In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Misc: Tenth District manufacturing increases, FHFA House Prices decline slightly in Q4

by Calculated Risk on 2/23/2012 11:00:00 AM

• Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased Further in February

The month-over-month composite index was 13 in February, up from 7 in January and -2 in December, and the highest since last June. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Manufacturing activity increased in both durable and nondurable goods-producing plants, with notable strength in machinery, fabricated metals, and aircraft production. Other month-over-month indexes were mixed in February but remained solid. The production and order backlog indexes moved higher, and the employment index edged up from 9 to 11. In contrast, the shipments and new order indexes fell slightly, and the new orders for exports index dropped from 10 to -7. Both inventory indexes increased.
Most indexes for future factory activity strengthened from the previous month. The future composite index climbed from 12 to 20, and the future production, shipments, and new orders indexes also rose. The future order backlog index jumped from 9 to 24, and the future employment index posted its highest level in a year.
All of the regional manufacturing surveys released so far have indicated stronger expansion in February (Empire state, Philly, and Kansas City). The Richmond survey is scheduled for release on Feb 28th, and the Dallas Fed survey on Monday, Feb 27th.

• From the FHFA: U.S. House Prices Fell 0.1 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2011
U.S. house prices fell modestly in the fourth quarter of 2011 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI, calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, was 0.1 percent lower on a seasonally adjusted basis in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter. ... Over the past year, seasonally adjusted prices fell 2.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011.
FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric introduced in August that adds transactions information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, fell 0.8 percent over the latest quarter.
While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 2.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011, prices of other goods and services rose 4.0 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 6.2 percent over the latest year.
The expanded-data index is closer to Case-Shiller and CoreLogic and includes non-GSE houses (and the worst mortgages). Note that real prices were down over 6% in 2011 according to the FHFA.

• From Freddie Mac: Average 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Up From All-Time Record Low
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 23, 2012, up from last week when it also averaged 3.87 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.95 percent.