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  • Wed, Mar 25 2015
  • 12:41 PM » Weak U.S. business spending data points to tepid first quarter growth
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 12:41 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. business investment spending plans fell for a sixth straight month in February, likely weighed down by a strong dollar and weak global demand, leading economists to further lower their first-quarter growth estimates.
  • 12:38 PM » New Home Prices: More homes priced in the $200K to $300K range
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 12:38 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Here are two graphs I haven't posted for some time ... As part of the new home sales report, the Census Bureau reported the number of homes sold by price and the average and median prices. From the Census Bureau : "The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2015 was $275,500; the average sales price was $341,000." The following graph shows the median and average new home prices. Click on graph for larger image. During the housing bust, the builders had to build smaller and less expensive homes to compete with all the distressed sales.  When housing started to recovery - with limited finished lots in recovering areas - builders moved to higher price points to maximize profits. Recently some builders have announced new homes at lower price points. The average price in February 2015 was $341,000 and the median price was $275,500.  Both are above the bubble high (this is due to both a change in mix and rising prices), but are below the recent peak. The second graph shows the percent of new homes sold by price. Less than 5% of homes sold were under $150K in February 2015.  This is down from 30% in 2002 - and down from 20% as recently as August 2011.  The under $150K new home is probably going away. However there has been a pickup in homes sold in the $200K to $300K range (Up to 37.8% of homes in February 2015). Yesterday on New Home Sales: • New Home Sales at 539,000 Annual Rate in February • Comments on New Home Sales
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:15 AM » Senate's Shelby Signals Fannie-Freddie Fix Unlikely This Year
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 11:15 AM by Bloomberg
    Senate's Shelby Signals Fannie-Freddie Fix Unlikely This Year Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- The leader of the Senate Banking Committee said he'd rather leave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in U.S. conservatorship than pass a bill that includes explicit government support for the housing market. The comments Wednesday from ...
  • 10:33 AM » Q. and A. With Fed's Dennis Lockhart: The Year to Raise Rates
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 10:33 AM by www.nytimes.com
    Dennis Lockhart just entered his ninth year as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and during that time he has never voted to raise interest rates. He took the job during the very early days of the financial crisis, and he has never really had the chance. But that is about to change. Mr. Lockhart said in an interview Monday that he expected he would vote to start raising rates by September at the latest. He also talked about his optimism that the economy was gaining strength despite signs of a slow start to 2015, and he dismissed a proposal by Richard Fisher, the recently retired Dallas Fed president, to reduce the role of the New York Fed in making monetary policy.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 10:21 AM » In Texas Oil Towns, Price-Crash Shows Up in Slowing Rent Growth
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 10:21 AM by WSJ
    The crash in oil prices is seeping into high-octane real estate markets.
  • 10:18 AM » 4 reasons to sell your home now
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 10:18 AM by CNN
    Attention potential sellers sitting on the fence: It could be time to make a move.
  • 10:17 AM » US New-Home Sales `Picking Up Steam,' Hovnanian Says
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 10:17 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg US New-Home Sales `Picking Up Steam,' Hovnanian Says Bloomberg Ara Hovnanian, chief executive officer of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., talks about sales of new homes in the U.S. and the outlook for the housing market. Hovnanian speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg) ...
  • 10:14 AM » Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in February
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 10:14 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in February to 1.81%, down from 1.86% in January. Freddie's rate is down from 2.29% in February 2014, and the rate in February was the lowest level since December 2008. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".  Note: Fannie Mae will report their Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate for February next week. Click on graph for larger image Although the rate is declining, the "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%.  The serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.48 percentage points over the last year - and the rate of improvement has slowed recently - but at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until late 2016. Note: Very few seriously delinquent loans cure with the owner making up back payments - most of the reduction in the serious delinquency rate is from foreclosures, short sales, and modifications.  So even though distressed sales are declining, I expect an above normal level of Fannie and Freddie distressed sales for 2 more years (mostly in judicial foreclosure states).
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:03 AM » Millennials Start Shift to Homeownership as Rents Soar
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 9:03 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Millennials Start Shift to Homeownership as Rents Soar Bloomberg Millennials made up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market in 2014, up from 28 percent two years earlier, and have pulled ahead of the older Generation X as the largest segment of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Photographer: ...
  • 9:03 AM » Fed's Evans: Central Bank Shouldn't Raise Rates This Year
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 9:03 AM by WSJ
    Overly weak inflation and a lack of evidence suggesting price pressures are about to heat up means the Fed shouldn't raise interest rates this year, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said in a speech Wednesday.
  • 9:03 AM » US business spending gauge tumbles in February
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 9:03 AM by CNBC
    U.S. business investment spending plans fell for a sixth straight month in February, likely weighed down by a strong dollar and weak global demand.
