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  • Mon, Dec 22 2014
  • 3:34 PM » UnReal Estate of the Week: The Most Talked About Celebrity Homes of 2014
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 3:34 PM by blog.redfin.com
    Many stars were playing the real estate game this year, but there were some high rollers in the market who were dealing in some serious "unreal" estate. We took a look at a few star-studded transactions to highlight some of the most outrageous estates of 2014. Read More The post UnReal Estate of the Week: The Most Talked About Celebrity Homes of 2014 appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blog.redfin.com
  • 2:47 PM » 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's U.S. GDP Report
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 2:47 PM by WSJ
    The year may almost be over, but the economic data are still rolling in. The Commerce Department on Tuesday could upgrade its estimate for economic output during the third quarter, the latest in a string of impressive readings on U.S. growth.
  • 2:36 PM » A Few Comments on November Existing Home Sales
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 2:36 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    • Once again housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast of 4.90 million SAAR was closer than the consensus (5.20 million) to the NAR reported sales (4.93 million). • The most important number in the NAR report each month is inventory.   This morning the NAR reported that inventory was up 2.0% year-over-year in November.   It is important to note that the NAR inventory data is "noisy" and difficult to forecast based on other data.  Also it isn't always clear what is included in "inventory" (some areas report "active" listings, others all listings including pending short sales).   Also, some sources are reporting more inventory, as an example, Zillow's data shows inventory was up 12% year-over-year in November.  That is a big difference! The headline NAR inventory number is not seasonally adjusted, even though there is a clear seasonal pattern. Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko has sent me the seasonally adjusted inventory. NOTE: The NAR does provide a seasonally adjusted months-of-supply, although that is in the supplemental data. Click on graph for larger image. This shows that inventory bottomed in January 2013 (on a seasonally adjusted basis), and inventory is now up about 9.1% from the bottom. On a seasonally adjusted basis, inventory was up 2.5% in November compared to October. Important: The NAR reports active listings, and although there is some variability across the country in what is considered active, many "contingent short sales" are not included. "Contingent short sales" are strange listings since the listings were frequently NEVER on the market (they were listed as contingent), and they hang around for a long time - they are probably more closely related to shadow inventory than active inventory. However when we compare inventory to 2005, we need to remember there were no "short sale contingent" listings in 2005. In the areas...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:43 PM » Citigroup Mortgage-Bond Settlement Approval Sought by Trustees - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 12:43 PM by Bloomberg
    Citigroup Mortgage-Bond Settlement Approval Sought by Trustees Bloomberg Trustees for mortgage bond investors asked a New York judge to approve a $1.13 billion settlement reached in April with Citigroup Inc. as the bank sought to resolve liabiliites for mortgages it packaged and sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. and more »
  • 12:43 PM » Are Low Mortgage Rates Keeping People in Their Homes?
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 12:43 PM by WSJ
    Sales of previously owned homes tumbled in November to its lowest level in six months. And NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun is puzzled as to why.
  • 11:41 AM » Wall Street Economists = Consistently Wrong on 10-year Rate
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 11:41 AM by The Big Picture
    Torsten Sløk of Deutsche Bank Securities calls out Wall Street’s bad forecasts on the 10 year bonds:   As we leave 2014 behind, professional forecasters are once again predicting that long rates will go up next year. As the chart below shows, this has been a pattern for the past decade. The latest Fed Survey... Read More
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 11:41 AM » Get ready: Foreclosed homeowners are baaaaack
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 11:41 AM by CNBC
    If the housing crisis was a horror show, then brace yourself: Here comes the sequel!, says Brandy King-Cutler of American Financing.
  • 11:40 AM » The Wall Street Journal: NY regulator announces $150 million settlement with Ocwen Financial
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 11:40 AM by Market Watch
    Ocwen Financial agrees to pay $150 million toward homeowner aid to settle a lengthy probe into the mortgage servicing company's treatment of homeowners.
  • 10:30 AM » U.S. existing home sales hit six-month low in November
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 10:30 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales tumbled to a six-month low in November after two straight months of strong increases, underscoring the uneven nature of the housing market recovery.
  • 9:57 AM » Ocwen Financial's stock tumbles after announcing settlement with NY DFS
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 9:57 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Ocwen Financial tumbled 13% in early trade Monday, after the mortgage services company said in a regulatory filing that it will pay a $100 million civil monetary penalty to the New York Department of Financial Services to settle allegations of improper conduct. In October, the company was accused of backdating correspondences with borrowers. Ocwen said it will also pay $50 million to current and former borrowers who had their homes foreclosed by Ocwen between January 2009 and Dec. 19, 2014. In addition, Executive Chairman William Erbey will step down as an officer and director of the company. Current board member Barry Wish will take on the role as non-executive chairman. The stock has now lost 65% this year, compared with a 12% gain in the S&P 500.
