biggest drop in U.S. consumer sentiment since October represents a break from the greater optimism seen after the presidential election, University of Michigan survey data showed Friday. Highlights of Michigan Sentiment (June, Preliminary ... and more »
  • 1:58 PM » Negative-yielding government debt 'supernova' jumps to $9.5 trillion
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 1:58 PM by CNBC
    A slew of factors converged in May to send the global total to $9.5 trillion of sovereign debt.
  • 12:13 PM » U.S. housing starts hit eight-month low; building permits weak
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 12:13 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. homebuilding fell for a third straight month in May to the lowest level in eight months as construction activity declined broadly, suggesting that housing could be a drag on economic growth in the second quarter.
  • 11:32 AM » The Fed: Fed's Kashkari says he didn't agree with Yellen that soft inflation is due to ‘one-off' factors
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 11:32 AM by Market Watch
    Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Friday he voted against an interest rate hike this week because he didn't think soft inflation was due to temporary factors.
  • 10:47 AM » BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 9 states in May, Four States at New Series Lows
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 10:47 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary Unemployment rates were lower in May in 9 states , higher in 3 states, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 28 states and the District had little or no change. ... Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate in May, 2.3 percent, followed by North Dakota, 2.5 percent. The rates in Arkansas (3.4 percent), Mississippi (4.9 percent), Oregon (3.6 percent), and Washington (4.5 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska and New Mexico had the highest jobless rates, 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recession (blue). All states are well below the maximum unemployment rate for the recession. The size of the blue bar indicates the amount of improvement.   The yellow squares are the lowest unemployment rate per state since 1976. Note: The larger yellow markers indicate the states that reached the all time low since the end of the 2007 recession.  These nine states are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Alaska, at 6.7%, had the highest state unemployment rate. The second graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 2006. At the worst of the employment recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red). Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); Only two states and D.C. are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (6.7%) and New Mexico (6.6%).  D.C. is at 6.0%. 
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:13 AM » The Fed wants to go on 'auto-pilot': Look out for storm clouds ahead
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 9:13 AM by CNBC
    If Janet Yellen has her way, the Fed she chairs is about to go from the center of the universe to a mere afterthought.
  • 9:12 AM » The Man Who Ran the Bank Bailout Is the Fed's Toughest Internal Critic
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 9:12 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg The Man Who Ran the Bank Bailout Is the Fed's Toughest Internal Critic Bloomberg "How can this group of really smart people who are dedicated public servants keep making the exact same mistake over, and over, and over, and over again?" by. Matthew Boesler. @boes_ More stories by Matthew Boesler. and. Jeanna Smialek.
  • 9:12 AM » Is the Fed ready to consider lifting its inflation target?
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 9:12 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Years of tepid economic recovery have Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers considering what was once unthinkable: abandoning decades-long efforts to hold inflation down and allowing price expectations to creep up.
  • 8:43 AM » US Treasurys lower as investors continue to respond to the Fed's bond holding cuts
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 8:43 AM by CNBC
    U.S. government debt prices were lower on Friday morning as investors continued to digest the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate hike and renewed stance on balance sheet cuts.
  • 8:42 AM » US housing starts total 1.092M in May vs 1.215M starts expected
    Published Fri, Jun 16 2017 8:42 AM by CNBC
    The number of new homes constructed in May was forecast to total 1.25 million, up marginally from the 1.23 million housing starts reported a month earlier.
  • Thu, Jun 15 2017
  • 2:34 PM » Sacramento Housing in May: Sales up 7%, Active Inventory down 14% YoY
    Published Thu, Jun 15 2017 2:34 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    During the recession, I started following the Sacramento market to look for changes in the mix of houses sold (equity, REOs, and short sales). For several years, not much changed. But in 2012 and 2013, we saw some significant changes with a dramatic shift from distressed sales to more normal equity sales. This data suggested healing in the Sacramento market and other distressed markets showed similar improvement.  Note: The Sacramento Association of REALTORS® started breaking out REOs in May 2008, and short sales in June 2009. In May, total sales were up 7.4% from May 2016, and conventional equity sales were up 9.8% compared to the same month last year. In May, 4.2% of all resales were distressed sales. This was down from 4.7% last month, and down from 7.0% in May 2016. The percentage of REOs was at 2.1%, and the percentage of short sales was 2.1%. Here are the statistics . Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the percent of REO sales, short sales and conventional sales. There has been a sharp increase in conventional (equity) sales that started in 2012 (blue) as the percentage of distressed sales declined sharply. Active Listing Inventory for single family homes decreased 13.9% year-over-year (YoY) in May.  This was the 25th consecutive monthly YoY decrease in inventory in Sacramento. Cash buyers accounted for 14.6% of all sales - this has been generally declining (frequently investors). Summary: This data suggests a normal market with few distressed sales, and less investor buying - but with limited inventory.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:34 PM » The Controversy Over Inflation
    Published Thu, Jun 15 2017 2:34 PM by The Atlantic
    This week, the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates, a move intended to slow the economy down. It makes some sense. The current spell of growth has lasted for nearly 100 months. The jobless rate is down to 4.3 percent, and less than 2 percent in some metro areas. Wages are increasing, though not by much more than inflation. The monthly jobs numbers continue to look decent. As such, as expected, the Fed raised its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point, from 1 to 1.25 percent. But there is one main indicator that does not signal an economy getting hot-and it is one that the Fed is supposed to be keeping an eye on just as closely as it keeps an eye on employment. That is inflation. Price increases have proven remarkably, persistently sluggish, with inflation lower than the Fed itself says it would like it to be. The central bank currently has an inflation target of 2 percent, and yet, excluding volatile food and energy prices, as the Fed likes to do, inflation is a few tenths of a percentage point below that mark -and falling, no less. This poses a quandary for the Fed, and about the Fed. Why is inflation so low if the economy looks so good, judging by other metrics? And why would the Fed raise rates-cooling the economy off and potentially keeping thousands of workers from joining the labor force, getting a gig, or getting a raise-given that inflation is so low? The root causes of today's low rates of price growth might be mostly benign. The Fed itself argues that the sluggishness is in part due to temporary or one-time price drops, and thus not something to get worried about. "The recent lower reading on inflation [has] been driven significantly by what appears to be one-off reductions in certain categories of prices such as wireless telephone services and prescription drugs," Janet Yellen, the Fed chair, said at a press conference this week. International factors might be at play, too. The strength of the dollar, ample cheap imports...
  • 12:19 PM » Why a 'bad year for bonds' has turned into a pretty good one
    Published Thu, Jun 15 2017 12:19 PM by CNBC
    Why Treasury bond yields didn't move in the direction the market would have expected after the Fed raised rates.
  • 12:18 PM » Art Cashin warns the Fed: 'Wake up,' the economy isn't as good as it looks
    Published Thu, Jun 15 2017 12:18 PM by CNBC
    "It's not that the economy is on life support but it's certainly not robust," UBS trader Art Cashin tells CNBC.
  • 10:08 AM » Homebuilder confidence slips despite strong demand for new homes
    Published Thu, Jun 15 2017 10:08 AM by CNBC
    A monthly survey of builder sentiment fell two points in June to 67, and May's reading was revised down by one point.
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