Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Homeowner Equity On the Rise

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

Homeowner equity increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Q1 2017 home equity analysis from CoreLogic.  Homeowners with a mortgage, about 63% of all homeowners, saw their equity increase by 11.2% for a total of $766.4 billion since the first quarter last year. The average homeowner gained about $13,400 in equity over the last year. The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased 3% from the fourth quarter to 3.1 million homes, or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. This is a drop of 24% from 4.1 million homes in the first quarter last year….

Is the New Household Debt Record Cause for Concern?

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

Last month, the New York Federal Reserve reported that household debt across the nation has hit a dubious milestone in the first quarter: It surpassed the peak debt level of 2008 at $12.7 trillion. Household debt — including mortgages, auto and student loans, and credit cards — rose $149 billion compared with the last quarter of 2016, with nearly all the gain coming from mortgages. Reaching the peak raises questions about whether the backdrop exists again for another financial meltdown.  But the data show the current structure of debt is substantially different from 2008. According to a research officer at…

Beige Book: Slower Growth, Less Optimism

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Economic growth slowed across parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, and some firms have become a bit less optimistic about the future, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve.  “A majority of districts reported that firms expressed positive near-term outlooks; however, optimism waned somewhat in a few districts,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report. Broadly, the Fed said economic growth was modest in 7 districts, moderate in 4 districts and “flattened out” in the New York Fed district. The prior beige book said activity expanded in all 12 regions with the pace equally split…

Foreclosure Activity Hits Post-Recession Low in April

Posted on June 08, 2017 by Laura Lam

ATTOM Data Solutions released its April 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market data, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 77,049 U.S. properties in April, down 7% from the previous month and down 23% from a year ago to the lowest level since November 2005. “Foreclosure activity continued to search for a new post-recession floor in April thanks in large part to the above-par performance of mortgages originated in the past 7 years,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Meanwhile we are seeing an elevated share of repeat foreclosures…

73% of Americans Have Financial Regrets

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Nearly 3-in-4 U.S. adults have financial regrets, according to a new Bankrate.com report. The most common is not saving for retirement early enough, followed by not saving enough for emergency expenses and taking on too much credit card debt. Taking on too much student loan debt is fourth, however, it tops the list among older millennials (27-36 year-olds). Fifth overall is not saving enough for your children’s education and sixth is buying more house than you could afford. Baby Boomers are the most likely to regret not saving for retirement earlier; remorse over this issue grows steadily from age 18-62. It’s…

Home Prices Not Back To Pre-Crisis Levels

Posted on June 05, 2017 by Laura Lam

Home prices increase a little more each month, even hitting new peaks in many markets, yet experts insist they are not back at bubble-era levels.  The most recent Case-Shiller results show home prices rose 5.8% from last year to the highest pace in 33 months.  Black Knight also released its Home Price Index Report, showing home prices rose to a median $272,000 in March. This represents a new peak in home prices, and a rise of 2.3% from the start of the year. In fact, the chart from Calculated Risks shows home prices are nearing, if not level with, pre-crisis peaks, according to different measures of home…

Mortgage Origination Volume Hits 5-Year High

Posted on June 01, 2017 by Laura Lam

First lien originations jumped in 2016 to $2.1 trillion, the highest point since 2012, according to a report from the Urban Institute.  Of these originations, the share of portfolio originations increased to 30.9%, up from 30.2% in 2015, the report shows. The GSE share increased to 45.9%, up from 45.7% the previous year and the FHA and VA share decreased to 22.8%, down from 23.3% in 2015. The chart shows, unlike pre-crisis years, private-label securities no longer hold a significant share in the market. In both 2015 and 2016 the share of private-label securities totaled well below 1%. But despite the increase…

The Top 10 Careers for First-Time Home Buyers

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Laura Lam

Although home prices continue to rise, one degree stands above the rest as being the best for those who wish to buy at home closer to the start of their career.  Of the top 26 degrees that would allow graduates to purchase a home in four years, 22 of them involve engineering, according to a recent study from Realtor.com.  The top degree enables buyers to purchase a home within 2.5 years of graduation. “When it comes to homeownership, degrees in engineering really pay off,” realtor.com Senior Economist Joe Kirchner said. “It shows just how powerful a high starting salary can…

Household Debt Hits New Record

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

Household debt is topping its 2008 peak prior to the housing crash. Total household debt has risen to $12.73 trillion in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last week. However, Americans are handling their debt—mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other forms of borrowing – much better, the report shows.  Americans were delinquent on 4.8% of total debt in the first quarter. For comparison, at the end of 2009, 11.9% of consumers were delinquent on their debt by at least 30 days. The increase in household debt may indicate that more Americans are confident about…

American Households Spend 53% of Its Income On These Expenses

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

If there’s one fairly steady theme over the past couple of decades, it’s that consumers are saving less of their income and their household budgets are being pushed to the limit.  According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s February data, the personal saving rating in America was a paltry 5.6%. Comparatively, U.S. workers were socking away more than 12% of their paycheck 50 years ago.  At the same time, a number of household expenses have largely outpaced the inflation rate and wage growth. These include healthcare costs, college expenses, and in recent years housing costs, since home prices have…