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  • Mon, Jul 25 2016
  • 8:12 AM » The Future is still Bright!
    Published Mon, Jul 25 2016 8:12 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Three and a half years ago I wrote The Future's so Bright ... . In that post I outlined why I was becoming more optimistic. It is time for another update! For new readers: I was very bearish on the economy when I started this blog in 2005 - back then I wrote mostly about housing (see: LA Times article and more here for comments about the blog). I started looking for the sun in early 2009, and recently I've been more optimistic. Here are some updates to the graphs I posted 3+ years ago.  Several of these graphs have changed direction since that original post.  As example, state and local government employment is now increasing, and household deleveraging is over (as predicted). Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows total and single family housing starts. Even though starts are up about 150% from the bottom, starts are still below the average level of 1.5 million per year from 1959 through 2000. Demographics and household formation suggests starts will increase to around 1.5 million over the next few years. That means starts will probably increase another 25% or so from the June 2016 level of 1.19 million starts (SAAR). Residential investment and housing starts are usually the best leading indicator for the economy, so this suggests the economy will continue to grow. This graph shows total state and government payroll employment since January 2007. State and local governments lost 129,000 jobs in 2009, 262,000 in 2010, 217,000 in 2011, and 40,000 in 2012. Since January 2013, state and local employment has increased 259,000. So, in the aggregate, state and local government layoffs are over - and the economic drag on the economy is over.  However state and local government employment is still 464,000 below the pre-recession peak. And here is a graph on the US deficit. This graph, based on the CBO's recent projections, shows the actual (purple) budget deficit each year as a percent of GDP, and an estimate...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:09 AM » Black Knight: House Price Index up 1.1% in May, Up 5.4% year-over-year
    Published Mon, Jul 25 2016 8:09 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted . From Black Knight: Black Knight Home Price Index Report: May 2016 Transactions, U.S. Home Prices Up 1.1 Percent for the Month; Up 5.4 Percent Year-Over-Year • U.S. home prices were up 1.1% for the month, and 5.4% from a year ago • At $263K, the U.S. HPI is up nearly 32% from the bottom of the market at the start of 2012 and is now just 1.8% off its June 2006 peak • 15 of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks: ?Austin, TX ($303K) ?Boston, MA ($424K) ?Charlotte, NC ($209K) ?Columbus, OH ($183K) ?Dallas, TX ($234K) ?Denver, CO ($357K) ?Houston, TX ($227K) ?Kansas City, MO ($182K) ?Nashville, TN ($235K) ?Pittsburgh, PA ($194K) ?Portland, OR ($352K) ?San Antonio, TX ($202K) ?San Francisco, CA ($771K) ?San Jose, CA ($920K) ?Seattle, WA ($405K) The year-over-year increase in this index has been about the same for the last year.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:09 AM » The Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate on a Budget
    Published Mon, Jul 25 2016 8:09 AM by www.realtor.com
    Here's why aspiring real estate moguls may want to consider purchasing a rental residence in another, lower-priced city where prices and rents are rising. The post The Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate on a Budget appeared first on Real Estate News and Advice - realtor.com .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 8:09 AM » Yellen Still Waiting for Overwhelming Evidence to Warrant Hike
    Published Mon, Jul 25 2016 8:09 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Yellen Still Waiting for Overwhelming Evidence to Warrant Hike Bloomberg For Federal Reserve officials, getting better never seems to rise to good enough. Since the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee last gathered six weeks ago, economic reports have shown one example of U.S. resilience after another following a ... and more »
  • Fri, Jul 22 2016
  • 3:44 PM » Food is ruling retail real estate, and food trucks are moving in
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 3:44 PM by CNBC
    E-commerce may be driving consumers away from shopping centers, but food is pulling them back in.
  • 3:43 PM » Treasuries' Selloff Momentum Stalls as Bond Bulls See a Rebound
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 3:43 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries' Selloff Momentum Stalls as Bond Bulls See a Rebound Bloomberg Treasuries erased losses, putting 10-year note yields on pace to end the week near where they started, in a win for bond bulls who speculated that the biggest selloff in a year wouldn't last even amid upbeat U.S. economic data. The benchmark yield has ...
  • 1:37 PM » Shots fired at Munich shopping center
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 1:37 PM by CNBC
    Shots have been fired at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, according to police, NBC News reports.