  • 9:01 AM » House for sale rigged to explode
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 9:01 AM by CNBC
    Investigators were seeking the renters of a house for sale that was wired to explode if someone had simply flipped a light switch.
  • 9:00 AM » ECB's Bond-Buying Is Already Helping Economy, Liikanen Says
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 9:00 AM by Bloomberg
    ECB's Bond-Buying Is Already Helping Economy, Liikanen Says Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- The impact of asset purchases by the European Central Bank is visible in the euro-area economy, according to Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen. "Monetary-policy decisions and the measures taken have already had a clear, positive ... and more »
  • Tue, Mar 24 2015
  • 11:54 PM » Slowing Momentum Might Signal Peak in New-Home Prices
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:54 PM by WSJ
    What does the recent slowdown in new-home price increases mean? It primarily means two things: Home builders appear to have exhausted buyers' tolerance for big price increases, and builders are constructing a greater number of less-pricey homes.
  • 11:52 PM » Freddie Finds Buyers for Risk-Sharing Debt as Fannie Seeks More
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:52 PM by Bloomberg
    Freddie Finds Buyers for Risk-Sharing Debt as Fannie Seeks More Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- With mortgage giant Freddie Mac finding increased demand this week in the nascent market for its risk-sharing securities, competitor Fannie Mae said it was taking steps to draw more buyers for its own notes. Freddie Mac on Tuesday sold more ... and more »
  • 11:52 PM » Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for February 2015
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:52 PM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for February 2015
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 11:52 PM » Nationstar shares fall after secondary offering announced
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:52 PM by Market Watch
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. shares declined in the extended session Tuesday after the residential mortgage services company announced a secondary offering of its stock. Nationstar shares fell 4.5% to $29.75 on light volume. The company said it was offering 17.5 million shares, with the option of 2.6 million shares to cover overallotments. Nationstar has 92 million shares outstanding, according to FactSet data.
  • 3:49 PM » Lawler: Updated Table of Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities in February
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 3:49 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Economist Tom Lawler sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for several selected cities and areas in February. On distressed: Total "distressed" share is down in most of these markets mostly due to a decline in short sales (Mid-Atlantic is up year-over-year because of an increase foreclosure as lenders work through the backlog). Short sales are down in these areas. Foreclosures are up in several areas, especially in Florida. The All Cash Share (last two columns) is declining year-over-year. As investors pull back, the share of all cash buyers will probably continue to decline.   Short Sales Share Foreclosure Sales Share Total "Distressed" Share All Cash Share Feb-15 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-14 Las Vegas 9.3% 14.0% 9.7% 12.0% 19.0% 26.0% 37.4% 46.8% Reno*             27.1% 35.3% Omaha             19.6% 25.6% Pensacola             36.7% 41.8% Knoxville        
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:46 PM » CFPB seeks comments on new information collection plans
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 2:46 PM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Barbara S. Mishkin The CFPB has published two Federal Register notices seeking comments on its plans to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget for two new generic information collection plans. Comments on both plans are due on or before May 22, 2015. One notice requests comments on a “Generic Information Collection Plan for Surveys Using... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 1:41 PM » The Inflation Cycle May Have Turned
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 1:41 PM by WSJ
    Central banks around the world have been alarmed at how inflation has plummeted in the last year, in many cases into negative territory. But there are tantalizing signs that the cycle has turned.
  • 1:05 PM » Where Construction Continues to Struggle Years After the Bust
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 1:05 PM by WSJ
    A new state-by-state breakdown by the Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group, finds both pockets of strength and continued weakness.
  • 1:03 PM » Why the dollar's strength isn't likely to alter the Fed's rate-hike timing
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 1:03 PM by Market Watch
    The threat that the stronger dollar will push already low inflation back into negative territory is "certainly overblown," according to new research from the Cleveland Fed.
  • 1:03 PM » Key Measures Show Low Inflation in February
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 1:03 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning: According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (3.0% annualized rate) in February. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.0% annualized rate) during the month. The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly CPI report. Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) in February. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.2% (1.9% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis. Note: The Cleveland Fed has the median CPI details for February  here . Motor fuel added to inflation in February following several months of steep declines. However oil and gasoline prices declined again in March, and will pull down inflation again. Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.2%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.8%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 1.7%. Core PCE is for January and increased 1.3% year-over-year. On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 3.0% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 2.0% annualized, and core CPI was at 1.9% annualized. On a year-over-year basis these measures suggest inflation remains below the Fed's target of 2% (median CPI is slightly above 2%). The key question for the Fed is if these key measures will move back towards 2%.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:41 AM » Here's a solution for the Fed
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:41 AM by CNBC
    An audit isn't the answer. Here's an alternative that would achieve Congress's goal of more Fed oversight, says UBS economist Drew Matus.
