Morning Report: Home equity increases

Vital Statistics:


  Last Change
S&P futures 3260 -56.6
Oil (WTI) 40.43 -0.46
10 year government bond yield   0.65%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.94%

Stocks are lower this morning as the banks are getting hammered over a money laundering report. Bonds and MBS are up.


Bank stocks are getting slammed this morning after a report alleges that over $2 trillion in transactions were flagged as possible money laundering.


We don’t have much in the way of market-moving data this week, although we will get some housing numbers with existing home sales, new home sales, and the FHFA Home Price Index. Jerome Powell will be speaking Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.


The average homeowner gained $9,800 in home equity in the second quarter according to CoreLogic. There are still about 1.7 million homes with negative equity. Negative Equity still remains a problem in a few states, but the home price appreciation of the past decade has largely solved the issue.


The housing market remains red hot according to Redfin. The median home price rose 13% YOY to $319k. Active listings fell 28% to an all-time low, while sales prices were 99.3% of listing prices, which is an 11 year high.

“Seasonality is going to become more noticeable now that schools have started and Labor Day is over,” said Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr. “There is still a lot of room for more homes for sale to hit the market to make up for lost ground during the pandemic. This increase in supply is likely to drive more strong year-over-year growth in home sales. Leading indicators of home sales like mortgage applications and pending sales are still showing tremendous strength as we head into fall.”

21 Responses

  1. The left wing threat of expanding the Supremes is an awful idea. Fortunately JB thinks it’s a terrible idea for all the right reasons. But if Ds win POTUS, HoR, and Senate, it remains possible that the left will attempt it. Would JB veto?

    The more lasting [and less destructive and stupid] response from the Ds would be the admission of DC to the Union as a state. And PR, next. And American Samoa and Guam after that. That’s the sort of change that could not be undone by the following admin, that would end any idea of colonialism, that would entrench the USA in the Pacific beyond Hawaii, and that would raise the national debt over PR.

    Better than destroying the residual trust in the court system by having each new admin monkey with the size of the Court.


    • Mark:

      would be the admission of DC to the Union as a state…

      The Constitutionality/legality of DC statehood seems questionable to me. First of all the land that is DC was originally ceded to the federal government pursuant to Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, ie the establishment of a “District” that would act as the “Seat of the Government of the United States”. Turning the District into an independent State would seem to be a violation of the terms under which the land was ceded to the government in the first place.

      Likewise, Article I section 8 grants Congress exclusive power over the District that is the seat of government. By turning the District into a State, a Constitutional conflict would be created between Congress’s exclusive right to exercise power over the seat of the government, and an independent state’s sovereign powers as recognized in the Constitution.


      • Agreed on DC, although the current bill carves out a remaining DC up and down the Mall and up the hill to the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court – the federal office buildings, WH, monuments, Smithsonian, and the like would all be in the remaining DC which would be renamed as the Federal district.

        Here is how Volokh sees D strategy.

        From Volokh:

        Toobin lists statehood for D.C. as the second option. I disagree. The presently-constituted conservative Supreme Court may very well declare that bill unconstitutional. If the Democrats were smart, they would first pack the Supreme Court. New justices could be confirmed in the span of a month or two. After the Supreme Court has eleven members, then they can safely create statehood for D.C. by statute. (It isn’t clear Puerto Ricans even want statehood, but things may change). The statehood bill would be subject to immediate challenge. But it will be upheld by a 6-5 vote. (Get used to that new number). As that statehood litigation is making its way though the courts, then the Democrats can pack the lower courts. Even without blue slips and cloture, it may take a year or more to fill all of those vacancies. The lower courts really should be the last step.


        • The last time that the admission of states into the Union was undertaken in order to advance a partisan political agenda, the endgame was a civil war. Volokh’s plan seems like a strategy for bringing about the swift break-up of the nation.


      • Doesn’t DC already have non-voting representatives in the house? Couldn’t they just change them to voting, and give DC two senators without making it a state? I’m not saying I like that idea, that just seems an easier climb than DC statehood.


    • I’m guessing JB could be cajoled to go along with court-packing.

      That being said, I’m not sure that’s the worst idea. JB packs the court and that really opens things up to the next Republican who wins packing the court.

      I think this might actually begin to diminish the power of the court, which is not a bad thing–for the next generation. Most of us aren’t going to last that long. But just saying there might be a silver lining.


  2. A little bit surprising…Romney supports a vote on SCOTUS nominee.

    Of course, he didn’t say he he would be voting yes.


    • It’s a free country. He doesn’t have to. As I’ve said previously, Garland should have come to a vote (and let the chips fall where they may). The fact that the Republicans used procedural chicanery to avoid letting Garland come to a vote doesn’t change the fact that that was wrong and . . . well, two wrongs don’t make a right. Fortunately, they are lots of Democrats on record saying that was wrong, so IMO the Republicans who supported that strategy in 2016 should now all admit they were wrong and the Democrats were right . . . in 2016. Because–despite their objections not actually being on principal–they were right. In 2016.


      • KW:

        The fact that the Republicans used procedural chicanery…

        Chicanery? I wouldn’t call simply not taking a vote “chicanery”.


        • I would but I probably have a lower bar for chicanery. In any case, they were refusing to fulfill their mandate, not that politicians don’t do that all the time.

          The Democrats are worse and do it more, so I get why you fight fire with fire. Point being, I think they should have done their jobs then and should do their jobs now.


        • Ultimately I think Garland would have lost the vote. I’m not sure I’d want that on my record, a failed vote to become SCOTUS. It’s self serving sure, but it did spare his reputation a bit.


        • KW:

          In any case, they were refusing to fulfill their mandate…

          I don’t agree with that. Their mandate is to consent or not to presidential nominees. They chose not to give their consent. Their mandate is also to protect and defend the Constitution. They certainly did that. I would have preferred that they had voted and rejected him, but to be honest the approach they took was probably the best way to protect and defend the Constitution, as it maximized the chances of getting a nominee more dedicated to upholding the Constitution, while it minimized the chances of a nominee less dedicated to upholding the Constitution.


        • I would have preferred that they had voted and rejected him

          Me too.

          but to be honest the approach they took was probably the best way to protect and defend the Constitution

          In general, I would argue it’s hard to make that determination without hearings, and an actual vote would have been the appropriate way to end that. However, given the Kavanaugh hearings, I’m not sure senate hearings for SCOTUS nominees haven’t outlived their usefulness if they ever had any. So I get why they just decided to avoid the whole mess. 😉

          I still don’t feel it was done in good faith but at the same time . . . is the other side acting in good faith when the shoe is on the other foot? Not at all. So it makes asserting a hard standard for good faith adherence to procedure and respect for process very difficult.

          Sufficed to say, I’d rather Garland have come up for a vote and gotten accepted or rejected, and I would rather see the same happen here. Whoever Trump nominates should make it to the floor and a vote should be had.


        • KW:

          In general, I would argue it’s hard to make that determination without hearings…

          I think a simple question would suffice: Was Roe v Wade correctly reasoned and decided? You could replace Roe v Wade with Obergefell or Wickard, if you preferred.


        • It would have been better if they had at least done hearings, but McConnell wasn’t sure his votes would hold and he was willing to take the flack for every other Senator by blocking it entirely.


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