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September 21st COVID-19: 7-day average deaths is the highest since February

2 days ago

The CDC is the source for all data.The 7-day average deaths is the highest since February 27th.According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.  Total doses administered: 386,780,816, as of a week ago 381,453,265, or 0.76 million doses per day.COVID Metrics  TodayWeekAgoGoal Percent fully Vaccinated54.8%54.0%≥70.0%1 Fully Vaccinated (millions)182.0179.3≥2321 New Cases per Day3130,916141,314≤5,0002 Hospitalized383,99891,810≤3,0002 Deaths per Day3🚩1,5331,361≤502 1 Minimum to achieve "herd immunity" (estimated between 70% and 85%).2my goals to stop daily posts,37 day average for Cases, Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths ✅ Goal met. IMPORTANT: For "herd immunity" most experts believe we need 70% to 85% of the total

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Prime Age Participation Rate

2 days ago

Here is an initial look at the prime age (25 to 54) participation rate.The first graph shows the prime age participation rate since 1948.Click on graph for larger image.There are two clear long term trends:1. The participation rate for prime age women increased significantly from around 34% in the ’40s to around 77% in 2000 (and then started declining).2. The participation rate for prime age men has gradually been decreasing, from close to 97% in the ’40s to around 88% in 2014.The second graphs show the trend since 2010.The participation rate for both men and women appears to have bottomed around 2014, and then were impacted significantly by the pandemic in 2020.Currently the participation rate for prime age women is 75.4%, and 88.4% for prime age men.Some of increase in the second half of

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Comments on August Housing Starts

2 days ago

In the Newsletter I have additional comments on August housing startsCurrently there are also 702 thousand multi-family units under construction. This is the highest level since 1974! For multi-family, construction delays are a factor. The completion of these units should help with rent pressure.

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Housing Starts increased to 1.615 Million Annual Rate in August

2 days ago

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and CompletionsHousing Starts:Privately‐owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,615,000. This is 3.9 percent above the revised July estimate of 1,554,000 and is 17.4 percent above the August 2020 rate of 1,376,000. Single‐family housing starts in August were at a rate of 1,076,000; this is 2.8 percent below the revised July figure of 1,107,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 530,000 Building Permits:Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,728,000. This is 6.0 percent above the revised July rate of 1,630,000 and is 13.5 percent above the August 2020 rate of 1,522,000. Single‐family authorizations

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Tuesday: Housing Starts

3 days ago

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: MBS RECAP: Surprise Snowball Rally as Stocks Swoon Over Global RisksIt remains to be seen how long the stock swoon continues as there is some disagreement about whether the Evergrande drama deserves as much credit as it received today. Either way, bonds simply endured an in-range correction, and they remain more susceptible to Wednesday’s Fed when it comes to volatility risks on the horizon. [30 year fixed 3.00%]emphasis addedTuesday:• At 8:30 AM ET, Housing Starts for August. The consensus is for 1.560 million SAAR, up from 1.534 million SAAR.

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MBA Survey: "Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 3.00%"

3 days ago

Note: This is as of September 12th.From the MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 3.00%The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 8 basis points from 3.08% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 3.00% as of September 12, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 1.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans. The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased 5 basis points to 1.47%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance remained the same relative to the prior week at 3.39%, and the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased 32 basis points to 6.95%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for

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September 20th COVID-19: Data reported on Monday is always low, and will be revised up as data is received

3 days ago

The CDC is the source for all data.According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.  Total doses administered: 386,237,881, as of a week ago 380,241,903, or 0.86 million doses per day.COVID Metrics  TodayWeekAgoGoal Percent fully Vaccinated54.7%53.8%≥70.0%1 Fully Vaccinated (millions)181.7178.7≥2321 New Cases per Day3118,878138,246≤5,0002 Hospitalized380,44492,196≤3,0002 Deaths per Day3🚩1,3531,342≤502 1 Minimum to achieve "herd immunity" (estimated between 70% and 85%).2my goals to stop daily posts,37 day average for Cases, Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths ✅ Goal met. IMPORTANT: For "herd immunity" most experts believe we need 70% to 85% of the total population fully vaccinated (or already had COVID).  KUDOS to

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Housing Inventory Sept 20th Update: Inventory Up 1.2% Week-over-week, Up 42% from Low in early April

