September 23, 2016
- A paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland titled, Monetary Policy, Residential Investment, and Search Frictions: An Empricial and Theoretical Synthesis, shows that residential investment contributes substantially to GDP following monetary policy shocks. Further, it shows that the number of new housing units built, not changes in the sizes of existing or new housing units, drives residential investment fluctuations. Motivated by these results, this paper develops a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model where houses are built in discrete units and traded through searching and matching.
- Sales of existing homes slipped 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, the second straight monthly decline, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The monthly setbacks happened after a period of steady gains that have lifted home sales up 3 percent so far this year.
- Commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding grew by $39.9 billion in the second quarter, according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Multifamily mortgage debt outstanding rose by 2.6 percent to reach $1.09 trillion, while the total commercial and multifamily debt outstanding increased 1.4 percent to $2.90 trillion.
- In August, ground breakings dropped 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million from 1.21 million in July, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The pace of construction was the lowest since May. Starts plummeted 14.8 percent in the South, likely reflecting the monthly volatility of the government report. Building activity increased in the Northeast, Midwest and West.
- The GSEs current forecast shows the interest rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to finish 2017 at an average of 3.7%, hitting 3.9% during the year. Freddie Mac also stated that it continues to expect mortgage originations to top $2 trillion this year, which would be the first time originations have been that high since 2012. “Mortgage originations are expected to surge in the third quarter, reflecting the impact of Brexit in recent mortgage activity,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “We continue to believe that originations will reach $2 trillion this year, the highest since 2012.”