Friday, September 19, 2014

CoStar: Commercial Real Estate prices increased 11.9% year-over-year in July

by Bill McBride on 9/19/2014 04:56:00 PM

Here is a price index for commercial real estate that I follow. 

From CoStar: Commercial Real Estate Prices Advance in July amid Rising Transaction Volume and Improving Liquidity Measures

CoStar’s equal-weighted U.S. Composite Index increased by a strong 1.5% in July 2014 and 11.9% for the 12 months ending in July 2014. It has now advanced to within 20% of its prerecession peak reached in 2007, supported by increased investor interest beyond core properties in primary markets. The value-weighted U.S. Composite Index, which is more heavily influenced by higher-value trades, began to recover earlier and is nearly back to its peak levels reached in 2007. As a result, annual pricing gains have moderated slightly over the last several months. The value-weighted Composite Index advanced 0.8% in July 2014, and 8.0% for the 12 months ending in July 2014.
Trailing 12-month repeat sale deal volume increased 24% as of July 2014 over the prior 12-month period ending in July 2013, as healthy market fundamentals, low interest rates and increasing allocations to commercial real estate by major investors provide a healthy environment for real estate transactions.
Distress sales as a percentage of total sales continued to decline from a peak of over 35% in 2011 to 11% through the first seven months of 2014.
emphasis added
Commercial Real Estate Prices Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from CoStar shows the the value-weighted U.S. Composite Index and the equal-weighted U.S. Composite Index indexes.

 The value weighted index is almost back to the pre-recession peak, but the equal weighted is still well below the pre-recession peak.

Commercial Real Estate Prices The second graph shows the percent of distressed "pairs".

The distressed share is down from over 35% at the peak.

Note: These are repeat sales indexes - like Case-Shiller for residential - but this is based on far fewer pairs.

Mortgage Equity Withdrawal Still Negative in Q2 2014

by Bill McBride on 9/19/2014 12:45:00 PM

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 this morning) 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", but there is little MEW right now - and normal principal payments and debt cancellation.

For Q2 2014, the Net Equity Extraction was minus $45 billion, or a negative 1.4% of Disposable Personal Income (DPI). 

Mortgage Equity Withdrawal Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the net equity extraction, or mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW), results, using the Flow of Funds (and BEA data) compared to the Kennedy-Greenspan method.

There are smaller seasonal swings right now, perhaps because there is a little actual MEW (this is heavily impacted by debt cancellation right now).

The Fed's Flow of Funds report showed that the amount of mortgage debt outstanding decreased by $7 billion in Q2. Compared to recent years, this was a small decrease in mortgage debt.

The Flow of Funds report also showed that Mortgage debt has declined by over $1.3 trillion since the peak. This decline is mostly because of debt cancellation per foreclosures and short sales, and some from modifications. There has also been some reduction in mortgage debt as homeowners paid down their mortgages so they could refinance. With residential investment increasing, and a slower rate of debt cancellation, it is possible that MEW will turn positive again soon.

For reference:

Dr. James Kennedy also has a simple method for calculating equity extraction: "A Simple Method for Estimating Gross Equity Extracted from Housing Wealth". Here is a companion spread sheet (the above uses my simple method).

For those interested in the last Kennedy data included in the graph, the spreadsheet from the Fed is available here.

BLS: State unemployment rates little changed in August

by Bill McBride on 9/19/2014 10:43:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases from July, 15 states had decreases, and 11 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, three states had increases, and two states had no change.
Georgia had the highest unemployment rate among the states in August, 8.1 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.8 percent.
State Unemployment Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recession (blue). All states are well below the maximum unemployment rate for the recession.

The size of the blue bar indicates the amount of improvement. 

The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Georgia had the highest unemployment rate in August at 8.1%.

State UnemploymentThe second graph shows the number of states with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 2006. At the worst of the employment recession, there were 10 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

One state has an unemployment rate at or above 8% (light blue), and 11 states are still at or above 7% (dark blue).

Fed's Q2 Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth at Record High

by Bill McBride on 9/19/2014 08:03:00 AM

The Federal Reserve released the Q2 2014 Flow of Funds report yesterday: Flow of Funds.

According to the Fed, household net worth increased in Q2 compared to Q1, and is at a new record high:

The net worth of households and nonprofits rose $1.4 trillion to $81.5 trillion during the second quarter of 2014. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $1.0 trillion and the value of real estate expanded $230 billion.
Net worth previously peaked at $67.9 trillion in Q2 2007, and then net worth fell to $55.0 trillion in Q1 2009 (a loss of $12.9 trillion). Household net worth was at $81.5 trillion in Q2 2014 (up $26.5 trillion from the trough in Q1 2009).

The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate increased to $20.2 trillion in Q2 2014. The value of household real estate is still $2.3 trillion below the peak in early 2006.

Household Net Worth as Percent of GDP Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows Households and Nonprofit net worth as a percent of GDP.  Household net worth, as a percent of GDP, is above peak in 2006 (housing bubble), and above the stock bubble peak.

This includes real estate and financial assets (stocks, bonds, pension reserves, deposits, etc) net of liabilities (mostly mortgages). Note that this does NOT include public debt obligations.

This ratio was increasing gradually since the mid-70s, and then we saw the stock market and housing bubbles. The ratio has been trending up and increased again in Q2 with both stock and real estate prices increasing.

Household Percent EquityThis graph shows homeowner percent equity since 1952.

Household percent equity (as measured by the Fed) collapsed when house prices fell sharply in 2007 and 2008.

In Q2 2014, household percent equity (of household real estate) was at 53.6% - up from Q1, and the highest since Q1 2007. This was because of both an increase in house prices in Q2 (the Fed uses CoreLogic) and a reduction in mortgage debt.

Note: about 30.3% of owner occupied households had no mortgage debt as of April 2010. So the approximately 50+ million households with mortgages have far less than 53.6% equity - and millions have negative equity.

Household Real Estate Assets Percent GDP The third graph shows household real estate assets and mortgage debt as a percent of GDP.

Mortgage debt decreased by $7 billion in Q2.  

Mortgage debt has now declined by $1.32 trillion from the peak. Studies suggest most of the decline in debt has been because of foreclosures (or short sales), but some of the decline is from homeowners paying down debt (sometimes so they can refinance at better rates).

The value of real estate, as a percent of GDP, was up in Q2 (as house prices increased), and somewhat above the average of the last 30 years (excluding bubble). However household mortgage debt, as a percent of GDP, is still historically high, suggesting still a little more deleveraging ahead for certain households.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lawler on 2013 ACS: Headship Rates, Homeownership Rates Fell Last Year

by Bill McBride on 9/18/2014 06:18:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

The Census Bureau released the one-year estimates for the 2013 American Community Survey this morning. For various housing and demographic information, the results are estimates of year averages.

The ACS estimate of the number of households in 2013 was 116,291,033, up just 321,493 from 2012.

If accurate of trends, the report suggests that:
1. household growth last year was very slow
2. homeownership rates continued to decline, with significant declines in the 35-64 year age groups.

To remind folks, here is a comparison of the ACS and the HVS with the Decennial Census for 2010.

Homeownership Rate by Age of Householder, 2010
Age Decennial
Census (4/1)
All ages65.1%65.4%66.9%

And the ACS and HVS for the last four years:

Homeownership Rate by Age of Householder
  American Community SurveyHousing Vacancy Survey
All ages65.4%64.6%63.9%63.5%66.9%66.1%65.4%65.1%

Here are implied “headship” rates by age group from the ACS for 2012 and 2013, with headship rate defined at householders divided by resident population.

Headship Rate by Age Group, ACS
All ages45.9%45.6%

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