3 days ago

Tracking existing home inventory will be very important this year.Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.This inventory graph is courtesy of Altos Research.As of September 17th, inventory was at 436 thousand (7 day average), compared to 573 thousand for the same week a year ago.  That is a decline of 23.8%.Compared to the same week in 2019, inventory is down 55%.A week ago, inventory was at 431 thousand, and was down 25.5% YoY.   Two weeks ago inventory was at 437 thousand (the peak for the year so far).Seasonally, inventory has bottomed, but may be peaking for the year.   Inventory was about 42.4% above the record low in early April.A couple of interesting points from 2019:   In 2019, inventory bottomed at 814 thousand in February (so inventory is still very low compared to

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NAHB: Builder Confidence Increased to 76 in September

3 days ago

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 76, up from 75 in August. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Steadies as Material and Labor Challenges PersistBuilder confidence inched up in September on lower lumber prices and strong housing demand, even as the housing sector continues to grapple with building material supply chain issues and labor challenges. Ending a three-month decline, builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes edged up one point to 76 in September, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.“Builder sentiment has been gradually cooling since the HMI hit an all-time high

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Seven High Frequency Indicators for the Economy

3 days ago

These indicators are mostly for travel and entertainment.    It will interesting to watch these sectors recover as the pandemic subsides.—– Airlines: Transportation Security Administration —–The TSA is providing daily travel numbers.This data is as of September 19th. Click on graph for larger image.This data shows the 7-day average of daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Light Blue), 2020 (Blue) and 2021 (Red).The dashed line is the percent of 2019 for the seven day average.The 7-day average is down 26.8% from the same day in 2019 (73.2% of 2019).  (Dashed line)Note that the dashed line hit a pandemic high over the Labor Day weekend – probably due to leisure travel, but is now below pre-holiday levels.The red line would usually start increasing seasonally after

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Monday: NAHB Homebuilder Survey

4 days ago

Weekend:• Schedule for Week of September 19, 2021• FOMC Preview: Tapering "Advance Notice" LikelyMonday:• 10:00 AM ET, The September NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  74, down from 75 in August. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures S&P 500 are down 10 and DOW futures are down 103 (fair value).Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $71.78 per barrel and Brent at $75.16 per barrel. A year ago, WTI was at $41, and Brent was at $42 – so WTI oil prices are UP 75% year-over-year (oil prices collapsed at the beginning of the pandemic). Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $3.18 per gallon. A year

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FOMC Preview: Tapering "Advance Notice" Likely

4 days ago

Expectations are there will be no change to rate policy when the FOMC meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  However, there is an expectation that the FOMC will make it clear that they intend to start the tapering of asset purchases soon.Here are some comments from Goldman Sachs economists on the timing of tapering:The FOMC is likely to provide the promised “advance notice” that tapering is coming at its September meeting, paving the way to announce the start of tapering at its November meeting. Specifically, we expect the September FOMC statement to say something along the lines of, “The Committee expects to begin reducing the pace of its asset purchases relatively soon, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.”Analysts will also be looking for comments on inflation,

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Newsletter Articles this Week

5 days ago

At the Calculated Risk Newsletter this week: Analysis:• The Rapid Increase in Rents; What is happening? Why? And what will happen.• House Price to Median Income; New Data for 2020 Income• Household Formation Drives Housing Demand; Some preliminary data and analysisLocal Real Estate data:• California August Housing: Sales down 11% YoY, "Home sales temper in August"• 5 More Local Housing Markets in August; Alabama, Austin, Maryland, Phoenix, Rhode Island• Another 5 Local Housing Markets in August; Boston, Des Moines, Jacksonville, Minnesota, South Carolina• 5 Additional Local Housing Markets in August; Albuquerque, Colorado, Houston, Memphis and NashvilleThis will usually be published several times a week, and will provide more in-depth analysis of the housing market.The blog will continue

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Schedule for Week of September 19, 2021

5 days ago

The key reports this week are August Housing Starts, and New and Existing Home sales.The FOMC meets this week, and no change to policy is expected.—– Monday, September 20th —–10:00 AM: The September NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  74, down from 75 in August. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.—– Tuesday, September 21st —–8:30 AM: Housing Starts for August. This graph shows single and total housing starts since 1968.The consensus is for 1.560 million SAAR, up from 1.534 million SAAR.—– Wednesday, September 22nd —–7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.During the day: The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index for

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Urban Institute: Median 95% LTV for New Mortgage Originations (Only 5% Downpayment)

6 days ago

NYU Stern professor Arpit Gupta tweeted today: A common intuition is that borrowers put 20% down on a home.The median down payment is actually closer to 5%, and has been for 12 years.He included a chart from the Urban Institute showing the median LTV for new mortgage loan originations is 95% – and has been at that level for the last 12 years. Gupta linked to the Housing Finance Policy Center’s Monthly ChartbookHere is the chart that also includes FICO and Debt-to-income (DTI).   The median DTI is at 37.5%.Note that this is combined LTV, and probably includes 2nd loans.   Legend at top.