  • 9:06 AM » Chicago Fed: Index shows "Economic Growth Accelerated" in November
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 9:06 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The Chicago Fed released the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic growth accelerated in November Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.73 in November from +0.31 in October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from October, and only one of the four categories made a negative contribution to the index in November. The index's three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, rose to +0.48 in November from +0.09 in October, reaching its highest level since May 2010 . November's CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend . The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests modest inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year. emphasis added This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. Click on graph for larger image. This suggests economic activity was above the historical trend in November (using the three-month average). According to the Chicago Fed: What is the National Activity Index? The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below-average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:57 AM » Treasury 2-Year Notes Set to Be Sold at Highest Yield Since 2011 - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 8:57 AM by Bloomberg
    Treasury 2-Year Notes Set to Be Sold at Highest Yield Since 2011 Bloomberg Treasuries declined as the U.S. prepared to sell $27 billion of two-year notes at the highest yield at an auction of the security since 2011 as investors demand a bigger premium with the Federal Reserve forecast to raise rates. Longer-term Treasuries led the ...
  • 8:56 AM » Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for November 2014
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 8:56 AM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for November 2014
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 12:03 AM » Christmas, Thanksgiving bring lowest stock-trading volumes
    Published Mon, Dec 22 2014 12:03 AM by Market Watch
    The trading days that typically see the lowest volume are clustered around the end of the year, with Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving seeing the least activity.
  • Sun, Dec 21 2014
  • 11:33 PM » Existing Home Sales: A Likely "Miss"
    Published Sun, Dec 21 2014 11:33 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The NAR will report November Existing Home Sales on Monday, December 22nd. The consensus is the NAR will report sales at 5.20 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), however economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.90 million on a SAAR basis. Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for over 4 years.  The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler's predictions, and the NAR's initial reported level of sales.  Lawler hasn't always been closer than the consensus, but usually when there has been a fairly large spread between Lawler's estimate and the "consensus", Lawler has been closer. Over the last four years, the consensus average miss was 150 thousand with a standard deviation of 160 thousand.  Lawler's average miss was 70 thousand with a standard deviation of 45 thousand. Note: Many analysts now change their "forecast" after Lawler's estimate is posted, so the consensus has been doing a little better recently!  Looking at the consensus for November, maybe some of the analysts took an early vacation this week. Existing Home Sales, Forecasts and NAR Report millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR) Month Consensus Lawler NAR reported 1 May-10 6.20 5.83 5.66 Jun-10 5.30 5.30 5.37 Jul-10 4.66 3.95 3.83 Aug-10 4.10 4.10 4.13 Sep-10 4.30 4.50 4.53 Oct-10 4.50 4.46 4.43 Nov-10 4.85 4.61 4.68 Dec-10 4.90 5.13 5.28 Jan-11 5.20 5.17 5.36 Feb-11 5.15 5.00 4.88 Mar-11 5.00 5.08 5.10 Apr-11 5.20 NA 5.05 May-11 4.75 4.80 4.81 Jun-11 4.90 4.71 4.77 Jul-11 4.92 4.69 4.67 Aug-11 4.75 4.92 5.03 Sep-11 4.93 4.83 4.91 Oct-11 4.80 4.86 4.97 Nov-11 5.08 4.40 4.42 Dec-11 4.60 4.64 4.61 Jan-12 4.69 4.66 4.57 Feb-12 4.61 4.63 4.59 Mar-12 4.62 4.59 4.48 Apr-12 4.66 4.53 4.62 May-12 4.57 4.66 4.55 Jun-12 4.65 4.56 4.37 Jul-12 4.50 4.47 4.47 Aug-12 4.55 4.87 4.82 Sep-12 4.75 4.70 4.75 Oct-12 4.74 4.84 4.79 Nov...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:32 PM » Draghi Starts Squaring QE Circle in Month of Persuasion for ECB - Bloomberg
    Published Sun, Dec 21 2014 11:32 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Draghi Starts Squaring QE Circle in Month of Persuasion for ECB Bloomberg Mario Draghi has one month to win consensus on quantitative easing by showing he won't endanger the European Central Bank. As officials prepare to consider sovereign-bond purchases on Jan. 22, the ECB president is working to get as many policy ... and more »
  • 11:32 PM » ECB's Coene supports government bond purchases: newspaper
    Published Sun, Dec 21 2014 11:32 PM by Reuters
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should start buying government bonds to tackle poor investor confidence and low inflation in the euro zone, governing council member Luc Coene said in an interview published on Saturday.
  • Fri, Dec 19 2014
  • 4:07 PM » Lawler Update: Read on November Existing Home Sales, Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 4:07 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    CR Note: The consensus is that on Monday, the NAR will report 5.20 million existing home sales for November, on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). Housing economist Tom Lawler isn't always correct, but usually he is much closer than the consensus - so I expect a consensus miss on Monday. From Tom Lawler: "Based on local realtor/MLS reports released through this morning, I estimate that existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million in November , down 6.8% from October's pace and up 1.4% from last November's pace. Unadjusted sales last month should be down slightly from a year ago." Economist Tom Lawler sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for a selected cities in November. On distressed: Total "distressed" share is down in these markets mostly due to a decline in short sales (the Mid-Atlantic and Orlando were unchanged). Short sales are down significantly in these areas. Foreclosures are up in several areas (working through the logjam). 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 Nov-14 Nov-13 Nov-14 Nov-13 Nov-14 Nov-13 Nov-14 Nov-13 Las Vegas 9.5% 21.0% 8.7% 7.0% 18.2% 28.0% 32.8% 43.7% Reno** 6.0% 17.0% 6.0% 6.0% 12.0% 23.0%     Phoenix 4.1% 7.8% 5.7% 8.0% 9.7% 15.8% 28.0% 34.0% Sacramento 6.1% 11.0% 5.4% 4.6% 11.5% 15.6% 16.9% 25.0% Minneapolis 3.1% 5.0% 10.2% 16.9% 13.4% 21.9%     Mid-Atlantic 4.7% 7.5% 11.0% 8.1% 15.7% 15.7% 19.1% 19.6% Orlando 6.2% 13.7% 27.8% 20.3% 34.0% 34.0% 42.1% 46.2% California * 6.2% 10.2% 5.8% 6.8% 12.0% 17.0%     Bay Area CA* 4.3% 7.2% 2.8% 3.7% 7.1% 10.9% 18.9% 22.4% So. California* 6.2% 10...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:07 PM » Fed's Plosser Explains Dissent Vote, Says Policy Language Still Calendar-based
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 4:07 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia leader Charles Plosser said in a statement Friday the U.S. central bank is failing to make its monetary policy stance truly dependent on how the economy performs.
  • 2:41 PM » U.S. Home Values Continue to Rebound But at Slower Pace
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 2:41 PM by WSJ
    U.S. home values are on pace to conclude another year of strong growth, although the pace is easing up a bit, online real estate marketplace Zillow says.
  • 2:41 PM » Should you rent or buy? What to consider in housing decisions
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 2:41 PM by Google News
    One by-product of the housing boom and bust has been a re-examination by many of the real costs and benefits of the American dream of homeownership. And while some have looked to condense the complicated decision into a simple rule, every family must make a careful decision that takes many factors into account. That's why […]
  • 2:41 PM » How low gas prices fuel housing
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 2:41 PM by CNBC
    When it comes to housing, low gas prices not only help pad people's pocketbooks. They're boosting consumer confidence.
  • 12:52 PM » Zombie Credits Rise From Dead And That's Good for Stocks - Bloomberg
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 12:52 PM by Bloomberg
    Zombie Credits Rise From Dead And That's Good for Stocks Bloomberg This probably will be just a hypothetical question for most of you, given the audience. But it's an important one regardless, so let's ask it. Say you had a hard time keeping up with your credit card or mortgage payments during the last recession and ...
  • 12:48 PM » Fed's Williams: No Rate Increase Likely For a Couple of Meetings
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 12:48 PM by WSJ
    NEW YORK--Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams affirmed Friday that he believes any increase in short-term interest rates is unlikely to happen until the middle of next year.
  • 11:36 AM » Consensus Builds Against Eurozone's ‘Hardball' Strategy
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 11:36 AM by WSJ
    Call it the Washington/Paris consensus. The Peterson Institute for International Economics this week urged a fundamental rethink of the eurozone's strategy for confronting its mounting economic woes, adding its voice to those of the IMF and OECD.
  • 11:24 AM » The Next Challenge For Mortgage Lending?
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 11:24 AM by WSJ
    Regulators and lenders say that they've made major progress that should enable more Americans to get mortgages next year. But one major problem that could hold lending back has yet to be addressed, according to a research paper released by the Urban Institute this week.
