Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 09:01:00 PM

Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for a decrease to 348 thousand from 360 thousand last week.

• Also at 8:30 AM, Chicago Fed National Activity Index for June. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for June from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for 5.90 million SAAR, up from 5.80 million last month. Housing economist Tom Lawler expects the NAR to report 5.79 million SAAR.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for July.

Existing Home Inventory in June: Local Markets

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 03:50:00 PM

I'm gathering existing home data for many local markets, and I'm watching inventory very closely this year.


The table below shows some local market data for June.

Note: California reported a 15.4% increase in active inventory from May to June, but they don't report the actual numbers - so California isn't include in the table below.  But this is similar increase to most other areas.

As I noted in Some thoughts on Housing Inventory
The key for housing in 2021 will be inventory. If inventory stays extremely low, there will be more housing starts and a larger increase in house prices. However, if inventory increases significantly, there will be fewer starts and less price appreciation.
Although inventory in these areas is down about 43% year-over-year, inventory is up 12.6% month-to-month.  Seasonally we'd usually expect an increase in inventory from May to June - so some of this increase is seasonal (as opposed to a shift in the market).   

It does appear inventory bottomed seasonally in March.

Existing Home Inventory
 Jun-21May-21Jun-20YoYMoM
Alabama9,9549,36316,518-39.7%6.3%
Atlanta7,7877,53017,596-55.7%3.4%
Boston3,8223,4184,697-18.6%11.8%
Charlotte3,4623,1047,182-51.8%11.5%
Colorado9,1917,03422,230-58.7%30.7%
Denver13,1222,0756,383-51.1%50.5%
Houston24,22522,60735,281-31.3%7.2%
Indiana7,7436,55912,139-36.2%18.1%
Las Vegas3,0292,5606,695-54.8%18.3%
Maryland8,5507,49015,558-45.0%14.2%
Minnesota10,2278,95317,285-40.8%14.2%
New
Hampshire
2,5051,9593,613-30.7%27.9%
North
Texas
9,7478,12619,406-49.8%19.9%
Northwest6,3585,5339,670-34.3%14.9%
Phoenix5,8665,2188,792-33.3%12.4%
Portland2,7222,3394,109-33.8%16.4%
Rhode
Island
1,9851,1432,966-33.1%73.7%
Sacramento1,29712671,495-13.2%2.4%
South
Carolina
11,57811,27822,676-48.9%2.7%
Total1130,048115,481227,908-42.9%12.6%
1excluding Denver (included in Colorado)

July 21st COVID-19, New Cases, Hospitalizations, Vaccinations

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 03:38:00 PM

The 7-day average cases is the highest since May 9th.

The 7-day average hospitalizations is the highest since May 30th
This data is from the CDC.

According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.

Total doses administered: 339,102,867, as of a week ago 335,487,779. Average doses last week: 0.52 million per day.

COVID Metrics
 TodayYesterdayWeek
Ago
Goal
Percent over 18,
One Dose
68.4%68.3%67.8%≥70.0%1,2
Fully Vaccinated✅
(millions)
161.9161.6160.1≥1601
New Cases per Day3🚩37,67335,51224,709≤5,0002
Hospitalized3🚩20,24119,33015,137≤3,0002
Deaths per Day3🚩237245198≤502
1 America's Short Term Goals,
2my goals to stop daily posts,
37 day average for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths
🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths
✅ Goal met (even if late).

KUDOS to the residents of the 20 states and D.C. that have achieved the 70% goal (percent over 18 with at least one dose): Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut are at 80%+, and Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey,  Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Washington, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Delaware, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado and D.C. are all over 70%.

Next up are Florida at 66.8%, Utah at 66.7%, Wisconsin at 66.5%, Nebraska at 66.4%, South Dakota at 65.2%, and Iowa at 64.9%.

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the daily (columns) and 7 day average (line) of positive tests reported.

Alabama Real Estate in June: Sales Up 15% YoY, Inventory Down 40% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 01:33:00 PM

Note: I'm tracking data for many local markets around the U.S. I think it is especially important to watch inventory this year.