  • 1:13 PM » HMDA resources for data collected in 2017 and 2018
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 1:13 PM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Wendy Tran and Richard J. Andreano, Jr. As we have reported, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a final rule amending Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), requiring "Covered Institutions" to report certain information about mortgage applications and loans in efforts to create transparency in the mortgage lending process. In connection with the revisions, beginning with data... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 11:14 AM » Eyes on Fed, BOJ, Europe's bank stress test
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 11:14 AM by Reuters
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Central banks from Washington to Tokyo take center stage next week, although policymakers are likely to remain cautious as they wait for the dust to settle from Britain's shock vote to leave the EU.
  • 11:14 AM » BLS: Unemployment Rates stable in 43 states in June
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 11:14 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary Unemployment rates were significantly higher in June in 6 states, lower in 1 state, and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ... South Dakota and New Hampshire had the lowest jobless rates in June , 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Alaska had the highest unemployment rate, 6.7 percent . 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. 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 seven states and D.C are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states at or above 6% are Alaska, Nevada, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama and West Virginia.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:10 AM » Agencies propose method to adjust threshold for exempting small loans from special appraisal requirements
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 11:10 AM by Federal Reserve
    Agencies propose method to adjust threshold for exempting small loans from special appraisal requirements
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 8:36 AM » Ouch! Brexit leads to 'dramatic deterioration' of UK economy
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 8:36 AM by CNN
    It's been one month since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union and British businesses are already taking a major hit.
  • 8:29 AM » The Search for the Elusive Natural Interest Rate
    Published Fri, Jul 22 2016 8:29 AM by Bloomberg
    The Search for the Elusive Natural Interest Rate Bloomberg Financial markets are remarkably strong in a world roiled by terror attacks, a coup attempt in Turkey, murders of police officers in the U.S., and Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union. The S&P 500 set a record on July 20 for the sixth ... and more »
  • Thu, Jul 21 2016
  • 4:39 PM » It's Payback Time For Construction
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 4:39 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg It's Payback Time For Construction Bloomberg Construction led growth at the start of the year, but don't expect a repeat performance in the second quarter. Real value added by the construction industry - a measure of how much that sector contributed to gross domestic product - climbed at a 9 ... and more »
  • 4:21 PM » A Few Comments on June Existing Home Sales
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 4:21 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Earlier: Existing Home Sales increased in June to 5.57 million SAAR For existing homes, inventory is still key.  I expected some increase in inventory last year, but that didn't happened.  Inventory is still very low and falling year-over-year (down 5.8% year-over-year in June). More inventory would probably mean smaller price increases and slightly higher sales, and less inventory means lower sales and somewhat larger price increases. Two of the key reasons inventory is low: 1) A large number of single family home and condos were converted to rental units. Last year, housing economist Tom Lawler estimated there were 17.5 million renter occupied single family homes in the U.S., up from 10.7 million in 2000. Many of these houses were purchased by investors, and rents have increased substantially, and the investors are not selling (even though prices have increased too). Most of these rental conversions were at the lower end, and that is limiting the supply for first time buyers. 2) Baby boomers are aging in place (people tend to downsize when they are 75 or 80, in another 10 to 20 years for the boomers). Instead we are seeing a surge in home improvement spending, and this is also limiting supply. Of course low inventory keeps potential move-up buyers from selling too.  If someone looks around for another home, and inventory is lean, they may decide to just stay and upgrade. Also, the NAR reported total sales were up 3.0% from June 2015, however normal equity sales were up even more, and distressed sales down sharply. From the NAR (from a survey that is far from perfect): Distressed sales - foreclosures and short sales - were 6 percent of sales in June, unchanged from May and down from 8 percent a year ago. Four percent of June sales were foreclosures (lowest since NAR began tracking in October 2008) and 2 percent were short sales. Last year in June the NAR reported that 8% of sales were distressed sales. A rough estimate: Sales in June 2015...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 3:07 PM » Is America's middle class too pessimistic?
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 3:07 PM by CNN
    American middle class optimism has gone missing.
  • 2:51 PM » Trying to Answer the Eternal Question ‘Where Will Mortgage Rates Go?'
