America’s 25 Least Affordable Housing Markets

America’s 25 Least Affordable Housing Markets

In the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis, housing became much more affordable as prices dropped. Since peaking in 2012, however, affordability has rapidly declined. Inventory of for-sale homes fell faster in May than it has in years, and home prices have risen substantially in turn.

Homeownership in the United States has declined in recent years. The homeownership rate reached 63.6% this year, nearly the lowest level since the Census Bureau began tracking the data over 50 years ago, and down from a peak of 69.2% in 2004.

Some areas are far less affordable than others, and in some parts of the country, typical rents and home prices are only affordable to high earners in the area. Based on data provided by real estate data company ATTOM Data Solutions and 24/7 Wall St.’s calculations, we identified the 25 counties where housing is the least affordable relative to average area wages.

Of the 25 least affordable housing markets, 16 are located in California, with many clustered around the Silicon Valley area. Many people move to these areas for the specialized, high-paying jobs available. However, even with some of the highest incomes in the country, typical housing costs are well out of reach for most residents.

Click here to see America’s 25 least affordable housing markets.
Click here to see the detailed findings and methodology.

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 36 states in May

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 36 states in May

by Bill McBride on 6/21/2017 03:55:00 PM

From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for May 2017. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 44 states, decreased in five, and remained stable in one, for a three-month diffusion index of 78. In the past month, the indexes increased in 36 states, decreased in seven, and remained stable in seven, for a one-month diffusion index of 58.

Note: These are coincident indexes constructed from state employment data. An explanation from the Philly Fed:

The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.

Philly Fed Number of States with Increasing ActivityClick on graph for larger image.

This is a graph is of the number of states with one month increasing activity according to the Philly Fed. This graph includes states with minor increases (the Philly Fed lists as unchanged).

In May, 43 states had increasing activity (including minor increases).

The downturn in 2015 and 2016, in the number of states increasing, was mostly related to the decline in oil prices.   The reason for the recent decrease in the number of states with increasing activity is unclear – and might be revised away.

Philly Fed State Conincident Map Here is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. This map was all red during the worst of the recession, and almost all green now.

Source: Philly Fed. Note: For complaints about red / green issues, please contact the Philly Fed.

Oil Producers Finally Get the Memo on Prices Staying Lower for Longer—Energy Journal

Oil Producers Finally Get the Memo on Prices Staying Lower for Longer—Energy Journal

Here’s your morning jolt of news, insight and analysis on the global energy business. Send us tips, suggestions and complaints:EnergyJournal@wsj.com.   Sign up for this newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/EnergyJournalSignup   THREE YEARS ON OIL INDUSTRY COMES TO TERMS WITH CHEAP CRUDE The oil industry has finally gotten the message that crude prices may stay lower for longer, reports […]

America’s 25 Most Affordable Housing Markets

America’s 25 Most Affordable Housing Markets

Homeownership in the United States reached 63.6% this year, close to its lowest level since the Census Bureau began tracking the data over 50 years ago, and down from a peak of 69.2% in 2004.

Fears about buying a home stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis likely have driven down home buying. So, too, has the ongoing shift of the American population to cities. Today, approximately 80% of Americans live in urban areas, compared with the 63% who did in 1960. For many Americans, homeownership in cities is prohibitively expensive, and becomes more so every day as available real estate is bought up and the housing market recovers.

This is not to say renting is a cheaper alternative. In many cities, rent on a three-bedroom apartment costs over half average monthly wages.

Nevertheless, even as real estate prices continue to rise, there remain many housing markets throughout the United States where homeownership and renting is very affordable. In these places, rent costs less than one-third of average wages, monthly payments are as low as 12.5% of wages, and the typical home costs a fraction the average U.S. sale price. Based on data provided by ATTOM Data Solutions and 24/7 Wall St.’s calculations, we identified the 25 counties where housing is the most affordable relative to average wages.

Click here to see America’s most affordable housing markets.
Click here to see the detailed findings and methodology.

Retail Sales decreased 0.3% in May

Retail Sales decreased 0.3% in May

by Bill McBride on 6/14/2017 08:39:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.3 percent from April to May (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 3.8 percent from May 2016.

From the Census Bureau report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $473.8 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent from the previous month, and 3.8 percent above May 2016. … The March 2017 to April 2017 percent change was unrevised at 0.4 percent.

Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).

Retail sales ex-gasoline were down 0.1% in May.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993.

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales
Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, increased by3.7% on a YoY basis.

The decrease in May was below expectations. A disappointing report.

Biotech: Never Give Up

Biotech: Never Give Up

Perseverance is an admirable trait.

Cancer drug developer  XBiotech provides a case in point. The biotech company announced Friday afternoon that its late stage study for its experimental colon cancer treatment, Xilonix, has been discontinued after an interim analysis of the data. While it didn’t show any safety concerns, the findings “were not sufficient to meet efficacy.”

However, CEO John Simard is undeterred.

“In the coming weeks, the company plans to analyze the data extensively to further understand the primary and secondary endpoint data, as well as to identify populations that may have benefited from the therapy. These findings today will not affect our efforts to pursue approval of the therapy,” he said in a statement.

Shareholders may not have much else left besides that character trait, though. Shares plunged 66% on Friday.

States With the Most Foreclosed Homes

States With the Most Foreclosed Homes

During the height of the Great Recession, foreclosures in the United States reached staggeringly high levels. In 2009, about one in every 45 American households were in the process of losing their homes due to an inability to make payments. With the return of home prices to pre-recession levels, and in many cases higher, the foreclosure rate has also dropped dramatically. Just one in every 142 homes were in foreclosure in 2016.

Just as the housing market recovery has been anything but even across the country, so too have foreclosure declined at varying degrees depending on the region. In 2016, state foreclosure rates ranged from one home in every 1,559 to one in every 54. In every state, foreclosures affect — and are affected by — home values, incomes, and the strength of the regional economy.

ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data analytics company, provided 24/7 Wall St. with the share of housing units in each state that were in some stage of the foreclosure process during 2016.

Click here to see the foreclosure rates of all 50 states.

Click here to see the states with the most foreclosed homes.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.