Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – May 20 2015

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 4 basis points to 3.96% (average of all fixed rate loans... 30 year conforming loan rate reached 4.04% over the same period) since last week while the purchase application volume decreased 4% and the refinance application volume increased 0.3% 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: April 2015

Yesterday’s New Residential Construction Report showed notably improving results with total permit activity increasing 10.1% since March while total starts increased a whopping 20.2% over the same period.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, increased 3.7% from March to 666K single family units (SAAR), and rose 7.1% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.


NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: May 2015

Recently, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity declined in May with the composite HMI index falling to 54 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 39 from 40 in the prior month.

Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have softened some recently and still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession.




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

S&P/Case-Shiller: February 2015

Today's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for February reported that the non-seasonally adjusted National index increased from January with prices rising 0.14% while the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 city index increased 0.53% and the Composite-20 city index increased 0.50% over the same period.

On an annual basis, the National index increased 4.22% above the level seen in February 2014 while the Composite-10 city index increased 4.81% and the Composite-20 city index increased 5.03% over the same period.

On a peak basis, all three indices still show significant peak declines slumping 9.65% for the National index, -16.65% for the Composite-10 city index and -15.91% for the Composite-20 city index on a peak comparison basis.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: March 2015

The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economic activity weakened in March with the index falling to a level of -0.42 from a level of -0.18 in February while the three month moving average also declined to a level of -0.27.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”.

The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicates below average growth.

A value at or below -0.70 for the three month moving average of the national activity index (CFNAI-MA3) indicates that the national economy has either just entered or continues in recession.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – April 08 2015

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 5 basis points to 3.79% since last week while the purchase application volume increased 7% and the refinance application volume declined 3% 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).




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

S&P/Case-Shiller: January 2015

Today's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for January reported that the non-seasonally adjusted National index declined from December with prices falling 0.05% while the Composite-10 city index declined 0.01% and the Composite-20 city index declined 0.03% over the same period.

On an annual basis, the National index increased 4.47% above the level seen in January 2014 while the Composite-10 city index increased 4.37% and the Composite-20 city index increased 4.56% over the same period.

On a peak basis, all three indices still show significant peak declines slumping 9.73% for the National index, -17.01% for the Composite-10 city index and -16.26% for the Composite-20 city index on a peak comparison basis.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pending Home Sales: February 2015

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for February showing that pending home sales increased notably with the seasonally adjusted national index increasing 3.1% from January to stand 12.0% above the level seen in February 2014.

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).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Residential Construction Report: February 2015

Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity increasing 3% since January while total starts dropped a whopping 17.0% over the same period.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 6.2% from January to 620K single family units (SAAR), and rose 2.8% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.


Monday, March 16, 2015

NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: March 2015

Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity declined in March with the composite HMI index falling to 53 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 37 from 39 in the prior month.

Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have softened some recently and still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession.




Thursday, March 05, 2015

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued March 05 2015

Today’s jobless claims report showed a an increase to both initial and insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased 7,000 to 320,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims increased by 17,000 to 2.421 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%.


ADP National Employment Report: February 2015

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 February as private employers added 212,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 2.62% above the level seen in February 2014.

Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show somewhat similar trends.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued February 26 2015

Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable increase to initial unemployment claims and a decrease to insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims jumped 31,000 to 313,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims declined by 21,000 to 2.401 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%.


FHFA Monthly Home Prices: December 2014

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the latest results of their monthly house price index (HPI) showing that in December, nationally, home prices increased 0.81% from November rising 5.45% above the level seen in December 2013.

The FHFA monthly HPI are formulated from home purchase information collected from mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Residential Construction Report: January 2015

Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed worsening results with total and single family permit activity declining since December while total starts also declined 2.0% over the same period.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 3.1% from December to 654K single family units (SAAR), and rose 5.8% above the level seen in January 2014 but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.