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The number of underwater homes is falling (RealtyTrac)
RealtyTrac’s Q3 2015 US Home Equity & Underwater Report found the number of seriously underwater homes — homes with a loan amount of at least 25% higher than the property’s market value — fell to 6.9 million from last quarter’s reading of 7.4 million. According to RealtyTrac, just 12.7% of US properties with a mortgage remain seriously underwater after hitting a peak of 28.6% (12.8 million) in the second quarter of 2012. RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist attributed the drop in seriously underwater homes to home sales and volume “picking up dramatically” following a lull earlier in the year.
On the flip side, equity rich homes — homes with at least 50% equity — represent 19.2% of all properties with a mortgage. This was actually down from 19.6% in the previous quarter, an indication “more homeowners in this category are leveraging their equity through a refinance, move-up sale or by completely cashing out of the housing market,” says Blomquist.
According to the report, homes with a lower estimated value were more likely to be seriously underwater, as were homes purchased over the last five to 10 years.
AT&T warns on revenue (Reuters)
Telecommunications giant AT&T warned Wall Street’s third-quarter revenue estimate is “inflated.” Currently, the Bloomberg consensus estimate calls for revenue of $US39.86 billion, which has been revised down 3.1% over the past four weeks. The company believes many analysts might be incorrectly counting revenue from DirecTV. “It is clear many revenue estimates for DirecTV include the full month of July. Under GAAP we are only allowed to include revenue beginning July 25,” AT&T spokesman Brad Burns told Reuters.
The market’s volatility has advisors worried (Eaton Vance)
Eaton Vance’s latest Advisor Top-of-Mind survey of 1,000 advisors found the recent upswing in market volatility is what keeps advisors up at night. Generating income, growing wealth and reducing taxes rounded out the rest of the list. 51% of those surveyed said clients should stay the course despite the upswing in volatility whole just 10% suggested moving into cash. As for when rates are going to rise, 71% of respondents believe a Fed rate hike will occur in the next 12 months.
Morgan Stanley might be going robo (Investment News)
At the Money Management Institute’s fall conference, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management President Gregory Fleming stated, “Technology is pushing in ways we’ve never seen before.” According to Investment News, Flemming noted the rapid ascent of robo advisors and specifically mentioned how the technology has appealed to millennials. When asked about a possible move into the robo advisor arena, a Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.
Wells Fargo won exclusivity to go after Credit Suisse advisors (Think Advisor)
Wells Fargo has won the exclusive right to recruit the 300 advisors from Credit Suisse’s private banking unit that is shutting down. However, that hasn’t stopped the Credit Suisse advisors from speaking to other firms. “Wells Fargo has a bit of a home-field advantage, as they are allowed to come in and talk to the advisors. They have a platform for selling their story,” Danny Sarch of Leitner Sarch Consultants, a recruiting firm, told Think Advisor. “But it would be naïve for Wells Fargo not to think they will have a lot of leakage [of advisors], based on the number already talking to the competition.” Advisors from the soon to be defunct Credit Suisse unit have already started jumping ship, going to places such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Raymond James and UBS, according to Think Advisor.
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