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).