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 2:51 PM by www.realtor.com
    Forecasting mortgage rates has been a fool's errand for more than three years now-but our chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, is game to give it a try. The post Trying to Answer the Eternal Question 'Where Will Mortgage Rates Go?' appeared first on Real Estate News and Advice - realtor.com .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 12:58 PM » Investors still want to keep their money in cash
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 12:58 PM by Market Watch
    Real estate and cash are the most popular investment choices
  • 12:57 PM » Economic Report: Household income has dropped 1.1% over past 16 years
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 12:57 PM by Market Watch
    Median annual household income through June has dropped 1.1% over past 16 years, according to a Sentier Research report released Thursday.
  • 11:52 AM » A fifth anniversary for the CFPB
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 11:52 AM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Barbara S. Mishkin Today, July 21, 2016, marks the fifth anniversary of the date on which the CFPB officially opened its doors for business. Since then, the CFPB has embarked on unprecedented initiatives that have dramatically changed the face of the consumer financial services industry. Despite the continuing legislative and judicial challenges to its structure, we expect no slowdown... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 11:50 AM » Remodeling Market Index Holds Steady in Second Quarter
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 11:50 AM by eyeonhousing.org
    The National Association of Home Builder's Remodeling Market Index (RMI) dropped one point to 53 in the second quarter of 2016. Although the index dropped slightly, this quarter marks the 13th quarter in which the index is above the breakeven point of 50. An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: eyeonhousing.org
  • 10:13 AM » Low mortgage rates help boost U.S. home resales to 9-year high
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 10:13 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in June to their fastest pace in more than nine years as low mortgage interest rates drew buyers into the market, a positive sign for the economy.
  • 9:48 AM » Home improvements to hit $321 billion
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 9:48 AM by CNBC
    Home equity is back, and headed for the bathroom, or the kitchen, or wherever homeowners see the greatest returns.
  • 8:30 AM » Blackstone earnings beat forecasts on real estate, energy
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 8:30 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP , the world's largest alternative asset manager, reported higher-than-expected economic net income of 44 cents per share for the second quarter, helped by strong real estate investments and a rebound in energy prices.
  • 8:29 AM » Fed Officials Are Getting Real About the Limits of Their Power
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 8:29 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Fed Officials Are Getting Real About the Limits of Their Power Bloomberg The Federal Reserve can't do it alone. For eight years it's pressed the gas pedal -- lowering rates, buying bonds and declaring their absolute resolve to revive moribund growth. This has helped heal scars from the Great Recession, namely reducing ... and more »
  • 8:29 AM » BoJ's Kuroda rules out 'helicopter money'
    Published Thu, Jul 21 2016 8:29 AM by CNBC
    Markets have been speculating that the central bank will directly finance budget stimulus through programs such as perpetual bonds.
  • Wed, Jul 20 2016
  • 2:58 PM » Mortgagee Letter 2016-11
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:58 PM by HUD
    Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
  • 2:58 PM » Real estate stocks let you ‘have your cake and REIT it, too': Analyst
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:58 PM by CNBC
    In today's market environment, real estate investment trusts are among the best places to invest, according to Evercore ISI's Rich Ross.
  • 2:58 PM » How Much House Do Americans Actually Own?
