Saturday, May 31, 2014

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 496 Institutions

by Calculated Risk on 5/31/2014 05:11:00 PM

This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for May 30, 2014.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

As expected, the FDIC provided an update on its enforcement actions through April 2014 and released industry results for 1q2014. Unexpectedly, there was a bank failure for the third consecutive week, which last occurred in October/November 2012. For the week, there were six removals and three additions that leave the Unofficial Problem Bank List at 496 institutions with assets of $154.1 billion. Asset figures were updated through 1q2014. For the first time since the list has been published, updated quarterly asset figures led to an increase in assets of $794 million. Usually, problem banks shrink their balance sheet as a tactic to increase their capital ratios. A year ago, the list held 761 institutions with assets of $277.2 billion. During May 2014, the list declined by 17 institutions after 16 action terminations, three failures, one merger and three additions.

Actions were terminated against Macon Bank, Inc., Franklin, NC ($789 million); State Bank of Countryside, Countryside, IL ($589 million); Freedom Bank, Inc., Belington, WV ($150 million); Savoy Bank, New York, NY ($103 million); and First Security Trust Bank, Inc., Florence, KY ($82 million).

Slavie Federal Savings Bank, Bel Air, MD ($140 million) was the ninth institution to fail this year. Also, Slavie Federal was the ninth institution to fail in Maryland since the on-set of the Great Recession.

Added this week were GSL Savings Bank, Guttenberg, NJ ($100 million); Grant County Deposit Bank, Williamstown, KY ($79 million); and Columbus Junction State Bank, Columbus Junction, IA ($56 million). The last time three institutions were added during a week was back on October 4, 2013. The FDIC also issued a Prompt Correction Action order against State Bank of Herscher, Herscher, IL ($149 million) and Highland Community Bank, Chicago, IL ($64 million).

The FDIC told us there are now officially 411 problem institutions with assets of $126 billion. The spread between the official and unofficial count narrowed to 85 from 99 last quarter and assets to $28 billion from $29 billion. Next week will likely be quiet nor do we think there will be a failure for a fourth consecutive week.
CR Note: The first unofficial problem bank list was published in August 2009 with 389 institutions. The list peaked at 1,002 institutions on June 10, 2011, and is now down to 496.

Schedule for Week of June 1st

by Calculated Risk on 5/31/2014 08:47:00 AM

This will be a busy week for economic data with several key reports including the May employment report on Friday.

Other key reports include the ISM manufacturing index on Monday, May vehicle sales on Tuesday, and the April Trade Deficit and May ISM non-manufacturing index on Wednesday.

The Fed's Q1 Flow of Funds report will be released Thursday.

Note: The ECB will probably ease monetary policy on Thursday.

----- Monday, June 2nd -----

ISM PMI10:00 AM ET: ISM Manufacturing Index for May. The consensus is for an increase to 55.5 from 54.9 in April.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in April at 54.9%. The employment index was at 54.7%, and the new orders index was at 55.1%.

10:00 AM: Construction Spending for April. The consensus is for a 0.7% increase in construction spending.

----- Tuesday, June 3rd -----

Vehicle SalesAll day: Light vehicle sales for May. The consensus is for light vehicle sales to be increase to 16.1 million SAAR in May from 16.0 million in April (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

This graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The dashed line is the April sales rate.

10:00 AM: Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders (Factory Orders) for April. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase in April orders.

----- Wednesday, June 4th -----

7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for May. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 210,000 payroll jobs added in May, down from 220,000 in April.

U.S. Trade Exports Imports8:30 AM: Trade Balance report for April from the Census Bureau.

Imports increased and exports decreased in February.

The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at $41.0 billion in April from $40.4 billion in March.

10:00 AM: ISM non-Manufacturing Index for May. The consensus is for a reading of 55.3, up from 55.2 in April. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion.

2:00 PM: Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.

----- Thursday, June 5th -----

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 310 thousand from 300 thousand.

Early: The ECB meets in Frankfurt. From Nomura:
We expect the ECB to deliver a package of measures on 5 June to ease monetary policy. We expect a 10bp cut to all key interest rates, taking the refi rate down to 0.15%, the deposit rate negative for the first time to -0.10% and the marginal lending facility rate down to 0.65%. We also expect an extension of the forward guidance on liquidity provisions, with the fixed-rate full-allotment procedure extended by a further 12 months to at least the end of June 2016. We also expect the ECB to launch a targeted LTRO programme in June (60% probability), to address credit weakness and risks to the recovery from this channel.
Early: Trulia Price Rent Monitors for May. This is the index from Trulia that uses asking house prices adjusted both for the mix of homes listed for sale and for seasonal factors.

12:00 PM: Q1 Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States from the Federal Reserve.

----- Friday, June 6th -----

8:30 AM: Employment Report for May. The consensus is for an increase of 213,000 non-farm payroll jobs in May, down from the 288,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in April.

The consensus is for the unemployment rate to increase to 6.4% in May. 

Percent Job Losses During RecessionsThis graph shows the percentage of payroll jobs lost during post WWII recessions through April.

The economy has added 9.2 million private sector jobs since employment bottomed in February 2010 (8.6 million total jobs added including all the public sector layoffs).

There are 406 thousand more private sector jobs now than when the recession started in 2007, but total employment is still 113 thousand below the pre-recession peak.

3:00 PM: Consumer Credit for April from the Federal Reserve.  The consensus is for credit to increase $15.5 billion.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bank Failure #9 in 2014: Slavie Federal Savings Bank, Bel Air, Maryland

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 06:13:00 PM

From the FDIC: Bay Bank, FSB, Lutherville, Maryland, Assumes All of the Deposits of Slavie Federal Savings Bank, Bel Air, Maryland

As of March 31, 2014, Slavie Federal Savings Bank had approximately $140.1 million in total assets and $111.1 million in total deposits. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $6.6 million. ... Slavie Federal Savings Bank is the ninth FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the first in Maryland.
Bank failures three weeks in a row ...

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 04:13:00 PM

Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in April to 2.13% from 2.19% in March. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.93% in April 2013, and this is the lowest level since November 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.

Earlier Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in April to 2.15% from 2.20% in March. Freddie's rate is down from 2.91% in April 2013, and is at the lowest level since February 2009. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

Note: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serious delinquency rates have fallen about 0.8 percentage points over the last year, and at that pace the serious delinquency rates will probably be below 2% in a few months - and will be under 1% in late 2015.

Note: The "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%.

Maybe serious delinquencies will be back to normal in late 2015 or 2016.

Lawler on Toll Brothers: Net Signed Contracts “Flat” vs. Year Ago; Prices Up But Gains Slow; Demand over Past Year “Relatively Flat”

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 02:37:00 PM

From economist Tom Lawler:

Toll Brothers, the self-described “nation’s leading builder of luxury homes” which was recently honored as BUILDER Magazine’s “builder of the year,” reported that net signed contracts on homes in the quarter ended April 30, 2014 totaled 1,749, down 0.2% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Net signed contracts per community last quarter were down 8.3% from the comparable quarter of 2013. The average price on net signed contracts last quarter was $729,000, up 7.5% from a year ago. Home deliveries totaled 1,218 last quarter, up 36.2% from the comparable quarter of 2013, at an average sales price of $706,000, up 22.4% from the comparable quarter of 2013. The outsized gain in the average sales price for closed homes partly reflected big increases in contract prices last year, but also reflected product “mix” changes, including a sharp increase in the share of homes closed in the expensive West region. The company’s order backlog as of the end of April was 4,324, up 18.3% from last April, at an average order price of $742,000, up 7.1% from a year ago.

The company said that it owned or controlled 50,358 lots at the end of April, up 11.5% from last April, and up 40.1% from April 2011.

In Toll’s press release, the company’s CEO said that “(d)emand over the past year has been solid, although relatively flat, compared to the strong growth we initially experienced beginning in 2011, coming off the bottom of this housing cycle.” He also expressed optimism going forward. Here is another quote from the press release.

“We note that last cycle's recovery, in the early 1990's, began with a period of rapid acceleration, followed by leveling, before further upward momentum. We believe that we are in a similar leveling period in the early stages of the housing recovery with significant pent-up demand building."

Toll does give limited (and not very useful) guidance in its press release, and Toll said that it expects to deliver between 5,100 and 5,850 in the fiscal year ending 10/31/2014. Given deliveries in the first half of the fiscal year, that guidance implies a range of deliveries from May 1 through October 31 of between 2,954 and 3,704. Toll’s guidance on the average sales price on deliveries for the year was between $690,000 and $720,000. Using the midpoint of these ranges as the “best guidance,” that would imply deliveries from May 1, 2014 through October 2014 of 3,329, up 30.8% from the comparable period of 2013, at an average sales price of 705,000, up 3.5% from the comparable period of 2013, and little changed from the average sales price in the first half of FY 2014.

Toll’s earnings beat consensus, but net orders per community were disappointing.

Headline for Next Friday: "U.S. Employment at All Time High"

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 12:22:00 PM

Just a quick note, total nonfarm U.S. employment is currently 113 thousand below the pre-recession peak. With the release of the May employment report next Friday, total employment will probably be at an all time high.

Note: The consensus is for an increase of 217 thousand non-farm payroll jobs added in May.

I guess I'm going to have to retire the following graph until the next recession ... (once call the "THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER").

Percent Job Losses During Recessions
Click on graph for larger image.

The graph shows the percentage of payroll jobs lost during post WWII recessions through April.

Of course this doesn't include growth of the labor force, but this will be a significant milestone as the economy recovers from the housing bust and severe financial crisis.

Final May Consumer Sentiment at 81.9, Chicago PMI increases to 65.5

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 09:55:00 AM

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May decreased to 81.9 from the April reading of 84.1, and was up slightly from the preliminary May reading of 81.8.

This was below the consensus forecast of 82.5. Sentiment has generally been improving following the recession - with plenty of ups and downs - and a big spike down when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills" in 2011, and another smaller spike down last October and November due to the government shutdown.

Still waiting for sentiment to back at post-recession highs!

Chicago PMI May 2014: Chicago Business Barometer Up 2.5 to 65.5 in May

The Chicago Business Barometer increased to 65.5 in May from 63.0 in April, the highest since October, as demand strengthened and the economy continued to recover from a weather related slowdown in Q1. ...

Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist at MNI Indicators said, “It looks pretty clear now that the slowdown in Q1 was due to the poor weather, with activity now back to or exceeding the level seen in Q4. The rise in the Barometer to a seven month high in May suggests we’ll see a significant bounceback in GDP growth this quarter following the contraction in Q1.”
emphasis added
This was above the consensus estimate of 61.0.

Personal Income increased 0.3% in April, Spending decreased 0.1%

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2014 08:30:00 AM

The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for April:

Personal income increased $43.7 billion, or 0.3 percent ... in April, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $8.1 billion, or 0.1 percent.
...
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- decreased 0.3 percent in April, in contrast to an increase of 0.8 percent in March. ... The price index for PCE increased 0.2 percent in April, the same increase as in March. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.2 percent in April, the same increase as in March. ... The April price index for PCE increased 1.6 percent from April a year ago. The April PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 1.4 percent from April a year ago.
The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through April 2013 (2009 dollars). Note that the y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Personal Consumption Expenditures Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed red lines are the quarterly levels for real PCE.

This is just one month for Q2 - and the month-to-month decline in PCE was due to the surge in spending in March (following the severe winter).  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friday: Personal Income and Outlays, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment

by Calculated Risk on 5/29/2014 08:59:00 PM

From the WSJ: Borrowers Tap Their Homes at a Hot Clip

A rebound in house prices and near-record-low interest rates are prompting homeowners to borrow against their properties, marking the return of a practice that was all the rage before the financial crisis.

Home-equity lines of credit, or Helocs, and home-equity loans jumped 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday. The $13 billion extended was the most for the start of a year since 2009. Inside Mortgage Finance noted the bulk of the home-equity originations were Helocs.

While that is still far below the peak of $113 billion during the third quarter of 2006, this year's gains are the latest evidence that the tight credit conditions that have defined mortgage lending in recent years are starting to loosen.
This is still a low level (not really a "hot clip"), but this is an increase from last year. I've been expecting Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW) to turn positive soon, and maybe the Q1 Flow of Funds report will suggest positive MEW (to be released by the Fed on June 5th).