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September 17th COVID-19: Over 180 Million Fully Vaccinated

6 days ago

Note: There will be no weekend updates.The CDC is the source for all data.The 7-day average deaths is the highest since March 1st.According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.  Total doses administered: 383,994,877, as of a week ago 378,569,717. Average doses last week: 0.78 million per day.COVID Metrics  TodayWeekAgoGoal Percent fully Vaccinated54.4%53.6%≥70.0%1 Fully Vaccinated (millions)180.6177.9≥2321 New Cases per Day3🚩142,736139,221≤5,0002 Hospitalized388,50693,097≤3,0002 Deaths per Day3🚩1,4641,253≤502 1 Minimum to achieve "herd immunity" (estimated between 70% and 85%).2my goals to stop daily posts,37 day average for Cases, Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths ✅ Goal met. IMPORTANT: For "herd immunity"

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Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in August

6 days ago

From housing economist Tom Lawler (see important comments on inventory):Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports released across the country through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.90 million in August, down 1.5% from July’s preliminary pace and down 1.2% from last August’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a very small YOY gain, with the SA/NSA difference reflecting this August’s higher business day count relative to last August’s.Local realtor reports, as well as reports from national inventory trackers, suggest that while the inventory of existing homes for sale remained low last month, the YOY decline in August was significantly less than in

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5 More Local Housing Markets in August

6 days ago

In the Newsletter: 5 More Local Housing Markets in AugustThis brings the total to 25 local markets for August. This includes active inventory, new listings and sales added for Alabama, Austin, Maryland, Phoenix, Rhode IslandSo far active inventory is down 1.1% compared to July for these markets

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Q3 GDP Forecasts: Around 4.5%

6 days ago

GDP forecasts had been downgraded sharply for Q3 due to COVID, but now seem to have stabilized. Here is a table of some of the forecasts over the last two months. MerrillGoldmanGDPNow 7/30/217.0%9.0%6.1% 8/20/214.5%5.5%6.1% 9/10/214.5%3.5%3.7% 9/17/214.5%4.5%3.6% From BofA Merrill Lynch: We continue to track 4.5% qoq saar for 3Q GDP following the retail sales data as our forecast was far above consensus. [Sept 17 estimate]emphasis addedFrom Goldman Sachs: Following the stronger-than-expected retail sales report, we boosted our Q3 GDP tracking estimate by 1pp at +4.5% (qoq ar). We are also lowering our 2021Q4 and 2022Q2 GDP forecasts by 0.5pp to reflect a smaller rebound from 2021Q3. [Sept 16 estimate]And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNowThe GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth

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Black Knight: Number of Homeowners in COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans Decreased

6 days ago

Note: Both Black Knight and the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) are putting out weekly estimates of mortgages in forbearance.This data is as of September 14th.From Andy Walden at Black Knight: Forbearances Below 1.6M For First Time Since Start of PandemicThe number of active forbearance plans fell by 22K (-1.4%) this week, bringing the total number of U.S. homeowners in COVID-19 forbearance below 1.6M for the first time since the start of the pandemic.Matching 15,000 declines in plans among both GSE and FHA/VA loans were partially offset by an 8,000 rise in PLS/portfolio plans. Overall, forbearances are now down 156K (-8.9%) from the same time last month.As of September 14, nearly 1.6 million mortgage holders remain in COVID-19 related forbearance plans, representing 3% of all active

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September 16th COVID-19: Over 180 Million Fully Vaccinated

7 days ago

The CDC is the source for all data.The 7-day average deaths is the highest since March 1st.According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.  Total doses administered: 383,038,403, as of a week ago 377,622,065. Average doses last week: 0.90 million per day.COVID Metrics  TodayWeekAgoGoal Percent fully Vaccinated54.2%53.4%≥70.0%1 Fully Vaccinated (millions)180.1177.4≥2321 New Cases per Day3🚩146,182137,783≤5,0002 Hospitalized389,13293,255≤3,0002 Deaths per Day3🚩1,2331,447≤502 1 Minimum to achieve "herd immunity" (estimated between 70% and 85%).2my goals to stop daily posts,37 day average for Cases, Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths ✅ Goal met. IMPORTANT: For "herd immunity" most experts believe we need 70% to 85%

