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  • Thu, Mar 26 2015
  • 11:45 PM » Fed market gurus prep rate hike amid last-minute anxieties
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 11:45 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Federal Reserve officials tasked with prying interest rates off the floor have been meeting with bankers and traders to plot how best to do it, amid deep uncertainty over how much control they will really have over short-term lending markets.
  • 11:41 PM » Friday: Yellen, GDP, Consumer Sentiment
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 11:41 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Merrill Lynch on the March employment report: The recent employment reports have been exceptionally strong with job growth averaging 293,000 a month for the past six months. Although we expect a slight moderation in March with job growth of 270,000, this would still be a healthy number. ... Despite strong job growth, we think the unemployment rate will tick up to 5.6%. ... The risk is that the labor force participation rate increases, reversing the decline in February. As always, the focus will be on wages. We look for a 0.2% gain, an improvement from the 0.12% increase in February. This would leave the yoy rate at 2.0%. We think the risk, however, is that average hourly earnings surprises on the upside relative to our forecast. Friday: • 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product , 4th quarter 2014 (third estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.4% annualized in Q4, up from the second estimate of 2.2%. • At 10:00 AM, the University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for March). The consensus is for a reading of 91.8, up from the preliminary reading of 91.2, but down from the February reading of 95.4. • Also at 10:00 AM, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly), February 2015 • At 1:30 PM, Speech, Fed Chair Janet Yellen , Monetary Policy , At the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference: The New Normal for Monetary Policy, San Francisco, Calif
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:20 PM » When cheap housing isn't really a good deal
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 4:20 PM by Washington Post
    The golden rule of housing affordability - embraced by government agencies, mortgage lenders, private landlords and the financially savvy - says you that should not spend more than around 30 percent of your income on your housing costs.Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 2:31 PM » 10-year note hits 2%
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 2:31 PM by CNBC
    U.S. Treasury yields traded at 2 percent on Thursday after the Treasury Department sold $29 billion in seven-year notes.
  • 2:30 PM » Fed Shouldn't Raise Rates Yet Because Job Market Still Ailing
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 2:30 PM by WSJ
    The Federal Reserve should be very cautious about raising interest rates just because the headline unemployment rate is falling, according to new research from two former central bank officials who are concerned the often-cited figure vastly overstates improvements in the job market.
  • 2:29 PM » Draghi Says ECB Will Reach QE Target Even in Shorter First Month - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 2:29 PM by Bloomberg
    Draghi Says ECB Will Reach QE Target Even in Shorter First Month Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he's confident that his bond-buying program will hit its targets in the first month of operation. "We count on reaching" the target of 60 billion euros ($65 billion) though the operation only started ... and more »
  • 12:34 PM » Fed officials say rate hike plan intact despite weak U.S. data
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 12:34 PM by Reuters
    DETROIT (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should remain on track to raise interest rates later this year despite the U.S. economy's weak start to the year and a stock market sell-off this week, two Fed officials said on Thursday.
  • 12:34 PM » Low interest rates causing 'huge problems' in Germany: Schaeuble
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 12:34 PM by Reuters
    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday that record low interest rates were causing considerable problems in Germany but added that he was not criticizing the European Central Bank which needed to defend its inflation target.
  • 11:38 AM » Fed's Bullard: Risks of Keeping U.S. Policy Rates at Zero Too Long ‘May be Substantial'
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 11:38 AM by WSJ
    Current low levels of U.S. inflation are likely temporary and the risks of keeping U.S. policy rates at zero for too long "may be substantial," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President, James Bullard, said Thursday.
  • 10:58 AM » Consumer Comfort in U.S. Matches Second-Highest Level Since 2007
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 10:58 AM by Bloomberg
    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Matches Second-Highest Level Since 2007 Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Consumer confidence climbed last week to match the second-highest level since July 2007, propelled in part by gains among lower-income earners and job seekers as the labor market improves. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose ...
  • 10:57 AM » ECB's Draghi says money printing will help recovery
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 10:57 AM by Reuters
    ROME (Reuters) - Bond-buying by the European Central Bank will reinforce the euro zone's economic recovery, its president, Mario Draghi, said on Thursday, adding that there was already evidence that the scheme was taking effect.
  • 10:51 AM » Fed's Lockhart: Surprised by strong dollar's impact on economy
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 10:51 AM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday he was surprised how much the stronger dollar seemed to be impacting the economy. In an interview with CNBC, Lockhart said that he had, at first, downplayed the dollar's sharp rise as a factor because the U.S. economy was not export-driven. But now "the impact of the dollar is something I have upgraded in terms of importance," he said. The stronger dollar "is a doubt, a question mark," he said. While he still doesn't think the impact from the strong dollar would be "terribly significant," it could have 'some dampening effect," he said. Lockhart said the first quarter growth rate looked "very soft," but added that it was likely "transitory." A voting member of the Fed policy committee this year, Lockhart repeated that he sees the first interest rate hike coming "mid-year or a little bit later."
  • 10:51 AM » Fed's QE cost savers $470B: Study
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 10:51 AM by CNBC
    Swiss Re's report called the impact of low-rate dollar-cheapening policies "indisputable."
  • 10:47 AM » House flippers' new tactic: Crowdfunding
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 10:47 AM by CNBC
    Unlike during the housing boom, some house flippers can't get mortgages to ply their trade. Instead they are turning to crowdfunding.
  • 8:55 AM » Stuck With a House That Can't Be Sold
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 8:55 AM by The Atlantic
    Even though the housing market is improving, some owners with troubled properties won't see relief anytime soon.
  • 8:55 AM » US housing starts will be slow and steady: CFO
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 8:55 AM by CNBC
    The U.S. house building market will recover to its former glory, according to the chief financial officer of the world's largest brick maker.
  • 8:52 AM » Foreign buying of U.S. bonds more talk than reality
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 8:52 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The advantage of higher yields in the United States has not prompted foreign buying as investors had expected, and central banks have instead dumped Treasuries in recent months.
  • 8:52 AM » U.S. jobless claims fall to five-week low
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 8:52 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON,(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to a healthy and expanding labor market.
  • 8:40 AM » Watt Pursues Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Blocked by Senator
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2015 8:40 AM by Bloomberg
    Watt Pursues Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Blocked by Senator Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Senator Richard Shelby's declaration Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will likely remain in U.S. conservatorship shifts the task of reducing taxpayer mortgage risk mostly to one man: Mel Watt. Shelby, an Alabama Republican, ... and more »
  • Wed, Mar 25 2015
  • 3:41 PM » Warning signs in the housing market
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 3:41 PM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 2:29 PM » GDP Growth Estimates Tumble, Again
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 2:29 PM by WSJ
    Could the U.S. economy be seeing a repeat of last year's winter contraction? The latest estimates are moving in that direction, though they're still in positive territory.
  • 2:26 PM » The 'unique' reason your home's still on the market
    Published Wed, Mar 25 2015 2:26 PM by CNBC
    Selling a home comes down to more than pricing and location. Offbeat factors such as poorly lit photos and badly worded listings could cost you.
  • 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
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