Friday:
• At 8:30 AM, Personal Income and Outlays for April. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in personal income, and for a 0.2% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.2%.

• At 9:45 AM, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for May. The consensus is for a decrease to 61.0, down from 63.0 in April.

• At 9:55 AM, Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for May). The consensus is for a reading of 82.5, up from the preliminary reading of 81.8, but down from the April reading of 84.1.

A comment on GDP Revisions: No Worries

by Calculated Risk on 5/29/2014 02:22:00 PM

The BEA reported this morning that GDP declined at a 1.0% annual rate in Q1. This is disappointing, but not concerning looking forward.

The key driver of the downward revision was a much larger negative change in private inventories (see table below that shows the contribution to GDP from each major category). In the advance release, change in private inventories subtracted 0.57 percentage points from GDP. With the 2nd release - based on more data - change in private inventories subtracted 1.61 percentage point. This was payback from the positive contribution in Q3 last year (change in private inventories tends to bounce around quarter-to-quarter).

There were also downward revisions to investment in nonresidential structure, trade, and state and local government.

PCE was revised up from 3.0% to 3.1% in Q1 (annualized growth rate), and the contribution from PCE to GDP increased slightly.

This weakness will not continue - growth has already picked up in Q2.  And I expect both residential investment and state and local governments to add to growth soon.  And even investment in nonresidential structures should turn positive.

The growth story is intact.  No worries.

Revision: Contributions to Percent Change in Real Gross Domestic Product
 Advance2nd ReleaseRevision
GDP, Percent change at annual rate:0.1-1.0-1.1
PCE, Percentage points at annual rates:
Personal consumption expenditures2.042.090.05
Investment, Percentage points at annual rates:
Nonresidential Structures0.00-0.21-0.21
Equipment-0.32-0.180.14
Intellectual property products0.060.190.13
Residential-0.18-0.160.02
Change in private inventories-0.57-1.62-1.05
Trade, Percentage points at annual rates:
Net exports of goods and services-0.83-0.95-0.12
Government, Percentage points at annual rates:
Federal Government0.050.050.00
State and Local-0.14-0.20-0.06

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increases 0.4% in April, down 9.2% year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 5/29/2014 10:00:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Edge Up in April

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.4 percent to 97.8 in April from 97.4 in March, but is 9.2 percent below April 2013 when it was 107.7.
...
The PHSI in the Northeast increased 0.6 percent to 79.3 in April, but is 12.0 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 5.0 percent to 99.2 in April, but is 6.9 percent below April 2013. Pending home sales in the South slipped 0.6 percent to an index of 111.9 in April, and are 6.4 percent below a year ago. The index in the West declined 2.9 percent in April to 88.4, and is 15.0 percent below April 2013.
Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in May and June.

Q1 GDP Revised Down to -1.0% Annual Rate, Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 300,000

by Calculated Risk on 5/29/2014 08:41:00 AM

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2014 (Second Estimate)

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent. ...

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP was estimated to have increased 0.1 percent. ...

The second estimate of the first-quarter percent change in real GDP was revised down 1.1 percentage points, or $43.7 billion, from the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting a downward revision to private inventory investment and an upward revision to imports that were partly offset by an upward revision to exports.
Here is a Comparison of Second and Advance Estimates. PCE growth was revised up from 3.0% to 3.1%.

The DOL reports:
In the week ending May 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 300,000, a decrease of 27,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 326,000 to 327,000. The 4-week moving average was 311,500, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week 's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since August 11, 2007 when it was 311,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 322,500 to 322,750.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was revised up from 326,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.


The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 311,500.

This was below the consensus forecast of 317,000.  The 4-week average is at the lowest level since 2007 and at normal levels for an expansion.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thursday: Q1 GDP Revision, Unemployment Claims, Pending Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 5/28/2014 06:54:00 PM

From the WSJ: Contracting Economy? What to Watch in Thursday’s Report on U.S. GDP

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast it will show GDP contracted at a 0.6% annual rate in the first three months of the year. ...

Since the recession ended in June 2009, U.S. GDP growth has dipped into the red only once: the first quarter of 2011, when economic output contracted at a 1.3% rate.

It appears likely to happen again. But economists aren’t worried about a prolonged downturn. Most have chalked up the weak first quarter to transitory factors like the brutal winter weather, and expect to see a significant rebound this spring.
Economists frequently blame weakness on the weather ... but sometimes it really is the weather!

Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to decrease to 317 thousand from 326 thousand.

• Also at 8:30 AM, Q1 GDP (second estimate). This is the second estimate of Q1 GDP from the BEA. The consensus is that real GDP decreased 0.6% annualized in Q1, revised down from the advance estimate of a 0.1% increase.

• At 10:00 AM, Pending Home Sales Index for April. The consensus is for a 1% increase in the index.

Average 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates decline to 4.08%

by Calculated Risk on 5/28/2014 01:46:00 PM

I use the weekly Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) to track mortgage rates. The PMMS series started in 1971, so there is a fairly long historical series.

For daily rates, the Mortgage News Daily has a series that tracks the PMMS very well, and is usually updated daily around 3 PM ET. The MND data is based on actual lender rate sheets, and is mostly "the average no-point, no-origination rate for top-tier borrowers with flawless scenarios". (this tracks the Freddie Mac series).

MND reports that average 30 Year fixed mortgage rates declined today to 4.08% from 4.16% yesterday.

One year ago rates were at 3.81% and rising. If the current rate holds, mortgage rates will be down year-over-year in about 3 weeks. As MND told me "Many borrowers would be getting quoted the same rates a year ago today".

Here is a table from Mortgage News Daily:

Zillow: Case-Shiller House Price Index expected to slow slightly year-over-year in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/28/2014 10:00:00 AM

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for March were released yesterday. Zillow has started forecasting Case-Shiller a month early - and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.  

It looks like the year-over-year change for Case-Shiller will continue to slow. From Zillow: Case-Shiller: Another Month of Strong Home Value Appreciation

The Case-Shiller data for March 2014 came out [yesterday], and based on this information and the April 2014 Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI, released May 20), we predict that next month’s Case-Shiller data (April 2014) will show that both the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) 20-City Composite Home Price Index and the NSA 10-City Composite Home Price Index increased 11.8 percent on a year-over-year basis, respectively. The seasonally adjusted (SA) month-over-month change from March to April will be 1.2 percent for the 20-City Composite Index and 1.1 percent for the 10-City Composite Home Price Index (SA). All forecasts are shown in the table below. Officially, the Case-Shiller Composite Home Price Indices for April will not be released until Tuesday, June 24.