  • 11:24 AM » U.S. ends TARP with $15.3 billion profit
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 11:24 AM by CNN
    The U.S. government essentially closed the books on TARP with a $15.3 billion profit.
  • 10:42 AM » Fed's Kocherlakota: Fed Policy Creating Downside Risks For Inflation
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 10:42 AM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota, who cast a dissenting vote at this week's Federal Reserve policy meeting, said Friday the U.S. central bank is playing an increasingly risky game that could lead to further declines in already weak inflation.
  • 10:41 AM » BLS: Forty-one States had Unemployment Rate Decreases in November
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 10:41 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in November. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from October, three states had increases, and six states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ... Mississippi had the highest unemployment rate among the states in November, 7.3 percent. The District of Columbia had a rate of 7.4 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.7 percent. 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 states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Mississippi, at 7.3%, had the highest unemployment rate replacing Georgia with the highest 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 10 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red). Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 8% (light blue); Five states and D.C. are still at or above 7% (dark blue).
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:27 AM » OCC Reports Mortgage Performance Improvement Continues
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 10:27 AM by OCC
    The performance of first-lien mortgages serviced by seven national banks and one federal savings association improved in the third quarter of 2014, according to a report released today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
  • 9:43 AM » Homeowners get equity bonus
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 9:43 AM by CNBC
    Home price gains slowed in 2014, but were still enough to give homeowners $1.7 trillion in additional home equity.
  • 8:50 AM » Exclusive: ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more quantitative easing risk - sources
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 8:50 AM by Reuters
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank officials are considering ways to ensure weak countries that stand to gain most from a fresh round of money printing bear more of the risk and cost.
  • 8:42 AM » Widest Spread Since 1999 Shows Reading on Fed: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg
    Published Fri, Dec 19 2014 8:42 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Widest Spread Since 1999 Shows Reading on Fed: Chart of the Day Bloomberg With leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank facing splits in their respective policy committees, the yield difference between U.S. and German bonds shows investors have been quicker to make up their minds. The CHART OF THE DAY ...
  • Thu, Dec 18 2014
  • 10:33 PM » Blackrock: Bonds set to suffer
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 10:33 PM by CNBC
    Blackrock's Jeff Rosenberg contends that stocks will beat bonds once again in 2015.
  • 10:33 PM » U.S. to sell final $1.25 billion shares of Ally Financial from bailout
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 10:33 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department will sell its remaining 54.9 million shares of Ally Financial Inc acquired under the government's bailout of the auto lender, Ally said on Thursday.
  • 10:25 PM » Mortgage Bankers Say FHA's Premium Increases Hurt Its Finances - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 10:25 PM by Bloomberg
    Mortgage Bankers Say FHA's Premium Increases Hurt Its Finances Bloomberg The U.S. government's mortgage insurer has missed out on as much as $4.4 billion in revenue because of premium increases that have driven borrowers away, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. The Federal Housing Administration should cut the fees ...
  • 3:41 PM » Julián Castro shares his thoughts on leadership
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 3:41 PM by Washington Post
    Julián Castro became secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in July after serving as mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He now is responsible for overseeing 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion, as well as for promoting community development and housing opportunities nationwide.Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 3:37 PM » U.S. Crude Output Rose to 28-Year High in November: API - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 3:37 PM by Bloomberg
    U.S. Crude Output Rose to 28-Year High in November: API Bloomberg U.S. crude-oil production advanced above 9 million barrels a day last month for the first time in 28 years, the American Petroleum Institute said. The U.S. pumped 9.06 million barrels a day of crude in November, up 15 percent from a year earlier and the most ... and more »
  • 3:36 PM » Fed delays Volcker rule until 2017
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 3:36 PM by CNBC
    The Fed gave banks more time to meet a provision in the Volcker rule that bans them from betting with their own money through investments in risky hedge and private equity funds.
  • 3:35 PM » SEC charges Staten Island firm for defrauding $9 million from seniors
    Published Thu, Dec 18 2014 3:35 PM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A Staten-Island-based firm has been charged with running a "boiler-room" scheme to fraudulently entice seniors to invest in start-up companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Premier Links Inc., its former president and two sales representatives cold-called seniors to persuade them to invest in companies supposedly about to conduct an initial public offering. The firm defrauded at least $9 million from more than 300 investors, the SEC alleged. In one instance, the SEC claims the defendants defrauded a veteran out of $300,000. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York also filed criminal charges.
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Mortgage Rates:
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Recent Housing Data:
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