Opinions Uncensored

Mortgage Equity Withdrawal slightly positive in Q2

Note: This is not Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW) data from the Fed. The last MEW data from Fed economist Dr. Kennedy was for Q4 2008. The following data is calculated from the Fed's Flow of Funds data (released yesterday) and the BEA supplement data on single family structure investment. This is an aggregate number, and is a combination of homeowners extracting equity - hence the name "MEW" - and normal principal payments and debt cancellation (modifications, short sales, and foreclosures). For Q2 2017, the Net Equity Extraction was a positive $12 billion, or a positive 0.3% of Disposable Personal Income (DPI)...

Update: For Fun, Stock Market as Barometer of Policy Success

Note: This is a repeat of a June post with updated statistics and graph.There are a number of observers who think the stock market is the key barometer of policy success.  My view is there are many measures of success - and that the economy needs to work well for a majority of...

Earlier: Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey "Showed Improvement" in September

Manufacturing firms reported an improvement in regional manufacturing conditions in September. The survey’s current indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments increased this month and suggest a broadening of growth. Price pressures also picked up, according to the reporting firms. The survey’s future indicators suggest that manufacturers have generally grown more optimistic over the past three months.
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The indexes for general activity [increased to 23.8 from 18.9 in August], new orders, and shipments increased this month, and employment remained positive...

Fed's Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth increased in Q2

The Federal Reserve released the Q2 2017 Flow of Funds report today: Flow of Funds.

According to the Fed, household net worth increased in Q2 2017 compared to Q1 2017:

The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $96.2 trillion during the second quarter of 2017. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $1.1 trillion and the value of real estate increased $0.6 trillion.
The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate increased to $23.8 trillion in Q2. The value of household real estate is now above the bubble peak in early 2006 - but not adjusted for inflation, and this also includes new construction. The first graph shows Households and Nonprofit net worth as a percent of GDP...

Black Knight: Mortgage Delinquencies increase in Hurricane Affected Areas

From Black Knight: Black Knight’s First Look at August 2017 Mortgage Data: Hurricane Harvey Impact Already Being Felt in the Mortgage Market as Delinquencies Jump 16 Percent in Affected Areas. Nationally, delinquencies remained relatively flat from July, while delinquencies in Hurricane Harvey- impacted areas rose by 16 percent month over month. Despite most payments being due August 1, and the storm making landfall near the end of the month, its effect on mortgage delinquencies is already being felt. Over 6,700 new 30-day delinquencies can be attributed to Harvey, while an additional 1,000 borrowers who were already 30-days past due missed an additional mortgage payment in August as a result of the storm...

CoreLogic: "2.8 million Homes still in negative equity" at end of Q2 2017

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic Reports 2.8 Million Residential Properties with a Mortgage Still in Negative Equity

CoreLogic® ... today released its Q2 2017 home equity analysis which shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63 percent of all homeowners) have seen their equity increase by a total of 10.6 percent year over year, representing a gain of $766 billion since Q2 2016.

Additionally, homeowners gained an average of $12,987 in equity between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017. Western states led the equity increase with Washington homeowners gaining an average of approximately $40,000 in home equity and California homeowners gaining an average of approximately $30,000...

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 259,000

The DOL reported:In the week ending September 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 259,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 2,000 from 284,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was...

Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Flow of Funds

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Highest in More Than a Month After Fed

Mortgage rates rose today following the announcement and--more importantly--the Fed's updated economic projections. ... Investors weren't sure how the past few months of economic data and events would affect the rate hike outlook. As it turned out, the Fed is more optimistic than investors anticipated. That means they're more willing stick with the previous rate hike outlook for 2017 and 2018, and those rate hike expectations have a direct bearing on today's interest rates.

Conventional 30yr fixed rates didn't spike in any brutal sort of...