Case-Shiller indices have shown very little slowing in monthly appreciation, as they continue to show a somewhat inflated picture of home prices. On a year-over-year basis the indices are slowing down ever so slightly, but we have not seen the same signs of a slowdown in the Case-Shiller data that we have seen in other data. The Case-Shiller indices are biased toward the large, coastal metros currently still seeing substantial home value gains, and they include foreclosure re-sales. The inclusion of foreclosure re-sales disproportionately boosts the index when these properties sell again for much higher prices — not just because of market improvements, but also because the sales are no longer distressed. However, as the prevalence of foreclosures and foreclosure re-sales is declining, so is the impact they have on the Case-Shiller indices. Moreover, the fact that Case-Shiller uses a three-month average is strongly diluting the impact of the most recent numbers and with that the showing of a slowdown. More on the difference between Case-Shiller and ZHVI can be found here.

We expect home value appreciation to continue to moderate in 2014 (even if we can’t yet see it in the Case-Shiller data), rising 2.2 percent between April 2014 and April 2015, nationally — a rate much more in line with historic appreciation rates. The main drivers of this moderation include rising mortgage rates and less investor participation – leading to decreased demand – and increasing for-sale inventory supply. Further details on our forecast of home values can be found here, and more on Zillow’s full April 2014 report can be found here.
So the Case-Shiller index will probably show another strong year-over-year gain in April, but a little lower than in March (12.4% year-over-year).

Zillow March 2014 Forecast for Case-Shiller Index
 Case Shiller Composite 10Case Shiller Composite 20
NSASANSASA
Case Shiller
(year ago)
Apr
2013
165.35168.35152.24155.07
Case-Shiller
(last month)
Mar
2014
181.43186.35166.80171.39
Zillow ForecastYoY11.8%11.8%11.8%11.8%
MoM1.9%1.1%2.0%1.2%
Zillow Forecasts1 184.9188.3170.2173.4
Current Post Bubble Low 146.45149.86134.07137.13
Date of Post Bubble Low Mar-12Feb-12Mar-12Jan-12
Above Post Bubble Low 26.2%25.7%26.9%26.5%
1Estimate based on Year-over-year and Month-over-month Zillow forecasts

MBA: "Mortgage Applications Decrease Slightly in Latest MBA Weekly Survey"

by Calculated Risk on 5/28/2014 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease Slightly in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 1.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 23, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. ...
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.31 percent, the lowest level since June 2013, from 4.33 percent, with points decreasing to 0.15 from 0.20 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index.

The refinance index is down 73% from the levels in May 2013 (one year ago).

As expected, with the mortgage rate increases, refinance activity is very low this year.


Mortgage Purchase Index The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.  

According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is down about 15% from a year ago.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ATA Trucking Index increased in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2014 07:43:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator that I follow, from ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1.5% in April

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% in April, after rising 0.6% the previous month. In April, the index equaled 129.1 (2000=100) versus 127.2 in March. The all-time high was in November 2013 (131.0).

Compared with April 2013, the SA index increased 4.8%, which is the largest year-over-year gain of 2014.
...
April was the third straight gain in tonnage totaling 4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. Tonnage is off 1.4% from the all-time high in November.

“I’m pleased that tonnage has been making solid progress after falling a total of 5.2% in December and January,” he said. “And April’s nice gain was better than the contraction in industrial production and the lackluster retail sales during the same month.”
emphasis added
ATA Trucking Click on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph that shows ATA's For-Hire Truck Tonnage index.

The dashed line is the current level of the index.

The index has rebounded following the sharp decline during the winter and is now up 4.8% year-over-year.  

Weekly Update: Housing Tracker Existing Home Inventory up 8.3% year-over-year on May 26th

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2014 04:14:00 PM

Here is another weekly update on housing inventory ...

There is a clear seasonal pattern for inventory, with the low point for inventory in late December or early January, and then usually peaking in mid-to-late summer.

The Realtor (NAR) data is monthly and released with a lag (the most recent data was for April).  However Ben at Housing Tracker (Department of Numbers) has provided me some weekly inventory data for the last several years.

Existing Home Sales Weekly data Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the Housing Tracker reported weekly inventory for the 54 metro areas for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

In 2011 and 2012, inventory only increased slightly early in the year and then declined significantly through the end of each year.

In 2013 (Blue), inventory increased for most of the year before declining seasonally during the holidays.  Inventory in 2013 finished up 2.7% YoY compared to 2012.

Inventory in 2014 (Red) is now 8.3% above the same week in 2013. 

Inventory is still very low - still below the level in 2012 (yellow) when prices started increasing - but this increase in inventory should slow house price increases. 

Note: One of the key questions for 2014 will be: How much will inventory increase?  My guess is inventory will be up 10% to 15% year-over-year by the end of 2014 (inventory would still be below normal).

Comment on House Prices: Real Prices, Price-to-Rent Ratio

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2014 01:40:00 PM


I've been expecting a slowdown in year-over-year prices as "For Sale" inventory slowly increases, and the slowdown might be starting, but this was a still very strong month-to-month increase.  The Case-Shiller Composite 20 index was up 1.2% in March 2014 seasonally adjusted (SA).  Not much of a slowdown!

In March 2013, the Composite 20 index was up an even stronger 1.7% month-to-month SA, so the year-over-year change was slightly lower in March than in February.   This is the fourth consecutive month with lower month-to-month changes than the same month last year.  So the year-over-year change has declined from 13.7% in November 2013 to a still very strong 12.4% in March 2014.

It is likely the Case-Shiller Composite 20 index is overstating national price increases due to the inclusion of distressed sales, and the heavy weighting of coastal cities. Other indexes show less price appreciation than Case-Shiller (Black Knight, FNC), and Zillow indicated prices declined slightly in April.  So I expect a further decline in the year-over-year change in the Case-Shiller April index (this index is a 3 month average and tends to lag some other indexes).

