Posts Tagged ‘small business’

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…

Americans Waiting for a Bigger Raise

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Laura Lam

The government said that average hourly earnings rose 2.4% over the past 12 months.  That’s a slip from the 2.9% increase reported in September. It remains below the 3% to 3.5% range that many agree is normal in a truly healthy economy.  The last time wages were up more than 3% year-over-year was in April 2009, just as the economy was emerging from the depths of the global banking crisis that fueled the Great Recession. Why have wages remained stagnant even though many other indicators of the job market and broader economy look healthy? Unemployment continues to drop. The housing…

Sales to First-Time Home Buyers Fell 34% in 2017

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

First time homebuyers continue to struggle to enter the housing market amidst limited housing inventory, falling to the fourth lowest level since 1981, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.  The share of first time homebuyers in the housing market decreased from 35% in 2016 to 34% in 2017. In the 36-year history of NAR’s report, the long-term average of first-time homebuyers rests at 39%. “The dreams of many aspiring first-time buyers were unfortunately dimmed over the past year by persistent inventory shortages, which undercut their ability to become homeowners,” stated NAR…

Are Home Equity Loans Staged for a Comeback?

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

There has been a hint of optimism for home equity lending among bankers this earnings season, but attitudes remain mixed a decade after the housing market crash began.  While home equity lines of credit provided a lift to some bank consumer portfolios, a number of other banks said their home equity businesses had fallen and added little about their future. Industry observers say bankers should take the long view. Home equity lines of credit especially are poised to grow now that home values have been rising for a number of years during the economic recovery.  “If you think about the…

Housing Affordability Still Strong Despite Price Increases

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

Home prices continue to increase, yet affordability actually improved since July, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor report from Black Knight.  As of September, the average homeowner needed 21.4% of their median income to purchase a home. This is actually down from July’s post-recession peak of 21.7% and low by historical standards.  For comparison, an average 24.2% of the median income was required to purchase a home from 1995 to 1999. That increased to 26.2% in the years before the housing boom from 2000 to 2003. Interest rates declined about 40 basis points over the past 6 months, offering the opportunity…

Millennials are saving more for retirement

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Laura Lam

In the race to save for retirement, one group is doing surprisingly well: millennial parents.  That’s according to a new NerdWallet survey, which found that 38% of millennial parents (ages 18-34) save more than 15% of their income for retirement. All told, millennial parents reported a median retirement savings rate of 10% of income, compared with 8% for Generation X parents (ages 35-54) and just 5% for baby boomer parents (ages 55+). Given the picture typically painted of this age group, you might be shouting “fake news” right now. There’s one caveat: The results include only those currently saving for…

CMBS Delinquency Rates, Loan Prices Trend Lower

Posted on November 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Trepp, LLC, a leading provider of information, analytics, and technology to the structured finance, commercial real estate, and banking markets, released its October 2017 U.S. CMBS Delinquency Report last week. The Trepp CMBS Delinquency Rate fell again in September, as more previously delinquent loans continue to be resolved. The delinquency rate for U.S. commercial real estate loans in CMBS is now 5.21%, a drop of 19 basis points from September. For the first time in 2017, the year-to-date level is lower than the final 2016 delinquency reading. “For the past few months, we’ve been saying that further declines in the…

Daylight Saving Time: Facts and Figures

Posted on November 03, 2017 by Laura Lam

Sunday, November 5, 2017, marks the end of Daylight Saving Time – a twice-a-year occurrence that we collectively partake in, changing our clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall. But why do we do this? What purpose does it serve? Is it really for the farmers?  You might be surprised how many misconceptions there are surrounding this longstanding practice. Who came up with changing the clocks?  The idea to change the clocks to save daylight was first proposed by English architect William Willett in 1907 when he published The Waste of Daylight. It is believed that Willett’s idea arose…

Credit Card Delinquencies Are Rising

Posted on November 01, 2017 by Laura Lam

While it’s easy to ignore when the stock market is at record highs and unemployment is reassuringly low, household debt is on the rise.  The Center for Microeconomic Data’s (CMD) latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt rose by $114 billion (0.9%) to $12.84 trillion in the second quarter of 2017.  This increase put overall household debt $164 billion above its peak in the third quarter of 2008, and 15.1% above its trough in the second quarter of 2013 Consumer debt, in many ways, should generate more concern – during the good times.  The persistence of…