For the entire state of Alabama:

Closed sales in June 2021 were 8,234, up 14.6% from 7,184 in June 2020.

Active Listings in June 2021 were 9,954, down 39.7% from 16,518 in June 2020.

Months of Supply was 1.2 Months in June 2021, compared to 2.3 Months in June 2020.

Inventory in June was up 6.3% from last month.

CoreLogic: Single-Family Rents Up 6.6% Year Over Year in May

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 12:22:00 PM

Housing economist Tom Lawler has been tracking this, see: Lawler: Single-Family Rent Trends. This will likely push up Owner's Equivalent Rent (OER, a key component of CPI) in the coming months.

From CoreLogic: U.S. Single-Family Rents Up 6.6% Year Over Year in May

U.S. single-family rent growth increased 6.6% in May 2021, the fastest year-over-year increase since at least January 2005[1], according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI). The May 2021 increase was nearly four times the May 2020 increase. The index measures rent changes among single-family rental homes, including condominiums, using a repeat-rent analysis to measure the same rental properties over time.

An uneven U.S. job recovery, sometimes called a “K-shaped” recovery, is reflected in the rent price growth of the low- and high-price rent tiers, with the increase in lower-priced rentals lagging behind that of higher-priced rentals. The low-price tier is defined as properties with rent prices less than 75% of the regional median, and the high-price tier is defined as properties with rent prices greater than 125% of a region’s median rent (Figure 1).

CoreLogic RentClick on graph for larger image.

Rent prices for the low-price tier, increased 4.6% year over year in May 2021, up from 2.7% in May 2020. Meanwhile, high-price rentals increased 7.9% in May 2021, up from a gain of 1.3% in May 2020. This was the fastest increase in low-price rents since January 2017, and the fastest increase in high-price rentals in the history of the SFRI.

Differences in rent growth by property type emerged after the pandemic as renters sought out standalone properties in lower density areas (Figure 2). The detached property type tier is defined as properties with a free-standing residential building, and the attached property type tier is defined as a single-family dwelling that is attached to other single-family dwellings, which includes duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, row-houses, condos and co-ops.

CoreLogic RentAs demand for more space and outdoor amenities remains, detached rentals in particular are experiencing accelerated growth with a 9.2% year-over-year increase in May, compared to growth of 3.6% annually for attached rentals.

AIA: "Architecture Billings Index robust growth continues" in June

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 10:00:00 AM

Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

From the AIA: Architecture Billings Index robust growth continues

Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in June according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June remained at an elevated level of 57.1 in June (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During June, the new design contracts score also remained positive at 58.9 but was not quite as strong as the 63.2 reading in May. New project inquiries logged another near-record high score at 71.8, compared to 69.2 in May.

“With the current pace of billings growth near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index, we’re expecting a sharp upturn in nonresidential building activity later this year and into 2022,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, as is often the case when market conditions make a sudden reversal, concerns are growing about architecture firms not being able to find enough workers to meet the higher workloads. Nearly six in 10 firms report that they are having problems filling open architectural staff positions.”
...
• Regional averages: Midwest (62.0); West (59.7); South (57.3); Northeast (53.2)

• Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (61.0); multi-family residential (57.9); institutional (57.3); mixed practice (56.4)
emphasis added
AIA Architecture Billing Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 57.1 in June, down from 58.5 in May. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services.

Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions.

This index had been below 50 for eleven consecutive months, but has been solidly positive for the last five months.  

The eleven months of decline represented a significant decrease in design services, and suggests a decline in CRE investment through most of 2021 (This usually leads CRE investment by 9 to 12 months), however we might see a pickup in CRE investment towards the end of the 2021 and into 2022.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 16, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday.

... The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 17 percent compared with the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The 10-year Treasury yield dropped sharply last week, in part due to investors becoming more concerned about the spread of COVID variants and their impact on global economic growth. There were mixed changes in mortgage rates as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate increasing slightly to 3.11 percent after two weeks of declines. Other surveyed rates moved lower, with the 15-year fixed rate loan, used by around 20 percent of refinance borrowers, decreasing to 2.46 percent – the lowest level since January 2021,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.