Also, I've heard talk of a new "bubble" for house prices. And it does appear, by the measures below, that house prices are somewhat above the historical norm. However since there is little evidence of speculative buying, I wouldn't call this a bubble - although these double digit price increases are clearly unsustainable.

Note: My definition of a "bubble", from a post I wrote in April 2005, Housing: Speculation is the Key:

A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation ... Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the "bubble" bursts.
There was a clear bubble in 2005 with prices much more out of line with fundamentals than now, and rampant speculation with excessive leverage. Currently I'm not concerned.

It is important to look at prices in real terms (inflation adjusted).  Case-Shiller, CoreLogic and others report nominal house prices.  As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $277,000 today adjusted for inflation (just over 38%).  That is why the second graph below is important - this shows "real" prices (adjusted for inflation).

Nominal House Prices

Nominal House PricesThe first graph shows the quarterly Case-Shiller National Index SA (through Q1 2014), and the monthly Case-Shiller Composite 20 SA and CoreLogic House Price Indexes (through March) in nominal terms as reported.

In nominal terms, the Case-Shiller National index (SA) is back to mid-2004 levels (and also back up to Q2 2008), and the Case-Shiller Composite 20 Index (SA) is back to Nov 2004 levels, and the CoreLogic index (NSA) is back to November 2004.

Real House Prices

Real House PricesThe second graph shows the same three indexes in real terms (adjusted for inflation using CPI less Shelter). Note: some people use other inflation measures to adjust for real prices.

In real terms, the National index is back to Q4 2001 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to August 2002, and the CoreLogic index back to June 2002.

In real terms, house prices are back to early '00s levels.

Price-to-Rent

In October 2004, Fed economist John Krainer and researcher Chishen Wei wrote a Fed letter on price to rent ratios: House Prices and Fundamental Value. Kainer and Wei presented a price-to-rent ratio using the OFHEO house price index and the Owners' Equivalent Rent (OER) from the BLS.

Price-to-Rent RatioHere is a similar graph using the Case-Shiller National, Composite 20 and CoreLogic House Price Indexes.

This graph shows the price to rent ratio (January 1998 = 1.0).

On a price-to-rent basis, the Case-Shiller National index is back to Q1 2002 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to December 2002 levels, and the CoreLogic index is back to February 2003.

In real terms, and as a price-to-rent ratio, prices are mostly back to early 2000 levels.

Richmond and Dallas Fed: Manufacturing Actiivty Increases "Mildly"

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2014 10:30:00 AM

Manufacturing activity in the Richmond region increased "mildly" at the same rate in May as in April, and activity increased in the Dallas region at a "slower pace" in May.

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Sector Activity Increased Mildly; Hiring Continued to Strengthen

Overall, manufacturing conditions improved. The composite index for manufacturing held steady at a reading of 7 during the past two months. The index for shipments gained four points, ending at 10, while the index for new orders softened seven points, finishing at a reading of 3. Manufacturing employment picked up this month; the May indicator advanced six points to a reading of 10.
emphasis added
And from the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Grows but at a Slower Pace
Texas factory activity increased again in May, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 24.7 to 11, indicating output grew but not strongly as in April.

The new orders index fell sharply to 3.8, hitting its lowest level this year. ... The general business activity index remained elevated but moved down from 11.7 to 8. ... Labor market indicators reflected a tapering of growth in employment levels and workweek length. The May employment index dropped to 2.9, its lowest reading in nearly a year.
Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (dashed green, through May), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through May) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through April (right axis).

All of the regional surveys showed expansion in May, and it seems likely the ISM index will increase again in May.  The ISM index for May will be released Monday, June 2nd.

Case-Shiller: Comp 20 House Prices increased 12.4% year-over-year in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2014 09:00:00 AM

S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for March ("March" is a 3 month average of January, February and March prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, and two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the Q1 National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), I use the SA data for the graphs.

From S&P: Home Prices Rise in March According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Data through March 2014, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices ... show the 10-City and 20-City Composite Indices gained 0.8% and 0.9% month-over-month. In the first quarter of 2014, the National Index gained 0.2%. Nineteen of the 20 cities showed positive returns in March – New York was the only city to decline. Dallas and Denver reached new index peaks.

In March, the National and Composite Indices saw their annual rates of gain slow significantly. ... The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 10.3% gain in the first quarter of 2014 over the first quarter of 2013. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted year-over-year increases of 12.6% and 12.4% in March 2014.

“The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Annual price increases for the two Composites have slowed in the last four months and 13 cities saw annual price changes moderate in March. The National Index also showed decelerating gains in the last quarter. Among those markets seeing substantial slowdowns in price gains were some of the leading boom-bust markets including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa.

“Despite signs of decelerating prices, all cities were higher than a year ago and all but New York were higher in March than in February. However, only Denver and Dallas have set new post-crisis highs and they experienced relatively lower peak levels than other cities. Four locations are fairly close to their previous highs: Boston (8%), Charlotte (9%), Portland (13%) and San Francisco (15%).
Case-Shiller House Prices Indices Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted Composite 10 and Composite 20 indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The Composite 10 index is off 17.8% from the peak, and up 1.2% in March (SA). The Composite 10 is up 24.3% from the post bubble low set in Jan 2012 (SA).

The Composite 20 index is off 17.0% from the peak, and up 1.2% (SA) in March. The Composite 20 is up 25.0% from the post-bubble low set in Jan 2012 (SA).

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices The second graph shows the Year over year change in both indices.

The Composite 10 SA is up 12.6% compared to March 2013.

The Composite 20 SA is up 12.4% compared to March 2013.

Prices increased (SA) in 18 of the 20 Case-Shiller cities in March seasonally adjusted.  (Prices increased in 19 of the 20 cities NSA) Prices in Las Vegas are off 43.8% from the peak, and prices in Denver and Dallas are at new highs (SA).

This was above the consensus forecast for a 11.9% YoY increase. I'll have more on house prices later.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tuesday: Durable Goods, Case-Shiller House Prices, Richmond and Dallas Fed Mfg Surveys

by Calculated Risk on 5/26/2014 07:19:00 PM

Tuesday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Durable Goods Orders for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.8% decrease in durable goods orders.

• At 9:00 AM, the FHFA House Price Index for March. This was original a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase.

