Morning Report: The FHFA House Price index declined in August

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures3,792-16.50
Oil (WTI)84.22-1.89
10 year government bond yield 4.16%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 7.16%

Stocks are lower this morning as earnings continue to come in. Bonds and MBS are up.

The FHFA House Price Index declined 0.7% in August. Prices were up 11.9% from a year ago. “U.S. house prices declined in August at a similar pace to the previous month. This is the first time since March 2011 that the index has seen two consecutive months of decline.” said Will Doerner, Ph.D., Supervisory Economist in FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics. “The recent monthly decline solidifies the deceleration of 12-month house price growth that began earlier this year. Higher mortgage rates continued to put pressure on demand, notably weakening house price growth.”

The index value for August was 392.03. The 10/1/21 index value was 357.59. This works out to be a 9.63% increase over the past 11 months. This would put the 2023 conforming loan limit around $709,500, with one last data point needed.

Separately, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index reported a 0.3% monthly decline in July (it is a month behind FHFA). Prices rose at a 15.8% annual clip, with the Southeast showing the biggest growth. The leading cities were Miami and Tampa.

Consumer confidence declined in October, according to the Conference Board.

“Consumer confidence retreated in October, after advancing in August and September,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index fell sharply, suggesting economic growth slowed to start Q4. Consumers’ expectations regarding the short-term outlook remained dismal. The Expectations Index is still lingering below a reading of 80—a level associated with recession—suggesting recession risks appear to be rising.”

“Notably, concerns about inflation—which had been receding since July—picked up again, with both gas and food prices serving as main drivers. Vacation intentions cooled; however, intentions to purchase homes, automobiles, and big-ticket appliances all rose. Looking ahead, inflationary pressures will continue to pose strong headwinds to consumer confidence and spending, which could result in a challenging holiday season for retailers. And, given inventories are already in place, if demand falls short, it may result in steep discounting which would reduce retailers’ profit margins.” 

Note that we will be getting the first estimate of Q3 GDP on Thursday. The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now index sees a gain of 2.9%. This seems out of step with the majority of the economic reports, but perhaps the comment about retailer inventories, specifically inventories in place, explains it.

If retailers built up inventory for the holiday shopping season, that would bump up Q3 GDP, but if the sales don’t materialize it would mean Q4 is looking rough. And if retailers are forced to discount in order to move the merchandise, then that will dampen inflation.

I suspect that this will push the Fed to begin to slow the rate hikes, and we could see the Fed signal that with its December projections. Don’t forget that all of these summer and fall rate hikes haven’t had time to impact the economy yet.

The MBA issued a statement supporting Fannie and Freddie’s steps to widen credit scoring and appraisals to open credit to underserved borrowers.

“Given the ongoing affordability challenges facing homebuyers, FHFA’s targeted adjustments to the GSEs’ pricing framework announced by Director Thompson at MBA’s 2022 Annual Convention are well-timed and will improve access to credit for low- and moderate-income households, first-time buyers, and minority buyers.

“The announced updates on credit scoring models should help broaden the scope of eligible borrowers and expand access to homeownership for underserved communities. MBA supports competition in the credit scoring space, and we will work with FHFA to ensure costs and the implementation process are monitored to mitigate unintended consequences to lenders and borrowers.

“FHFA’s increased focus on appraisal transparency – a years-long recommendation by MBA – will help the industry work together on data collection, with a shared goal of providing more accurate and equitable appraisals for borrowers.”

19 Responses

  1. Good read:


    • I love how the “strong conservatives” are basically saying DeSantis is great and the “moderate” progressives say he’s totalitarian.

      Interesting how many of the respondents are strong conservative Latinos. I really think the Democrats screwed up their “demographics is destiny” calculus.


      • & the only Asian respondent is conservative.

        DeSantis also got good marks for the hurricane response.