  • 11:41 AM » U.S. Fed Reserve Official Warns of Risk of Market Disruption
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 11:41 AM by WSJ
    A top Federal Reserve official said Tuesday that interest-rate expectations in financial markets need to be better aligned with those of Fed officials, warning that reconciling those views could cause "potentially violent" market disruption.
  • 10:28 AM » U.S. new home sales hit seven-year high in February
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 10:28 AM by Reuters
    New U.S. single-family home sales surged in February to their highest level in seven years despite harsh winter weather, in a hopeful sign for the housing market.
  • 10:27 AM » Nasty surprise for homebuyers?
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 10:27 AM by CNBC
    Low mortgage rates may be putting would-be homebuyers in a tough spot down the road, Zillow's Stan Humphries warns.
  • 9:04 AM » Fed's Bullard says zero U.S. rates no longer appropriate
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 9:04 AM by Reuters
    LONDON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard said on Tuesday that zero percent interest rates were no longing appropriate in the United States, and that a rate hike in the summer would still leave policy extremely accommodative.
  • 8:51 AM » Stars may be aligned for housing
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 8:51 AM by CNBC
    Traders are finding technical and fundamental reasons to get in on housing plays.
  • 8:51 AM » U.S. consumer prices rebound, underlying inflation firming
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 8:51 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices rebounded in February as gasoline prices rose for the first time since June, and there were also signs of an uptick in underlying inflation pressures, which could keep a June interest rate increase on the table.
  • 8:50 AM » Nomura Executive's "Danger Batman" Warning Emerges in Court
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 8:50 AM by Bloomberg
    Nomura Executive's Danger Batman Warning Emerges in Court Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- "Danger Batman!!" That warning was sent in a 2007 e-mail by Nomura Holdings Inc. Vice President Menachem Sabo to his boss after reviewing the quality of some mortgages backing a bond sold to investors. The exchange is included in a ...
  • 8:48 AM » Ocwen to Sell More Servicing Rights as NYSE Listing at Risk
    Published Tue, Mar 24 2015 8:48 AM by Bloomberg
    Ocwen to Sell More Servicing Rights as NYSE Listing at Risk Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Ocwen Financial Corp. agreed to sell servicing rights on a $25 billion portfolio of home loans and said it's out of compliance with New York Stock Exchange listing standards. The portfolio is being sold to Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. and ... and more »
  • Mon, Mar 23 2015
  • 11:37 PM » Consumer inflation seen rising
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 11:37 PM by CNBC
    CPI is expected to have edged higher in February, but the gain could be small and potentially fleeting.
  • 11:32 PM » Fed's Williams says mid-year rate rise may be appropriate
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 11:32 PM by Reuters
    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Federal Reserve policymakers should wait no more than a few months before considering raising U.S. interest rates from their current near-zero level, a top Fed official said on Tuesday.
  • 11:32 PM » China March flash HSBC PMI contracts to 11-month low, new orders shrink
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 11:32 PM by Reuters
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Activity in China's factory sector dipped to a 11-month low in March as new orders shrank, a private survey showed, signaling persistent weakness in the world's second-largest economy that will likely fuel calls for more policy easing to support growth.
  • 11:29 PM » Global Bond Yields Fall Toward Record Low Before Inflation Data
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 11:29 PM by Bloomberg
    Global Bond Yields Fall Toward Record Low Before Inflation Data Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of global government bond yields approached an all-time low before a report that economists predict will show the U.S. annual inflation rate fell for a second month. Bonds in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market ...
  • 11:28 PM » Tuesday: New Home Sales, CPI, Richmond Fed Mfg
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 11:28 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    With oil and gasoline prices up a little in February compared to January, CPI will probably show a positive monthly change for the first time since October. The CPI might still be down year-over-year - or close to unchanged. As an example, WTI oil averaged $47.22 per barrel in January and increased to $50.58 in February. However oil and gasoline prices have declined again in March - WTI was at $47.42 today - and will push down inflation again in March. Tuesday: • 8:30 AM ET, the Consumer Price Index for February . The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in CPI, and for core CPI to increase 0.1%. • At 9:00 AM, the FHFA House Price Index for January 2015. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. • At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for February from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a decrease in sales to 475 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in February from 481 thousand in January. • Also at 10:00 AM, the Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for March.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:22 PM » US 10-year yield heading to 1.5%: Pro
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 4:22 PM by CNBC
    The U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield will dip to 1.5 percent as more investors globally turn to safe investments, an expert said.
  • 2:20 PM » Don't blame Germany for Greece's problems: Tsipras
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 2:20 PM by CNBC
    Greece's firebrand communist leader struck a consolatory note on Monday, saying it was wrong to blame foreigners for the country's problems.
  • 2:18 PM » Fed expected to hike this year, but future path uncertain: Fischer
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2015 2:18 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is "widely expected" to begin raising interest rates this year though the path remains uncertain, with policymakers deciding subsequent policy moves on a meeting-by-meeting basis, a top Fed official said on Monday.
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