• Also at 9:00 AM, the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for March. Although this is the March report, it is really a 3 month average of January, February and March. The consensus is for a 11.9% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index (NSA) for March. The Zillow forecast is for the Composite 20 to increase 11.9% year-over-year, and for prices to increase 0.8% month-to-month seasonally adjusted.

• At 10:00 AM, Conference Board's consumer confidence index for May. The consensus is for the index to increase to 83.0 from 82.3.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for May. The consensus is for a reading of 9, up from 7 in April.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for May. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for May.

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of May 25th

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: the S&P futures are up 4 and DOW futures are up 40 (fair value).

Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $104.27 per barrel and Brent at $110.32 per barrel.

Below is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are around $3.63 per gallon (might have peaked, and slightly below the level of a year ago).  If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.



Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com

Employment Graph Fail!

by Calculated Risk on 5/26/2014 01:42:00 PM

Reader MC sent me the following graph and asked "This chart looks highly questionable for a number of reasons. Any thoughts?"

Usually I ignore this nonsense, but I have a little extra time today - and this is an egregious example of "Graph Fail"

Graph Fail
Click on graph for larger image.

Here is the apparent source of the graph.

The graph is constructed from the start of the 1982 and 2009 recoveries, and the graph subtracts the change in the Civilian noninstitutional population, 16 years and over, from the change in total non-farm payroll jobs.

This is just another way to ignore the change in demographics and the participation rate (that I've written about for years - and most research shows the decline in the participation rate is primarily due to changing demographics). 

Population by Age Group, 1982 and 2009 Here is a quick look at demographics: This graph shows the population in each 5 year age group in November 1982 (red) and June 2009 (blue).  This is the start of each recovery.  Note: Not Seasonally Adjusted, Source: BLS.

In November 1982 (red), the two largest groups were in the "20 to 24" and "25 to 29" age groups. These people were just entering the prime working age!  Is anyone surprised there was an increase in the overall participation rate during the '80s?

In June 2009 (blue), the two largest groups were in the "45 to 49" and "50 to 54" age groups . The older group was moving into a lower participation age group.  And look at all those people in the 75+ group in 2009!  That is good news - people are living longer - but most of these people are not participating in the labor force (the 75+ participation rate was 8.3% in April 2014).

And there are other long term demographic trends.  As an example, in November 1982, 54.7% of the "16 to 19" age group participated in the labor force, and in 2009, only 38.5% participated (this is a long term trend and is mostly because more young people are staying in school - more good news).

So just ignore this graph. It is a Graph Fail!.

Note: The 1981 recession was primarily caused by then Fed Chairman Paul Volcker tightening monetary policy to fight inflation, and the recovery was directly related to the Fed easing policy. The 2007 recession was a direct result of the housing bubble and bust, and resulting financial crisis (all research shows recoveries from financial crisis are very difficult).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vehicle Sales Forecasts: Over 16 Million SAAR in May

by Calculated Risk on 5/25/2014 03:13:00 PM

The automakers will report May vehicle sales on Tuesday, June 3rd.  Sales in April were close to 16.0 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales in May will be above 16 million (SAAR). 

Here are a few forecasts:

From WardsAuto: May Sales to Continue Upward Trend

A new WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. light-vehicle deliveries to best April’s strong showing, with modest increases to incentives and a full post-holiday sales week on the calendar boosting the retail outlook. ... The projected 16.1 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate would be slightly higher than [in April].
From J.D. Power: J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: May New-Vehicle Retail Sales Continue Growth Trend; Strong Memorial Day Weekend Expected
The strong retail performance is expected to lift total light-vehicle sales to 1.5 million units in May 2014 ... [16.1 million SAAR]

From TrueCar: May SAAR to Hit 16.1 Million Vehicles, According to TrueCar; 2014 New Vehicle Sales Expected to be up 5.5 Percent Year-Over-Year
Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate ("SAAR") of 16.1 million new vehicle sales is up 6 percent from May 2013 and up 1.1 percent over April 2014.
The sales growth rate will probably slow this year and auto sales will contribute less to GDP growth in 2014 than the previous four years. Here is a table showing annual sales and the growth rate since 2000.

Light Vehicle Sales
 Sales (millions)Annual Change
200017.42.7%
200117.1-1.3%
200216.8-1.8%
200316.6-1.1%
200416.91.4%
200516.90.5%
200616.5-2.6%
200716.1-2.5%
200813.2-18.0%
200910.4-21.2%
201011.611.1%
201112.710.2%
201214.413.4%
201315.57.6%
2014116.13%
1LMC Automotive Forecast

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 499 Institutions

by Calculated Risk on 5/25/2014 09:30:00 AM

This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for May 23, 2014.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

Three removals this week lower the Unofficial Problem Bank List to 499 institutions with assets of $154.9 billion. A year ago the list held 767 institutions with assets of $283.7 billion.

Actions were terminated against First Bank, Creve Coeur, MO ($5.8 billion) and Parke Bank, Sewell, NJ ($794 million Ticker: PKBK). Somewhat surprisingly in front of the Memorial Day holiday, the FDIC closed Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, OH ($38 million), which had been operating under a formal enforcement action since 2007. The failure is the eight this year compared to 13 failures at the 20th week last year.

Next week the FDIC is expected to release its enforcement action activity through April and release industry results and an updated Official Problem Bank List as of the first quarter.
CR Note: The first unofficial problem bank list was published in August 2009 with 389 institutions. The list peaked at 1,002 institutions on June 10, 2011, and is now down to 499 (just under half the peak).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 0.2% year-over-year in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/24/2014 03:04:00 PM

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 0.2% (0.5 billion vehicle miles) for March 2014 as compared with March 2013.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 249.1 billion vehicle miles.

Cumulative Travel for 2014 changed by -0.6% (-4.2 billion vehicle miles).
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven.

The rolling 12 month total is still mostly moving sideways ...


Vehicle Miles Click on graph for larger image.

In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months.

Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 76 months - 6+ years - and still counting.  Currently miles driven (rolling 12 months) are about 2.5% below the previous peak.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY In March 2014, gasoline averaged of $3.61 per gallon according to the EIA.  That was down from March 2013 when prices averaged $3.78 per gallon. Note: In April, gasoline prices were higher in 2014 than in 2013 - and miles driven might be down again for April.