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:58 PM by www.realtor.com
    Americans have a lot of real money tied up in their homes - on average, $150,506, according to a new report. The post How Much House Do Americans Actually Own? appeared first on Real Estate News and Advice - realtor.com .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 2:58 PM » CoreLogic: Orange County Median Home Prices Hit New Record
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:58 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Jeff Collins at the O.C. Register: $657,500: O.C. median home price hits record The median price of an Orange County home - or the price at the midpoint of all sales - was $657,500, real estate data firm CoreLogic reported Tuesday. That's up $29,000, or 4.6 percent, in a year and $6,000 in a month. ... The previous peak of $645,000, reached in June 2007, is equivalent to $750,000 in today's dollars - or $92,000 higher than June's median. This brings up a few important points that I've mentioned before ... 1. This is the median price - not a repeat sales index - and the median price can be impacted by the mix of homes sold (not as useful as a repeat sales index). 2. As Collins notes in the article, these are nominal prices. When adjusted for inflation (real prices), prices are still 14% below the bubble peak. 3.  This is not a bubble.  A bubble requires both excess appreciation and speculation, and there is a little evidence of speculation - these are qualified buyers who will not default if prices decline (unlike many buyers during the bubble). 4. Note that the central / coastal areas are closer to the previous peak than the outlying areas.  This is the typical pattern; the price increases start in the central / coastal areas, and then move inland as the cycle matures.  Plus the inland areas saw the most speculation during the bubble - especially using subprime loans - and it will take longer for prices to reach a new peak.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:56 PM » JPMorgan Unit Sees Unprecedented Bond Risks as Treasuries Slide
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:56 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg JPMorgan Unit Sees Unprecedented Bond Risks as Treasuries Slide Bloomberg Investors flocking to U.S. Treasuries in a world inundated with negative-yielding sovereign bonds should think again, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Here's why: With much of the global bond market stripped of any yield, securities trade ... and more »
  • 2:55 PM » Freddie Mac must face revived lawsuit over risk disclosures
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 2:55 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Wednesday revived a lawsuit accusing Freddie Mac and several former top officials of defrauding shareholders by concealing its subprime mortgage exposure and its inadequate risk management prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • 12:16 PM » Morgan Stanley Knows Why the Rent Is Too Darn High
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 12:16 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Morgan Stanley Knows Why the Rent Is Too Darn High Bloomberg Greedy landlords or just plain jobs growth? A new Morgan Stanley analysis sheds some pictorial light on America's rising rents. Home ownership rates in the U.S. have plummeted to a near five-decade low in the aftermath of the U.S. housing bubble ... and more »
  • 10:15 AM » 'Crexit' warning on Corporate debt jump
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 10:15 AM by CNBC
    There's a lot of new, borrowed cash floating around. A report Wednesday warns that it could become a problem.
  • 10:14 AM » Time to Build a Single-Family Home in 2015
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 10:14 AM by eyeonhousing.org
    The 2015 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7 months, which usually includes almost a month from authorization to start and another 6 months to finish the construction. The timeline from authorization to completion, however, is not consistent across the nation, depending on the housing category,... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: eyeonhousing.org
  • 10:13 AM » Architecture Billings Index "remains on solid footing" in June
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 10:13 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From the AIA: Architecture Billings Index remains on solid footing Buoyed by increasing levels of demand across all project types, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was positive in June for the fifth consecutive month. 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 June ABI score was 52.6 , down from the mark of 53.1 in the previous month. This score still reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. "Demand for residential projects has surged this year, greatly exceeding the pace set in 2015. This suggests strong future growth for housing in the coming year," said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "While we expect to see momentum continue for the overall design and construction industry in the months ahead, the fact that the value of design contracts dipped into negative territory in June for the first time in more than two years is something of a concern." ... • Regional averages: South (55.5), West (54.1), Northeast (51.8), Midwest (48.2) • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.9), institutional (52.7), mixed practice (51.0), commercial / industrial (50.3) emphasis added Note that multi-family has picked up again, so we might see another pickup in multi-family starts. Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 52.6 in June, down from 53.1 in May. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services. Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:34 AM » 'Multi-gen' household $ a family affair
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 8:34 AM by CNBC
    Before moving into a multigenerational household, you need to iron out the financials around the kitchen table.
  • 8:29 AM » Less Than 1% Chance U.S. Yields Reach 1.1% According to SocGen
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 8:29 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Lessons in Bond Math: Less Than 1% Chance U.S. Yields Reach 1.1% Bloomberg In the U.S. bond market, trying to call a bottom in yields has proven to be a veritable minefield for just about anyone who's tried. Time and again, prognosticators across Wall Street have had to go back to the drawing board as the insatiable demand ... and more »
  • 8:26 AM » Brexit bump instills no confidence on sullen bond trading floors
    Published Wed, Jul 20 2016 8:26 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Even after a good quarter, optimism is hard to find on Wall Street's bond trading floors.
  • Tue, Jul 19 2016
  • 4:37 PM » Why the Fed Can't and Shouldn't Raise Interest Rates
    Published Tue, Jul 19 2016 4:37 PM by Bloomberg
    The Federal Reserve eschews balance sheet policy - changes in the amount or composition of assets held by the central bank - in the early stages of its plans to normalize the extraordinary monetary policy it instituted in the wake of the financial crisis. Instead, the Fed's normalization plans currently focuses on raising the federal funds rate. But the central bank may need to use both rate policy and balance sheet policy simultaneously to reach the objectives of its dual mandate - or price stability with maximum sustainable employment - while sustaining a financial environment consistent with those objectives.
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