Morning Report: Robust Housing Starts 2/16/18

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2736.0 2.0
Eurostoxx Index 379.5 3.0
Oil (WTI) 61.4 0.1
US dollar index 82.9 0.2
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.88%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.591
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 103.688
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.44

Stocks are higher on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.

Housing starts came in at 1.326MM annualized, better than expectations. Building permits hit 1.4 million – a 10 year high. Both numbers beat estimates by about 100k, a sizeable amount. The jump was largely in the volatile multi-family segment however. Single family starts were up about 4% YOY. That said, we are still well under the historical averages for starts, which was about 1.5 million units a year during from the 60s through the 90s and early 00s.

NAR welcomed the housing starts number: “Terrific news on housing starts in January with a solid 10% gain. This rise in single-family housing construction will help tame home price growth, and the increase in multifamily units should continue to help slow rent growth. The large gain in housing starts in the West (10.7%) is especially welcomed, as that region has been facing acute housing shortages. Ultimately, there is still large room for improvement given the fact overall housing inventory is currently near historic lows.” This is from Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist.

Import prices rose 1% MOM and are up 3.6% YOY. Energy prices were a big driver of the increase, however if you pull out energy, import prices were up just under 2% YOY. The dollar has been selling off for about a year now, and that is adding pressure to import prices which will flow through to inflation.

Consumer sentiment improved in early February despite the stock market sell-off. Sentiment came in at about December levels and is at post-recession highs.

Changes may be coming to TRID disclosure. The House passed a measure requiring more detail in how insurance fees are disclosed. The bill would amend language in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to require the itemization of “all actual charges” and not just the itemization of “all charges.” The bill also would amend RESPA to require that ‘‘Charges for any title insurance premium disclosed on [the TRID rule] forms shall be equal to the amount charged for each individual title insurance policy, subject to any discounts as required by State regulation or the title company rate filings.’’. Thus, the bill would not permit the current approach to the disclosure of title insurance premiums under the TRID rule, and would require that the amounts disclosed for title insurance reflect the actual premium charges, including any discounts.

Thinking of relocating? Here is how much you need to make to be able to qualify for a mortgage on the median house in that MSA. The highest? San Jose, where the median home price is 1.3 million and you need to make just under a quarter of a million.

73 Responses

  1. Actual indictments:

    “Russian troll farm, 13 suspects indicted for interference in U.S. election”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-troll-farm-13-suspects-indicted-for-interference-in-us-election/2018/02/16/2504de5e-1342-11e8-9570-29c9830535e5_story.html

    Good background piece on the Internet Research Agency from a while back in the NYT:

    https://tinyurl.com/juory7b

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, let’s get conservatives on board by appealing to their sense of nostalgia! Hey, let’s go back to the New Deal!!!

    https://psmag.com/news/the-grand-old-party-longs-for-the-good-old-days

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The left is so stupid and / or disingenuous…. They actually believe that people in one of the most competitive businesses on the planet are ignoring all of these great loans because they would rather discriminate… It is like saying bankers don’t like money..

    Note the “study” ignores credit scores, loan to value ratios, and debt-to-income ratios. Also ignores FHA loans…

    As a general rule, Wall Street’s problem has been in imagining opportunities where none exist, not ignoring opportunities staring them right in the face. if that was the case, Oprah should start a bank. She would clean up making the loans that all of these WASPY stooges are too stupid to make.

    I guess in a way, this supports my belief that racial discrimination in lending doesn’t exist. If the people who conducted the study needed to use such ridiculous methods to prove it exists, it doesn’t….

    https://www.mba.org/mba-newslinks/2018/february/mba-newslink-friday-2-16-18/mba-disputes-deeply-flawed-reveal-news-analysis-on-mortgage-lending?_zs=LVw4M1&_zl=8a8J4

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s nuts to think this is happening now. 1950s? Sure. 1970s? I’d believe it. 2018? No f*cking way.

      Like

      • First of all, the vast majority of mortgages made are Fannie / Freddie or Ginnie Mae. In other words, the government has an automated underwriting system in place, which basically checks boxes on an application… FICO score above X? Check. Debt to income ratio below X? Check? Appraised value larger than requested loan amount? Check. W2 income verified? Check. It is pretty basic. Underwriters basically are used to deal with stuff the automated systems can’t deal with (think things like alimony income, child support payments, etc), but for the most part, it is automated by a government-run system.