Of course gasoline prices are just part of the story.  The lack of growth in miles driven over the last 6+ years is probably also due to the lingering effects of the great recession (high unemployment rate and lack of wage growth), the aging of the overall population (over 55 drivers drive fewer miles) and changing driving habits of young drivers.

With all these factors, it might take a few more years before we see a new peak in miles driven.

Schedule for Week of May 25th

by Calculated Risk on 5/24/2014 08:30:00 AM

The key reports this week are the 2nd estimate of Q1 GDP on Thursday, April Personal Income and Outlays on Friday, and March Case-Shiller house prices on Tuesday.

For manufacturing, the May Richmond and Kansas City Fed surveys will be released.

The FDIC Q1 Quarterly Banking Report is expected to be released during the week.

----- Monday, May 26th -----

All US markets will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.

----- Tuesday, May 27th -----

8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.8% decrease in durable goods orders.

9:00 AM: FHFA House Price Index for March. This was original a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase.

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices9:00 AM: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for March. Although this is the March report, it is really a 3 month average of January, February and March.

This graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes through February 2014 (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The consensus is for a 11.9% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index (NSA) for March. The Zillow forecast is for the Composite 20 to increase 11.9% year-over-year, and for prices to increase 0.8% month-to-month seasonally adjusted.

10:00 AM: Conference Board's consumer confidence index for May. The consensus is for the index to increase to 83.0 from 82.3.

10:00 AM: Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for May.  The consensus is for a reading of 9, up from 7 in April.

10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for May. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for May.

----- Wednesday, May 28th -----

7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

----- Thursday, May 29th -----

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to decrease to 317 thousand from 326 thousand.

8:30 AM: Q1 GDP (second estimate). This is the second estimate of Q1 GDP from the BEA. The consensus is that real GDP decreased 0.6% annualized in Q1, revised down from the advance estimate of a 0.1% increase.

10:00 AM ET: Pending Home Sales Index for April. The consensus is for a 1% increase in the index.

----- Friday, May 30th -----

8:30 AM: Personal Income and Outlays for April. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in personal income, and for a 0.2% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.2%.

9:45 AM: Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for May. The consensus is for a decrease to 61.0, down from 63.0 in April.

9:55 AM: Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for May). The consensus is for a reading of 82.5, up from the preliminary reading of 81.8, but down from the April reading of 84.1.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Goldman's Hatzius: Rationale for Economic Acceleration Is Intact

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 09:48:00 PM

Excerpt from Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius research: Sticking with Stronger

We currently estimate that real GDP fell -0.7% (annualized) in the first quarter, versus a December consensus estimate of +2½%. On the face of it, this is a large disappointment. It raises the question whether 2014 will be yet another year when initially high hopes for growth are ultimately dashed.

Today we therefore ask whether our forecast that 2014-2015 will show a meaningful pickup in growth relative to the first four years of the recovery is still on track. Our answer, broadly, is yes. Although the weak first quarter is likely to hold down real GDP for 2014 as a whole, the underlying trends in economic activity are still pointing to significant improvement.
...
The basic rationale for our acceleration forecast of late 2013 was twofold—(1) an end to the fiscal drag that had weighed on growth so heavily in 2013 and (2) a positive impulse from the private sector following the completion of the balance sheet adjustments specifically among US households. Both of these points remain intact.
I also remain optimistic that growth will pickup - I touched on this in February: Reasons for a 2014 Pickup in Economic Growth Intact

Bank Failure #8 of 2014: Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 05:19:00 PM

From the FDIC: United Fidelity Bank, fsb, Evansville, Indiana, Assumes All of the Deposits of Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio

As of March 31, 2014, Columbia Savings Bank had approximately $36.5 million in total assets and $29.5 million in total deposits. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $5.3 million. ... Columbia Savings Bank is the eighth FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the first in Ohio.
A bank failure two weeks in a row ... that hasn't happened recently.

New Home Prices: Almost 45% of Home over $300K, Less than 5% under $150K

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 03:04:00 PM

Here are two graphs I haven't posted for some time ...

As part of the new home sales report, the Census Bureau reported the number of homes sold by price and the average and median prices.

From the Census Bureau: "The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2014 was $275,800; the average sales price was $320,100."

The following graph shows the median and average new home prices.

New Home PricesClick on graph for larger image.

During the bust, the builders had to build smaller and less expensive homes to compete with all the distressed sales. With fewer distressed sales now, it appears the builders have moved to higher price points.

The average price in April 2014 was $320,100, and the median price was $275,800.  Both are above the bubble high (this is due to both a change in mix and rising prices).

The second graph shows the percent of new homes sold by price. At the peak of the housing bubble, almost 40% of new homes were sold for more than $300K - and over 20% were sold for over $400K.

New Home Sales by PriceThe percent of home over $300K declined to about 20% in January 2009. Now it has rebounded to almost 45% of homes over $300K.

And less than 5% of homes sold were under $150K in April 2014.  This is down from 30% in 2002 - and down from 20% as recently as August 2011.  Quite a change.

Earlier on New Home Sales:
New Home Sales increase to 433,000 Annual Rate in April
Comments on the New Home Sales report

Comments on the New Home Sales report

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 12:03:00 PM

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales this year, through April, were 148,000, Not seasonally adjusted (NSA). That is down 2.6% from 152,000 during the same four months in 2013 (NSA).

This disappointing start to the year is probably mostly due to higher mortgage rates and higher prices. Mortgage rates were at 3.45% in April 2013 and increased to 4.34% in April 2014.  Also there were probably supply constraints in some areas and credit remains difficult for many potential borrowers.

Note: There was a sharp increase in sales in the Midwest region in April, and that appears to be a bounce back from the severe weather.   In the Midwest, sales during the first four months are now essentially flat with the same period in 2013.

Maybe sales will move sideways for a little longer, but remember early 2013 was a difficult comparison period. Annual sales in 2013 were up 16.3% from 2012, but sales in the first four months of 2013 were up 26% from the same period in 2012!

New Home Sales 2013 2014Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows new home sales for 2013 and 2014 by month (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

The comparisons to last year will be a little easier in a few months - especially in Q3 - and I still expect to see solid year-over-year growth later this year.

And here is another update to the "distressing gap" graph that I first started posting several years ago to show the emerging gap caused by distressed sales.  Now I'm looking for the gap to close over the next few years.

