Category Archives: Financial Markets

Mortgage Demand Up, Some Softening of Credit Standards

The Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Survey was published this week and shows both an increase in the demand for mortgages and that some banks have eased their credit standards somewhat.  While neither of these shifts heralds a huge boom, they are welcome news.  Click on the chart for a larger image. The full survey can be […]

Upbeat Housing Reports

Two recent data points – existing home sales and mortgage debt outstanding – point to continued strength in the housing recovery. May total existing home sales, including single family homes, town houses and condominiums, were 5.35 million, up 5.1% and the highest figure since November 2009. Sales of single family homes were 4.73 million, 5.6% […]

Share of Underwater Loans Ticks Up

RealtyTrac®  reported today that the percentage U.S. residential properties that are seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — ticked up to 13.2% percent of all properties with a mortgage in the 2015 first quarter from 12.7% in the […]

Underwater Properties Decreasing as Equity Rises

RealtyTrac®  released today its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the fourth quarter of 2014, showing that at the end of the year there were 7,052,570 U.S. residential properties seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — representing […]

U.S. State Housing Finance Agency Delinquency Rates Continued To Improve In The Second Quarter Of 2014

As of June 30, 2014, U.S. housing finance agency (HFA) single-family loan delinquencies had fallen to their lowest level since the third quarter of 2009, signaling a downward trend that that may indicate HFA delinquencies will stay in a lower range. State delinquency rates continue to be lower than those for HFAs, but the gap […]

Housing Bubbles Around the World

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), best known for bailing out over-indebted countries, is worried about housing bubbles around the world. In a recent speech (here) Martin Zhu, the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, notes that housing prices are climbing in numerous countries. Citing the experience here in the U.S. with the housing boom and […]

Foreclosure Activity Continues to Wind Down

RealtyTrac® (, released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for April 2014 today showing foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 115,830 U.S. properties in April, a 1% decrease from the previous month and down 20% from April 2013. The report also shows one in every 1,137 U.S. housing […]

Affordable Housing Hot Topics Event

Please save Tuesday, June 10, for Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ Affordable Housing Hot Topics Event in New York. Senior credit analysts from S&P Ratings’ Housing Enterprises and Structured Securities group along with our financial services, corporate and RMBS ratings teams will discuss mortgage finance and housing industry trends. Our cross-sector topics will include: U.S. […]

Housing Looking for Good Old Days

Rising Home Prices are boosting property taxes while mortgage lenders may be getting more generous. Bloomberg reports that property tax collections are rising at the fastest pace since the financial crisis with gains spread across the country. Among cities cited as enjoying renewed revenue gains were San Jose CA, Nashville TN, Houston TX and Washington […]

Housing and Bonds: Déjà vu All Over Again

Just when people thought we were safe from creative financing applied to bonds backed by homes, a new improved approach is about to surface.  The past year has seen an increase in buying homes for rent by private equity funds and others.  The private equity buyers are funded by their fund investors, much the same […]


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