Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pending Home Sales: October 2016

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for October showing an improvement in sales activity with the seasonally adjusted national index rising 0.1% from September to stand 1.8% above the level seen in October 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).

ADP National Employment Report: November 2016

Today, 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 November as private employers added 216,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 1.83% above the level seen in November 2015.

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

S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller: September 2016

The latest release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for September reported that the non-seasonally adjusted National index decreased from August with prices falling 0.37% while the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 city index decreased 0.12% and the Composite-20 city index decreased 0.13% over the same period.

On an annual basis, the National index increased 5.46% above the level seen in September 2015 while the Composite-10 city index increased 4.28% and the Composite-20 city index increased 5.08% over the same period.

On a peak basis, the non-seasonally adjusted National index just surpassed the record high level seen prior the onset of the great recession rising 0.10% above the level seen in 2006 while the Composite-10 index remained -9.07% below the peak level and the Composite-20 remained -7.14% below.

Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – November 30 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 10 basis points to 4.14% since last week while the purchase application volume declined 0.2% and the refinance application volume declined 16% 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).

Monday, November 07, 2016

Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment October 2016

The latest Employment Situation Report indicated that in October, net non-farm payrolls increased by 161,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 142,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment decreased to 4.9% over the same period.

Net private sector jobs increased 0.12% since last month climbing 1.78% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 5.81% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession.

Employment Situation: Unemployment Duration October 2016

The latest employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed generally went flat in October.

Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increased to 1.979 million or 25.2% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment declined to 10.2 weeks and the average stay on unemployment declined to 27.2 weeks.

Employment Situation: Total Unemployment October 2016

The latest Employment Situation report showed that in October “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers decreased to 9.5% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate declined 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.