Archive for December, 2017

The True Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas in 2017

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

Purchasing the gifts included in the classic holiday song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” will only cost 0.6% more than in 2016, according to the 34th annual holiday economic analysis by The PNC Financial Services Group.  PNC calculated the 2017 price tag for the PNC Christmas Price Index at $34,558.65. That’s just $200 more than last year’s cost and less than the government’s Consumer Price Index, which increased 2.2% through September for the past 12 months. “The U.S. economy is growing at a sustainable pace, fueled by higher consumer confidence, low unemployment, modest wage gains and low interest rates,” said…

Mortgage Fraud Risk Slows; Rises in Hurricane-Impacted States

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

While the nationwide run-up in mortgage loan application defects appears to have slowed, instances of fraud remain on the rise in Texas and Florida.  The First American Loan Application Defect index remained unchanged for the second straight month in October, but is up 22.1% from October 2016.  Defect risk spiked between November 2016, when it hit an all-time low, and June. Loan application defects are indicators for mortgage fraud. “The surge in defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk that started a year ago has finally lost momentum,” said First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming.  “The Loan Application Defect Index has either remained…

Mortgage Delinquencies Rise After Hurricanes

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Laura Lam

The three major hurricanes that caused devastation during August and September were largely responsible for the third-quarter increase in mortgage delinquencies.  The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate of 4.88% was 64 basis points higher than the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. The 30-day delinquency rate was responsible for 50 basis points of that increase, said Marina Walsh, the MBA’s vice president of industry analysis.  Compared with one year ago, delinquencies were 36 basis points higher. “Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused disruptions and destruction in numerous states,” Walsh said. “Florida, Texas, neighboring states, as well…