Distressing GapThe "distressing gap" graph shows existing home sales (left axis) and new home sales (right axis) through April 2014. This graph starts in 1994, but the relationship has been fairly steady back to the '60s.

Following the housing bubble and bust, the "distressing gap" appeared mostly because of distressed sales.

I expect existing home sales to decline some more or move sideways (distressed sales will slowly decline and be partially offset by more conventional / equity sales).  And I expect this gap to slowly close, mostly from an increase in new home sales.

Note: Existing home sales are counted when transactions are closed, and new home sales are counted when contracts are signed. So the timing of sales is different.

New Home Sales increase to 433,000 Annual Rate in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 433 thousand.

March sales were revised up from 384 thousand to 407 thousand, and February sales were revised down from 449 thousand to 437 thousand.

Sales of new single-family houses in April 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 6.4 percent above the revised March rate of 407,000, but is 4.2 percent below the April 2013 estimate of 452,000.
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

Sales have bounced around recently, but have mostly moved sideways over the last year.  Even with the increase in sales over the previous two years, new home sales are still near the bottom for previous recessions.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in April to 5.3 months from 5.6 months in March.

The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.

This is now in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
"The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 192,000. This represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate."
New Home Sales, InventoryOn inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
"A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted."
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.

The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is still low, but moving up. The combined total of completed and under construction is also low.

New Home Sales, NSAThe last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In April 2014 (red column), 41 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 43 thousand homes were also sold in April. The high for April was 116 thousand in 2005, and the low for April was 30 thousand in 2011.

This was above expectations of 420,000 sales in April, but still down year-over-year.

I'll have more later today . 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Friday: New Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 5/22/2014 08:19:00 PM

First, a couple of manufacturing releases earlier today for May ...

From MarkIt: Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI™, Output rises at fastest pace in over three years

Operating conditions in the US manufacturing sector continued to improve during May, with strong rises in production and output complemented by further payroll growth.

After accounting for seasonal factors, the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) improved to 56.2 in May, up from April’s 55.4.
From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Expanded Solidly
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the May Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded solidly, and producers’ expectations for future factory activity remained at healthy levels.

“This was the third straight month of solid growth at factories in the region, following some weather-related weakness in previous months”, said Wilkerson. “More factories than in recent surveys were also able to raise selling prices.”

The month-over-month composite index was 10 in May, up from 7 in April and equal to 10 in March
Friday:
• At 10:00 AM ET, New Home Sales for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for an increase in sales to 420 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in April from 384 thousand in March.

Lawler: Updated Table of Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/22/2014 05:45:00 PM

Economist Tom Lawler sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for selected cities in April.  Lawler writes: "Note the steep YOY decline in the short-sales share, and the significant increase in the foreclosure sales share of home sales in Florida."

Total "distressed" share is down in all of these markets, mostly because of a sharp decline in short sales.

Foreclosures are down in most of these areas too, although foreclosures are up in some judicial foreclosure areas and also in Las Vegas (there was a state law change that slowed foreclosures dramatically in Nevada at the end of 2011).

The All Cash Share (last two columns) is mostly declining year-over-year.

 Short Sales ShareForeclosure Sales Share Total "Distressed" ShareAll Cash Share
Apr-14Apr-13Apr-14Apr-13Apr-14Apr-13Apr-14Apr-13
Las Vegas12.4%32.5%11.4%10.0%23.8%42.5%41.4%59.3%
Reno**15.0%33.0%6.0%8.0%21.0%41.0%  
Phoenix4.0%12.7%6.5%11.3%10.5%24.1%32.2%42.0%
Sacramento7.5%8.8%9.5%23.1%17.0%31.9%21.9%37.2%
Minneapolis5.0%7.4%15.9%24.0%20.9%31.4%  
Mid-Atlantic 5.9%9.9%10.0%8.6%15.9%18.5%19.5%19.4%
Orlando9.1%21.2%23.7%20.5%32.9%41.8%42.4%54.8%
California *5.5%16.1%6.7%13.5%12.2%29.6%  
Bay Area CA*3.8%11.8%3.6%8.4%7.4%20.2%22.9%28.3%
So. California*5.4%16.6%5.9%12.4%11.3%29.0%26.7%34.4%
Florida SF6.9%14.8%21.1%16.2%28.0%31.0%43.4%47.9%
Florida C/TH4.5%10.2%15.6%12.0%20.1%22.3%70.9%73.8%
Miami MSA SF10.5%18.5%16.5%10.8%27.0%29.3%44.4%47.1%
Miami MSA C/TH5.6%12.8%17.5%12.0%23.1%24.7%73.4%78.9%
Sarasota3.8%9.5%12.8%12.5%16.6%22.0%  
Northeast Florida    38.1%39.5%  
Hampton Roads    24.4%27.8%  
Toledo      33.4%40.8%
Des Moines      17.1%19.6%
Peoria      21.2%24.4%
Tucson      30.5%33.5%
Omaha      22.3%17.4%
Pensacola      35.6%34.5%
Georgia***      34.3%NA
Houston  6.1%10.4%    
Memphis*  16.6%24.7%    
Birmingham AL  16.8%24.1%    
Springfield IL**  13.2%14.4%    
*share of existing home sales, based on property records
**Single Family Only
***GAMLS

Hotels: Occupancy Rate up 4.6%, RevPAR up 9.6% in Latest Survey

by Calculated Risk on 5/22/2014 04:09:00 PM

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US results for week ending 17 May

In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy increased 4.6 percent to 69.7 percent. Average daily rate increased 4.8 percent to finish the week at US$116.30. Revenue per available room for the week was up 9.6 percent to finish at US$81.10.
emphasis added
Note: ADR: Average Daily Rate, RevPAR: Revenue per Available Room.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is solidly above the median for 2000-2007, and is at the highest level since 2000. 

The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate for the last 15 years using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy Rate Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2014 and black is for 2009 - the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels.  Note: 2001 was briefly worse than 2009 in September.

Year 2000 was the best year for hotel occupancy until late in the year when 2005 had the highest occupancy rate (due to hurricane Katrina).

Right now it looks like 2014 will be the best year since 2000 for hotels.

Data Source: Smith Travel Research, Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com