        Race is required to be disclosed on an application solely for the purpose of government bureaucrats to do their nose-counting.

        But the idea that a loan officer would look at a minority borrower and say “shit, you know I could make 3 grand off that guy, but I don’t like minorities and so I won’t take his data” is ludicrous.

        I suspect they ignore FICO data because there is a racial skew in credit scores, which is a function of the racial skew in incomes. And lenders avoid the low FICO scores because the government kicks them in the nuts when these loans go south, and the lender has to make the payments for the borrower through the foreclosures process, which can take years in states like NY or NJ… Who needs the headache making loans to sub 580 FICO borrowers?

        If the government wants to increase lending to that spectrum, they can must admit these loans are going to have higher default rates and not penalize lenders for making them when they go down. But they won’t do that.

        The issue for me is that I honestly believe discrimination in lending doesn’t exist, but because some judge somewhere thinks it does, that is taken as proof it does. I have always thought the “disparate impact” theory to be bullshit because it ignores collateral values, which turns it into the “I’m not a good enough lawyer to prove discrimination, so I get a pass on proof” theory.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought this was pretty good. Wonder what the PL crowd would think:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/bari-weiss-immigrants/553550/

    Like

  5. Guys like Ted were cool with Russian interference until about 1991…

    Like

  6. Foe some reason, I get a picture of Flounder earnestly standing in front of a judge saying “I would like 70 million search warrants, please”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I laughed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I chuckled…

    Democrats should fight dirty, play dirty, beg, borrow, steal, do whatever it takes. “When they go low, we go high” doesn’t work. Playing nice got us to this point with President Trump. This country may not survive another Republican Congress, so Democrats have to do what it takes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ex mayor of Minneapolis… Cause nothing says “oppression” like the lack of a Linda Ronstadt track during a 70s mix….

    Like

  10. White House should implement bipartisan Congressional sanctions against Russia.

    Should have done so already. McMaster’s statements should be the standard for WH action in this regard. He is, after all, POTUS’ National Security Advisor.

    Like

  11. Just dumbfounding.

    “I’m very bitter. These DACA kids definitely have this sense of entitlement,” Paredes said. “People fought for them and they got DACA and they got their work permit and then they went to sleep, instead of working to fight for the rest of us.”

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/la-me-left-out-of-daca-20180218-story.html

    Like

  12. Vox finally gets a clue:

    “His study is among a growing body of research that suggests what we often think of as a gender pay gap is more accurately discussed as a childbearing pay gap or motherhood penalty.

    Childless women have earnings that are quite similar to men’s salaries, while mothers experience a significant wage gap. Studies conducted in the United States have come to this finding — and Kleven’s new research does too. This chart, for example, shows vastly different earnings trajectories for women who have children versus those who do not become mothers.”

    https://www.vox.com/2018/2/19/17018380/gender-wage-gap-childcare-penalty

    Like

    • So. . . does that make it any better?

      Like

      • Yes, Because having kids is a lifestyle choice and women who don’t have kids are pretty much at parity with men, assuming you accept their statistics as accurate.

        Expecting to be paid the same after taking a year off from work and reducing your hours when you return is simply unrealistic.

        Like

        • But it’s up to women to raise the kids, right?

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        • Mich:

          But it’s up to women to raise the kids, right?

          First, a parent who works to provide for his/her kids and a stay-at-home spouse is also taking part in “raising the kids”.

          Second, on average women show a greater preference to stay at home with kids than do men. Women aren’t forced to stay home with the kids. They want to. That’s probably why the women making the most noise about women staying at home with kids are those that don’t.

          Like

        • It’s up to whichever spouse wants to do it. But getting paid less for working less isn’t discrimination. It’s a choice.

          Besides, the planet has too many people anyway.

          Like

        • jnc:

          Besides, the planet has too many people anyway.

          Too many people….for what?

          Like

        • I won’t argue about the “too many people” comment. But a “lifestyle choice”, when it comes to having children, involves as a minimum two people. Discriminating against women for pulling not only their weight but their children’s fathers’ weight in raising children is. . . discrimination.

