– The delinquency rate decreased 0.5 percentage points year over year
– The foreclosure rate for February was 0.8%
– Early-stage delinquencies remained steady in February
CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report which shows that, nationally, 5% of mortgages were delinquent by 30 days or more (including those in foreclosure) in February 2017. This represents a 0.5 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with February 2016 when it was 5.5%. As of February 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.8% compared with 1.1% in February 2016. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, was 2.2% in February 2017, down from 2.8% in February 2016. Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To more comprehensively monitor mortgage performance, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates that indicate the% of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, were trending slightly higher in February 2017 at 2.14% compared with 2.08% in February 2016, an increase of 0.06% year over year. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in February 2017 was 0.7%, unchanged from a year earlier.
Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30-days past due was 1% in February 2017, up from 0.8% in February 2016. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current to 30-day transition rate was 1.2% and it peaked in November 2008 at 2%. “Serious delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to drift lower, and are at their lowest levels since the fourth quarter of 2007,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Moreover, the past-due share dropped to 5%, the lowest since September 2007. However, current-to-30-day past-due transition rates ticked up in February, and 30-day-to-60 day delinquency rates held mostly steady, recording only a 0.06% increase.” “While national-level delinquency rates declined, the serious delinquency rate remained elevated in many mid-Atlantic and northeast states led by New York and New Jersey,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “February-to-February increases in both 30-day-or-more delinquency rates and in serious delinquency rates were also observed in Alaska, Louisiana and Wyoming relating to the impact of the downturn in the global oil market.”
US import prices rose 0.5% in April, vs 0.2% increase expected
– Prices increased more than expected in April amid rising costs for petroleum products and a range of other goods, which could help boost domestic inflation.
– The Labor Department said on Wednesday that import prices jumped 0.5% last month after an upwardly revised 0.1% gain in March.
– Import prices have now increased for five straight months.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday that import prices jumped 0.5% last month after an upwardly revised 0.1% gain in March. Import prices have now increased for five straight months. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices increasing 0.2% in April after a previously reported 0.2% drop in March. In the 12 months through April, import prices rose 4.1%, slowing from March’s 4.3% increase. Import prices shot up 4.7% on a year-on-year basis in February, the biggest gain in five years. In April, prices for imported petroleum rebounded 1.6% after declining 0.4% in March. Import prices excluding petroleum gained 0.4%, the biggest increase since July 2016, after edging up 0.1% in the prior month. Import prices excluding petroleum have now increased for four straight months, in part reflecting an ebb in the US dollar’s rally. Import prices excluding petroleum rose 1.4% in the 12 months through April, the largest increase since March 2012. Prices for imported capital goods nudged up 0.1%, rising for a third straight month. The cost of imported motor vehicles surged 0.5%, the biggest gain since April 2012. Prices for imported consumer goods prices excluding automobiles rose 0.1%, while the cost of imported food increased 0.3%. The report also showed export prices increased 0.2% in April after rising 0.1% in March. Export prices rose 3.0% year-on-year after increasing 3.4% in March. Prices for agricultural exports advanced 0.3% last month as a 37.9% jump in vegetable prices offset falling prices for soybeans, corn and wheat.
MBA – mortgage applications up
Mortgage applications increased 2.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 5, 2017. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 3% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2% from one week earlier to its highest level since October 2015. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2% compared with the previous week and was 6% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index increased 2% from the previous week to its highest level since April 2009. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 41.9% of total applications from 41.6% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 8.2% of total applications. The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.5% from 10.4% the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.8% from the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8% from the week prior.
New FBI acting director McCabe considered a respected, bureau man
The man taking over an FBI under the spotlight after the firing of director James Comey — is described as a respected and a fast-rising member of the bureau with a past focus on terrorism. The shakeup of the federal investigation agency — in the midst of probes into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election — took some Democratic lawmakers by surprise and raised charges of a “Nixonian” move by the Trump administration. Andrew McCabe, who joined the FBI 20 years ago and was promoted to deputy director last year, was named acting FBI director, a Justice Department official said. It’s unclear who Trump will nominate to replace Comey, but Senate Democrats could insist on a special prosecutor for the Russia campaign probe as a condition of voting for a replacement, a senior Democratic aide said. McCabe, who is considered to be well-respected inside the FBI, recently surfaced in reports that Trump’s chief of staff sought agency help to knock down stories about Russia and the campaign late last year. In the end, the FBI did not get involved, and the White House said there was nothing improper. A law enforcement source said FBI officials also did not consider any lines to have been crossed. McCabe joined the FBI as a special agent in 1996 working out of New York, where he focused on organized crime. He was promoted to a unit focusing on counterterrorism and extraterritorial investigations of Sunni extremists in 2006, and in 2016 was promoted to deputy director of the FBI. At the time Comey said in a statement that “Andy’s 19 years of experience, combined with his vision, judgment, and ability to communicate make him a perfect fit for this job.”