“On a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the July 4th holiday week, mortgage applications were lower across the board, with purchase applications back to near their lowest levels since May 2020. Limited inventory and higher prices are keeping some prospective homebuyers out of the market. Refinance activity fell over the week, but because rates have stayed relatively low, the pace of applications was close to its highest level since early May 2021.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.11 percent from 3.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance IndexClick on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With low rates, the index remains elevated, and will likely increase this coming week as rates declined.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

Mortgage Purchase Index According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 18% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: The year ago comparisons for the unadjusted purchase index are now difficult since purchase activity picked up in late May 2020.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July 20th COVID-19, New Cases, Hospitalizations, Vaccinations

by Calculated Risk on 7/20/2021 08:04:00 PM

The 7-day average cases is the highest since May 11th.

The 7-day average hospitalizations is the highest since June 1st.

This data is from the CDC.

According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.

Total doses administered: 338,491,374, as of a week ago 334,942,236. Average doses last week: 0.51 million per day.

COVID Metrics
 TodayYesterdayWeek
Ago
Goal
Percent over 18,
One Dose
68.3%68.3%67.7%≥70.0%1,2
Fully Vaccinated✅
(millions)
161.6161.5159.7≥1601
New Cases per Day3🚩35,54733,54122,222≤5,0002
Hospitalized3🚩19,25118,46014,308≤3,0002
Deaths per Day3🚩245240171≤502
1 America's Short Term Goals,
2my goals to stop daily posts,
37 day average for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths
🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths
✅ Goal met (even if late).

KUDOS to the residents of the 20 states and D.C. that have achieved the 70% goal (percent over 18 with at least one dose): Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut are at 80%+, and Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey,  Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Washington, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Delaware, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado and D.C. are all over 70%.

Next up are Florida at 66.7%, Utah at 66.7%, Wisconsin at 66.4%, Nebraska at 66.3%, South Dakota at 65.2%, and Iowa at 64.8%.

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the daily (columns) and 7 day average (line) of positive tests reported.

Indiana Real Estate in June: Sales Up 9% YoY, Inventory Down 36% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 7/20/2021 03:03:00 PM

Note: I'm tracking data for many local markets around the U.S. I think it is especially important to watch inventory this year.

For for the entire state Indiana:

Closed sales in June 2021 were 9,969, up 9.2% from 9,127 in June 2020.

Active Listings in June 2021 were 7,743, down 36.2% from 12,139 in June 2020.

Months of Supply was 0.9 Months in June 2021, compared to 1.6 Months in June 2020.

Inventory in June was up 18.1% from last month, and up 31.3% from 5,898 in March 2021.

Existing Home Sales: Lawler vs. the Consensus

by Calculated Risk on 7/20/2021 12:15:00 PM

Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for  over 11 years.  And he has graciously allowed me to share his predictions with the readers of this blog.

The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler's predictions, and the NAR's initially reported level of sales. 

Lawler hasn't always been closer than the consensus, but usually when there has been a fairly large spread between Lawler's estimate and the "consensus", Lawler has been closer.


For example, last month Lawler estimated the NAR would report sales of 5.78 million SAAR, the consensus was 5.74 million SAAR, and the NAR reported 5.80 million SAAR.

The NAR is scheduled to release Existing Home Sales for June at 10:00 AM, Thursday, July 22nd.

The consensus is for 5.90 million SAAR in June, up from 5.80 million in May. Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.79 million SAAR. Based on Lawler's estimate, I expect existing home sales to be slightly below the consensus in June.

NOTE: There have been times when Lawler "missed", but then he pointed out an apparent error in the NAR data - and the subsequent revision corrected that error.  As an example, see: The “Curious Case” of Existing Home Sales in the South in April

Over the last 11+ years, the consensus average miss was 147 thousand, and  Lawler's average miss was 73 thousand.

