Archive for October, 2017

Halloween Scares Up Record Sales

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Laura Lam

This may not be good news for your waistline, but your sweet tooth might appreciate it: Halloween candy sales are crackerjack this year.  Halloween candy sales are expected to rise 4.1% from last year, reaching a seasonally adjusted $4.1 billion, according to HIS Markit data.  “Consumer confidence is riding high, so consumers are likely to splurge a little more on edible goodies,” said David Deull, a senior economist with IHS Markit. The sales increase is particularly impressive given that candy prices have dropped 0.9% compared with last year, marking the second consecutive Halloween candy price decline, according to IHS Markit…

Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit Scores

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Laura Lam

Consumer credit varies nationally due to regional variations in income and the cost of living.  According to a new study from LendEDU and Experian, the Northeast had the highest average credit score (694). The Midwest (693), Pacific (691), and Rocky Mountain (690) regions followed closely behind. The Southeast (668) and Southwest (662) regions had the lowest credit scores on average.  The best average state scores are roughly 7% higher than the national average, while the worst states are about 7% lower. Vantage Scores were used for the rankings. Scores of 700 and above are considered good, and below 650 is…

Best States for Halloween Candy

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Laura Lam

A recent analysis of Halloween candy purchases found that Oregon tops the list of best states to go trick-or-treating in based on how much money residents spend on candy, with 3 Musketeers as the favorite there.  Trailing in second place is neighboring Washington – choosing 100 Grand bars as the top treat – but Oregonians spend on average $11.64 more per person on Halloween sweets. The top states and amounts spent per person on candy: Oregon ($40.29) Washington ($28.65) New Jersey ($24.36) Utah ($23.73) California ($19.72) New York ($19.08) Pennsylvania ($18.78) Illinois ($18.19) Virginia ($17.76) Wisconsin ($16.74). What state ranks…

Delinquency Rate Continues at 10-year Low

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Laura Lam

CoreLogic released its latest Loan Performance Insights report on national foreclosure and delinquency activity earlier this month.  According to the report, the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30-days past due was 0.9% in July 2017, down from 1.1% in July 2016. CoreLogic compares this to January of 2007 when “just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2% and peaked in November 2008 at 2%.” In addition, it is noted that 4.6% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in July 2017 – a 0.9 percentage point year-over-year decline in the…

Housing Confidence on the Rise; Renters Optimistic

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching the all-time high set in June. The rise can be attributed to increases in 3 of the 6 HPSI components. The good time to buy component rose the most month-over-month, with the net share increasing 10 percentage points compared to August. Renter respondents, in particular, buoyed the net good time to buy component, showing a substantial upward change in optimism in September. The net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home rose 2 percentage points in September and…

Mortgage Default Rates Begin to Rise

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Laura Lam

Mortgage defaults in September were slightly higher than in the previous month and are still lower than a year ago but they are closer to matching levels seen in 2016.  The default rate for first mortgages last month was 0.66%, up a basis point from August, but down a basis point from September a year ago, according to Standard & Poor’s and Experian. Second-mortgage default rates were three basis points higher on a consecutive-month basis at 0.53% but were 3 basis points lower year-to-year.  The composite default rate for mortgage, bank card and auto loan credit was up 2 basis points from…

Foreclosure Activity Plunges to 11-Year Low

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

Foreclosure activity hit an 11-year low in this year’s third quarter, as an improving economy and stricter mortgage standards helped stabilize the housing market to pre-2008 levels.  ATTOM Data Solutions released a report this week revealing that third-quarter foreclosure activity is down 13% from the previous quarter and 35% from a year ago. The Q3 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed a total of 191,824 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, such as default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions. This determined foreclosure activity in Q3 2017 was 31% below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings per quarter between Q1…

Banks Prepare for Credit Card Defaults

Posted on October 20, 2017 by Laura Lam

Credit card delinquencies increased for three consecutive months, adding to signs that consumers in the U.S. are having a tough time paying their debt.  According to recent reports, credit card data from JPMorgan, Discover Financial Services and Bank of America show that the number of delinquencies is on the rise. The reason for the uptick in the number of people who can’t pay their credit card bills is due to lenders going after consumers with less-than-stellar credit ratings. Although this practice is intended to fuel growth in a low-interest rate environment, the lower credit quality is coming back to bite…

Data Breaches Cost Firms $1.3 Million in 2017

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

Cyber attacks cost large North American businesses an average of $1.3 million in 2017, according to a new report from security vendor Kaspersky Lab and market research firm B2B International.  The companies surveyed more than 5,000 businesses across 30 countries to gather data on cyber security issues. The cost of data breaches and other attacks was up from $1.2 million in 2016, and totaled $117,000 per incident for small and medium businesses. Companies are starting to view IT security as a strategic investment, the report said. The share of budgets spent on security is growing, reaching 18% compared with 16%…

Credit Card Delinquencies on the Rise

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Laura Lam

Credit card delinquency rose for the third straight month in September, data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and card issuer Discover Financial Services suggested.  The data add to signs that U.S. consumers are struggling amid rising household debt, after bank results last week pointed to an increase in provisions for future losses. September delinquencies for JPMorgan rose 1.22%, while those at Discover Financial were up 1.64% from August. Those at Bank of America also rose 1.56% — the second rise in three months.  Credit quality at several banks appears to be deteriorating as lenders target consumers with worse credit ratings to…