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Daily Dose

Mortgage Risk on the Rise

The American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) National Mortgage Risk Index, released Monday by the group's International Center on Housing Risk, rose to 11.43 percent in September, little changed from the revised average of the previous three months and nearly 1 percentage point higher than a year ago. In keeping with recent trends, the index measuring risk for FHA loans was the highest, sitting at 23.99 percent.

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Home Price Gains Slow More Than Expected

On a monthly basis, the S&P Case-Shiller National Index showed a non-seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent increase from July to August, down from a 0.6 percent improvement in the July report. The narrower 10- and 20-city indices posted the same results, ticking up 0.2 percent each. Adding in seasonal adjustments, the picture for August is mixed.

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Home Prices Approach 10% of Peak Levels

Based on data from August real estate transactions, Black Knight Financial Services' Home Price Index (HPI) edged up just 0.1 percent from July, remaining nearly flat at $242,000. August's rate of appreciation was half of July's already slow 0.2 percent gain in prices. Annually, the index was up 4.9 percent from last year compared to a gain of 5.1 percent in July.

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Housing Market Stability Backslides Again

Freddie Mac's Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) slipped 0.19 percent from July to a reading of 73.3 in August, the company reported. With the drop, the index's three-month measure showed a 0.47 percent decline. Despite August's headline decline, analysts at Freddie Mac say the MiMi is showing promising trends, especially at the local level.

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Seller Confidence Wavers as Housing Market Finds Balance

Out of hundreds of home sellers surveyed nationwide earlier this month, only 35.1 percent said now is a good time to sell a home in their neighborhood, according to the latest Real-Time Seller Survey from Redfin. The response reflects a decline of more than 17 percentage points from the second-quarter survey, which found more than half of sellers felt they had an advantage in the market.

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Regulators Close Down Illinois Bank

Only a week after the latest collapse, federal regulators announced the closure of yet another government-insured bank, bringing the year-to-date tally to 16. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced Friday the shuttering of the National Republic Bank of Chicago, appointing FDIC as receiver.

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Pending Home Sales Nudge Up in September

The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking gauge of home sales based on contract signings, ticked up 0.3 percent to 105 from August's 104.7, the group reported. Compared to a year ago, the index climbed 1 percent—the first yearly increase in 11 months.

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Report: Housing Recovery Favors High-Income Neighborhoods

While at a national level the housing market continues to recover, a look at local markets reveals a recovery that is most prominent in high-income areas, while lower-income neighborhoods continue to struggle. ProTeck Valuation Services delves into this phenomenon in its latest Home Value Forecast, with a spotlight on the Seattle metro area.

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Refinances Rise While Loan Approvals Fall

After declining for most of the year thus far, the share of refinance loans experienced a 3 percentage point boost in September, according to the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. At the same time, a lower percentage of loans made their way to closing in September compared with the month before, and the time it took to close those loans that did make their way through the approval process increased, according to Ellie Mae.

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