Opinions Uncensored

Thursday: GDP, Unemployment Claims

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Steady, Depending on LenderCompared to yesterday, today's mortgage rates are a moving target depending on the lender.  Some are better.  Some are worse.  On average, rates are unchanged from yesterday's latest rate sheets.  The...

Zillow Forecast: "Case-Shiller national index is forecast to grow 6 percent year-over-year" in February

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for January were released yesterday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.
From Zillow: February Case-Shiller Forecast: Year-Over-Year Price Gains to Continue
Annual gains in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price indices are expected to maintain their smoking pace in February, while month-over-month gains are expected to slow, according to Zillow’s...

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increased 5.5% in February, up 2.6% year-over-year

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Leap 5.5% in February.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/topics/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, jumped 5.5 percent to 112.3 in February from 106.4 in January. Last month's index reading is 2.6 percent above a year ago, is the highest since last April (113.6) and the second highest since May 2006 (112.5).
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 3.4 percent to 102.1 in February, and is now 6.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index jumped 11.4 percent to 110.8 in February...

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease Slightly in Latest Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 0.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 24, 2017. ...The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago. ..

A few comments on the Seasonal Pattern for House Prices

CR Note: This is a repeat of a previous post with updated graphs.A few key points:1) There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices.2) The surge in distressed sales during the housing bust distorted the seasonal pattern.3) Even though distressed sales are down significantly, the seasonal...

Real House Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in January

Here is the earlier post on Case-Shiller: Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 5.9% year-over-year in January
It has been more than ten years since the bubble peak. In the Case-Shiller release this morning, the seasonally adjusted National Index (SA), was reported as being 1.9% above the previous bubble peak. However, in real terms, the National index (SA) is still about 14.5% below the bubble peak. The year-over-year increase in prices is mostly moving sideways now just over 5%. In January, the index was up 5.9% YoY. In the earlier post, I graphed nominal house prices, but it is also important to look at prices in real terms (inflation adjusted). Case-Shiller, CoreLogic...

Richmond Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity Expanded in March

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Firms Upbeat in March with Shipments, New Orders, and Employment Indexes Rising.
Manufacturers in the Fifth District were generally upbeat in March, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The index for shipments and new orders both rose and employment gains were more common. This improvement led to a composite index for manufacturing that rose from 17 in February to 22 in March — the strongest reading for that index since April 2010. In addition to improvement in the employment index...

Tuesday: Case-Shiller House Prices

Here is the Zillow forecast (They've been very close each month):
The January Case-Shiller national index is expected to grow 6 percent year-over-year and 0.5 percent from December, up from 5.8 percent annual growth recorded in November but down somewhat from 0.7 percent monthly growth in December. The smaller 10- and 20-city indices are both expected to grow by 0.7 percent month-over-month (SA), slower than the 0.9 percent monthly growth recorded in December. On an annual basis, the 10- and 20-city indices are expected to grow by 5.1 percent...