          That study you cited even stated that men don’t take time off when they have kids. Who the hell is going to raise them, then?

          Like

        • “Discriminating against women for pulling not only their weight but their children’s fathers’ weight in raising children is. . . discrimination.”

          It’s not discrimination. The company isn’t discriminating at all based on gender. It’s paying based on work history and ability to put the hours in, etc

          You can’t claim victimization as a result of your own choices and decisions.

          “That study you cited even stated that men don’t take time off when they have kids. Who the hell is going to raise them, then?”

          That’s between the two of them. It doesn’t involve third parties. If the guy isn’t going to behave in what the woman considers an equitable manner, then she shouldn’t have kids with him.

          The other inconvenient fact is that a lot of women don’t want to work as much after having kids and that’s not a sentiment shared equally by men. But again, choices.

          Like

        • FWIW, I’m playing a bit of devil’s advocate here. As a childless woman who has pulled her share of extra time to cover for friends who have children, I understand where you’re coming from. But it still doesn’t change the dynamic that women pay the price for raising children, and that is discriminatory.

          Like

        • Mich:

          But it still doesn’t change the dynamic that women pay the price for raising children, and that is discriminatory.

          No it isn’t. Living with the consequences of one’s choices is not “discriminatory”.

          Like

        • By whom? “Society”?

          The company is paying based on work history and performance. Who exactly is doing the discrimination? The only remaining candidates are the woman herself or the guy she (presumably, but not necessarily) chose to have kids with.

          But it’s not up to a third party to address that.

          Like

        • ” involves as a minimum two people.”

          not necessarily.

          Like

        • I struggle to come up with a good reason why an employer should pay someone who took a few years off to raise a kid the same as someone who didn’t. The person who didn’t is more valuable to an employer and will be compensated accordingly. It is what it is.

          If I took time off to raise a kid, I wouldn’t expect to be paid the same as I would if I had stayed in the workforce.

          Like

        • Often times the broad goes to work for a different company than the one she left when she had the kid. So, if I’m understanding this right, employees are supposed to ask broads if they have kids and their ages, as well as how much time they spent at home caring for the snotnosers. Then, theyre supposed to base their pay on the answers?

          Like

    • Ah, to be a straight white guy. Y’all are quite predictable.

      I hope life is treating you all well, and continues to.

      Like

  13. Did an article on FilmGoblin.com about why the fictional character I’m writing as refuses to see Black Panther. There is a little behind-the-scenes debate as to whether the parody is too obvious and if the tone should be more serious. Any input from you guys would be beneficial to me, so:

    https://filmgoblin.com/franchises/black-panther-ignacious/

    Let me know if the link stops working. It may be changed or temporarily turned off or something.

    Like

    • I’m going to take “guys” in the Midwestern sense as being gender-neutral. I’m also well aware that I’m not the audience for that piece.

      Knowing you, I find it funny. If I didn’t know you I wouldn’t.

      Like

    • As a parody of the woke white progressive, it’s spot on.

      Like

  14. looks like i picked a great week for a media blackout.

    Like

  15. As an aside, Babylon Berlin is a great series for those looking for something new on Netflix.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_Berlin

    Like

  16. What happened to the whining about corporations having too much unaccountable influence?

    “How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t
    Andrew Ross Sorkin

    DEALBOOK
    FEB. 19, 2018”

    Like

  17. More facade cracks.

    https://m.dailykos.com/stories/1743072

    Once again, the comments are fascinating. There’s going to be trouble when Mueller wraps this up.

    Like

  18. Heh.

    Like

  19. Yeah, I had four friends “disappeared”, yo!

    Like

  20. Yeah! You should be forced to buy ridiculously expensive plans where the deductible is higher than what 90% or (forced) purchasers consume in a year!

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement, “Americans purchasing these shoddy, misleading short-term Trumpcare plans will be one diagnosis away from disaster, discovering they have been paying for coverage that may not cover basic care such as cancer treatment, preventative care or maternity care.”

    Don’t these fucking rubes know that we know what’s good for them?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/20/dems-fume-as-trump-pushes-low-cost-obamacare-alternative-health-plans.html

    Like

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