Existing Home Sales, Forecasts and NAR Report
millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR)
MonthConsensusLawlerNAR reported1
May-106.205.835.66
Jun-105.305.305.37
Jul-104.663.953.83
Aug-104.104.104.13
Sep-104.304.504.53
Oct-104.504.464.43
Nov-104.854.614.68
Dec-104.905.135.28
Jan-115.205.175.36
Feb-115.155.004.88
Mar-115.005.085.10
Apr-115.205.155.05
May-114.754.804.81
Jun-114.904.714.77
Jul-114.924.694.67
Aug-114.754.925.03
Sep-114.934.834.91
Oct-114.804.864.97
Nov-115.084.404.42
Dec-114.604.644.61
Jan-124.694.664.57
Feb-124.614.634.59
Mar-124.624.594.48
Apr-124.664.534.62
May-124.574.664.55
Jun-124.654.564.37
Jul-124.504.474.47
Aug-124.554.874.82
Sep-124.754.704.75
Oct-124.744.844.79
Nov-124.905.105.04
Dec-125.104.974.94
Jan-134.904.944.92
Feb-135.014.874.98
Mar-135.034.894.92
Apr-134.925.034.97
May-135.005.205.18
Jun-135.274.995.08
Jul-135.135.335.39
Aug-135.255.355.48
Sep-135.305.265.29
Oct-135.135.085.12
Nov-135.024.984.90
Dec-134.904.964.87
Jan-144.704.674.62
Feb-144.644.604.60
Mar-144.564.644.59
Apr-144.674.704.65
May-144.754.814.89
Jun-144.994.965.04
Jul-145.005.095.15
Aug-145.185.125.05
Sep-145.095.145.17
Oct-145.155.285.26
Nov-145.204.904.93
Dec-145.055.155.04
Jan-155.004.904.82
Feb-154.944.874.88
Mar-155.045.185.19
Apr-155.225.205.04
May-155.255.295.35
Jun-155.405.455.49
Jul-155.415.645.59
Aug-155.505.545.31
Sep-155.355.565.55
Oct-155.415.335.36
Nov-155.324.974.76
Dec-155.195.365.46
Jan-165.325.365.47
Feb-165.305.205.08
Mar-165.275.275.33
Apr-165.405.445.45
May-165.645.555.53
Jun-165.485.625.57
Jul-165.525.415.39
Aug-165.445.495.33
Sep-165.355.555.47
Oct-165.445.475.60
Nov-165.545.605.61
Dec-165.545.555.49
Jan-175.555.605.69
Feb-175.555.415.48
Mar-175.615.745.71
Apr-175.675.565.57
May-175.555.655.62
Jun-175.585.595.52
Jul-175.575.385.44
Aug-175.485.395.35
Sep-175.305.385.39
Oct-175.305.605.48
Nov-175.525.775.81
Dec-175.755.665.57
Jan-185.655.485.38
Feb-185.425.445.54
Mar-185.285.515.60
Apr-185.605.485.46
May-185.565.475.43
Jun-185.455.355.38
Jul-185.435.405.34
Aug-185.365.365.34
Sep-185.305.205.15
Oct-185.205.315.22
Nov-185.195.235.32
Dec-185.244.974.99
Jan-195.054.924.94
Feb-195.085.465.51
Mar-195.305.405.21
Apr-195.365.315.19
May-195.295.405.34
Jun-195.345.255.27
Jul-195.395.405.42
Aug-195.385.425.49
Sep-195.455.365.38
Oct-195.495.365.46
Nov-195.455.435.35
Dec-195.435.405.54
Jan-205.455.425.46
Feb-205.505.585.77
Mar-205.305.255.27
Apr-204.304.174.33
May-204.383.803.91
Jun-204.864.654.72
Jul-205.395.855.86
Aug-206.005.926.00
Sep-206.256.386.54
Oct-206.456.636.85
Nov-206.706.506.69
Dec-206.556.626.76
Jan-216.606.486.69
Feb-216.516.296.22
Mar-216.176.026.01
Apr-216.095.965.85
May-215.745.785.80
Jun-215.905.79NA
1NAR initially reported before revisions.