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Down 13.6% Compared to Same Week in 2019

7 days ago

Note: The year-over-year occupancy comparisons are easy, since occupancy declined sharply at the onset of the pandemic.The comparison to 2019 was difficult this week due to the timing of Labor Day.  Last week the occupancy rate was unchanged year-over-year.  If we average the last two weeks, occupancy is down about 7% compared to the same two weeks in 2019.From CoStar: STR: Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah Contribute to US Hotel Performance DeclinesU.S. hotel performance fell slightly from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through September 11.September 5-11, 2021 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019*):• Occupancy: 60.0% (-13.6%)• Average daily rate (ADR): $130.82 (-1.4%)• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): $78.46 (-14.8%)Despite the week-over-week dip, performance

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Retail Sales Increased 0.7% in August

7 days ago

On a monthly basis, retail sales were increased 0.7% from July to August (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 15.1 percent from August 2020.From the Census Bureau report:Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $618.7 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent from the previous month, and 15.1 percent above August 2020 … The June 2021 to July 2021 percent change was revised from down 1.1 percent to down 1.8 percent.emphasis added Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).Retail sales ex-gasoline were up 0.8% in August.The stimulus

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Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 332,000

7 days ago

The DOL reported:In the week ending September 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 332,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 310,000 to 312,000. The 4-week moving average was 335,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 339,500 to 340,000. emphasis addedThis does not include the 28,456 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 94,638 the previous week.The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.Click on graph for larger image.The dashed line

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Thursday: Retail Sales, Unemployment Claims, Philly Fed Mfg

8 days ago

Thursday:• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  There were 310 thousand initial claims last week.• Also at 8:30 AM, Retail sales for August will be released.  The consensus is for a 0.7% decrease in retail sales.• Also at 8:30 AM, the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for September. The consensus is for a reading of 20.0, up from 19.4.

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September 15th COVID-19: 2,000 Deaths Reported Today, Most since February

8 days ago

The CDC is the source for all data.The 7-day average deaths is the highest since March 2nd.According to the CDC, on Vaccinations.  Total doses administered: 382,294,795, as of a week ago 376,955,132. Average doses last week: 0.76 million per day.COVID Metrics  TodayWeekAgoGoal Percent fully Vaccinated54.1%53.3%≥70.0%1 Fully Vaccinated (millions)179.7177.1≥2321 New Cases per Day3🚩145,675141,275≤5,0002 Hospitalized390,59393,243≤3,0002 Deaths per Day3🚩1,3581,125≤502 1 Minimum to achieve "herd immunity" (estimated between 70% and 85%).2my goals to stop daily posts,37 day average for Cases, Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths🚩 Increasing 7 day average week-over-week for Cases, Hospitalized, and Deaths ✅ Goal met. IMPORTANT: For "herd immunity" most experts believe we need 70% to 85%

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LA Area Port Traffic: Solid Imports, Weak Exports in August

8 days ago

Notes: The expansion to the Panama Canal was completed in 2016 (As I noted a few years ago), and some of the traffic that used the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is probably going through the canal. This might be impacting TEUs on the West Coast.Also, incoming port traffic is backed up significantly in the LA area with around 50 ships at anchor waiting to unload.Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported – and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation’s container port traffic.The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container). To remove the strong seasonal component

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Another 5 Local Housing Markets in August

8 days ago

In the Newsletter: Another 5 Local Housing Markets in AugustActive inventory, new listings and sales added for Boston, Des Moines, Jacksonville, Minnesota, South CarolinaSo far sales are up 0.2% YoY, Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

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Industrial Production Increased 0.4 Percent in August

8 days ago

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity UtilizationIndustrial production increased 0.4 percent in August after moving up 0.8 percent in July. Late-month shutdowns related to Hurricane Ida held down the gain in industrial production by an estimated 0.3 percentage point. Although the hurricane forced plant closures for petrochemicals, plastic resins, and petroleum refining, overall manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent. Mining production fell 0.6 percent, reflecting hurricane-induced disruptions to oil and gas extraction in the Gulf of Mexico. The output of utilities increased 3.3 percent, as unseasonably warm temperatures boosted demand for air conditioning.At 101.6 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in August was 5.9 percent above its year-earlier level and

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