        • Well the democrats’ main concern seems to be prosecuting 1/6 protesters and defending drag queen story hour


        • “Well the democrats’ main concern seems to be prosecuting 1/6 protesters and defending drag queen story hour”

          And advocating for endless emergency powers. And putting experimental gene therapies into the list of vaccines required for public school attendance. And turning schools into ideological indoctrination mechanisms rather than places where you learn math or reading. And maximizing abortions while minimizing responsibility. And arguing that you can wreck the economy fighting (ineffectively, and with no data to support the decisions) a broad virus where such measures only do harm, but you can’t even recommend that gay people stop having orgies and random sex with multiple partners to prevent the spread of monkeypox, which would clearly be an effective mitigation strategy.

          And also making a point that visual appearance and identity group membership is the only thing that matters about people, especially people of color and homosexuals. Letting them people stereotypical bigots while maintaining the veneer of being “more tolerant than thou”. And attacking the oil companies for problems caused by their domestic energy policy, and gas station owners for things they have no control over, and burning through our strategic oil reserve with no plans for replenishment.

          And paying off the college loans of people who will probably make more money that most of the people whose taxes would be paying for those loans.

          Oh, and arguing that people voting for Republicans is anti-Democratic and a threat to democracy. Also that disagreeing with them is basically terrorism.

          And that Twitter is a private company that should be left alone until it’s no longer controlled by leftists and then SUDDENLY it is the public square, a community good that may require government intervention to protect its vital role.

          Oh and that we should spend billions in tax payer money to fight Putin until every Ukranian is dead. AND they are all for belligerent rhetoric from the president and his supporters that would have had even the 80s media screaming bloody murder about our insane president if Reagan had said anything like it.

          And what else? There’s so much more. Truly, the Democrats have many, many concerns. They are working so hard on so many fronts to control and suppress to help the American people.


  2. This is worth reading for the sheer lack of self awareness:


    • This is becoming insulting.

      “ what options Democrats have for countering election denialism and more.”

      There are more and more Democratic pundits coming out and pre-announcing that Republicans will be streaking elections in 2022 so they can steal the election in 2024. They are engaged in premature election denialism (again!) while simultaneously worrying—very seriously—about right-wing election denialism. On The View this week or last week they were saying that the 2016 election was stolen, but it’s different when they say it because they don’t attack the Capitol and anyway it’s true … but right wingers questioning the 2020 election is a threat to democracy.

      I guess the resonates with the true believers but I can believe it sways any independents or fence sitters.


    • The author has that cultish NPC Gen Z look nailed.

      I love how the left thinks that 2000 mules is debunked. The debunking is based on lawsuits that were dismissed on standing grounds.


      • I still think Bill Barr is correct that whatever issues there were weren’t sufficient to cause the outcome to be changed, and I don’t think he would lie on behalf of the Democrats and Biden.

        But pretending that the rules didn’t change due to the pandemic and that there weren’t other issues isn’t persuading anyone, especially after the Democrats claimed that there were issues in 2016 due to “Russian interference”.


        • Plenty of SoS’s in both parties changed state voting rules that can only be done by the State legislatures. And I believe that effort cannot be delegated either. Also, ballot curing, drop boxes, allowing ballots after election day, ballot harvesting, claiming no more counting, kicking out R observers then going back to counting.

          It’s a pretty long list of, shall we say, “irregularities”.


        • I think a statistical analysis of precinct voting patterns would be revealing


        • Lefties everywhere are responding to polls by asserting Republicans are going to steal the election (ironically, just as they asserted Trump was going to steal the 2020 election, when preemptively accusing the other party of stealing elections was cool an patriotic).

          Republicans proposed to clarify the certification rules to make it unquestionable that the VP can’t decide the election was down wrong so there’d be no confusion in the the future and the Democrats refused because they wanted to tie January 6th around the Republican’s necks.

          Extraordinarily manipulative and disingenuous. They have no serious interest in voting integrity.


    • Including a number of MAGA candidates that Democrat dollars pushed over the top—ahead of a potential wave election—under the theory they would be easier to beat.

      So forgive me if I’m not super sympathetic with the complaint that candidates that THEY helped win in the primaries may now take it in the general.


  3. Interesting follow up to MeToo:

    “Bad Reputation Moira Donegan created the “Shitty Media Men” list to address a moral injustice. Stephen Elliott says he’s suing her for the same reason.

    By Lila Shapiro”


  4. Interesting Tom Friedman piece:


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: