Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – July 20 2016

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases.

The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) increased 3 basis points to 3.61% since last week while the purchase application volume declined 2% and the refinance application volume declined 1% over the same period.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance and composite loan volumes (click for larger dynamic full-screen version).




New Residential Construction Report: June 2016

Yesterday’s New Residential Construction Report showed improvement with total permit activity rising 1.5% since May while total starts increased a notable 4.8% over the same period.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, rose 1.0% from May to 738K single family units (SAAR), rising 5.1% above the level seen a year earlier and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.

Single family housing starts rose 4.4% from March to 778K units (SAAR) rising 13.4% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below the levels seen at the peak in September 2005.


Monday, July 18, 2016

NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: July 2016

Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity generally worsened in July with the composite HMI index remaining declining to 59 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 45.




Friday, July 08, 2016

Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment June 2016

Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in June, net non-farm payrolls increased by a notable 287,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 265,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment increased to 4.9% over the same period.

Net private sector jobs increased 0.22% since last month climbing 1.94% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 5.24% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession.

Employment Situation: Unemployment Duration June 2016

Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed generally worsened in June.

Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increased to 1.979 million or 25.8% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment declined to 10.3 weeks and the average stay on unemployment rose to 27.7 weeks.



Employment Situation: Total Unemployment June 2016

Today's Employment Situation report showed that in April “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers decreased to 9.6% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate went flat increased to 4.9%.

The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be “underutilized” labor.

The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.

To calculate the “total” rate of unemployment we would simply use this larger group rather than the smaller and more restrictive “unemployed” group used in the traditional unemployment rate calculation.

ADP National Employment Report: June 2016

Yesterday, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. improved in June as private employers added 172,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 1.9% above the level seen in June 2015.

Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show, more or less, similar trends.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

ISM Non-Manufacturing Report on Business: June 2016


Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business indicating that service related business activity improved notably in June with the overall non-manufacturing index climbing to 56.5 from last months reading of 52.9.

At 59.5 the business activity index also improved since last month but still remaining 3.25% below the level seen a year earlier.

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – July 06 2016

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases.

The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) declined 7 basis points to 3.63% since last week while the purchase application volume increased 4% and the refinance application volume increased a whopping 21% over the same period.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance and composite loan volumes (click for larger dynamic full-screen version).




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pending Home Sales: May 2016

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for May showing a notable pullback in sales activity with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 3.7% from April to stand 0.2% below the level seen in May 2015.

The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – June 29 2016

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases.

The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) increased 1 basis points to 3.70% since last week while the purchase application volume declined 3% and the refinance application volume declined 2% over the same period.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance and composite loan volumes (click for larger dynamic full-screen version).




S&P/Case-Shiller: April 2016

The latest release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for April reported that the non-seasonally adjusted National index increased from March with prices rising 1.05% while the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 city index increased 0.99% and the Composite-20 city index increased 1.11% over the same period.

On an annual basis, the National index increased 5.03% above the level seen in April 2015 while the Composite-10 city index increased 4.89% and the Composite-20 city index increased 5.44% over the same period.

On a peak basis, all three indices still show significant peak declines slumping -3.21% for the National index, -11.27% for the Composite-10 city index and -9.63% for the Composite-20 city index on a peak comparison basis.

The Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity: June 2016


Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released their Survey of Manufacturing Activity for June showing that the composite index, the broadest measure of manufacturing activity, worsened notably falling to a level of -7 from a level of -1 the prior month.

The most notable component measures also showed similar results with a weak Shipments level of -3, New Orders falling to -14 and Backlog of Orders falling to -17.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey: June 2016


Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released their latest read on manufacturing in their region indicating that assessments of manufacturing activity remained in contraction in June with the current general business activity index rising to a recessionary level of -18.3 while the future general business activity index also improved to a weak level of 2.6.

These results are an indication (consistent with other regional and national manufacturing activity data-points) that the U.S. manufacturing sector has clearly slumped into recessionary levels as of late and provides yet another likely harbinger of what is to come in 2016 for the general economy.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Buy British!


What a great day for the people of the United Kingdom and what a wonderfully sweat and rare victory for sensible and responsible people everywhere.

I have to admit that I had my doubts that we would see a "Leave" outcome given (1) how long the U.K. has been within the EU, (2) all the fear mongering coming from the professional political class and the onslaught of "Nobel Laureate" economists, and (3) the distorting effects coming from the horrendous murder of MP Jo Cox.

BUT... the U.K. showed a level of courage that is nothing short of astonishing particularly considering how much "safer" it would have been to simply bend to the status quo,

WOW! Sociopathic statist elites everywhere must be quaking in their boots!

I got to thinking today that the U.K. is going to need our support particularly during their transition out of the EU when they will likely be most vulnerable to the thrashings that are bound to come from a Brussels seeking to make an example to other member states who dare to leave.

So, I say "Buy British"!

To that end, here is a great website for perusing British brands and buying British products and it even includes a pretty active blog on the subject including today's very interesting post on Brexit.

Possibly there are better ideas... travel, bonds, the pound even... who knows but even a token gesture seems sensible as the Brits deserve our support... they are a brave and inspiring people.