201412.21
0
0

Questions For 2015

Well, it’s that time of year again, when all the pundits offer their crystal ball views of the coming new year. I don’t usually participate in the prediction game and this year won’t be any different. Like everyone else I wonder what the future holds but I know I have no special ability to predict…

201411.30
Off
0

Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip Slidin’ Away Slip Slidin’ Away You Know The Nearer Your Destination The More You’re Slip Slidin’ Away Paul Simon Well, now things are starting to get interesting. Contrary to most expectations, OPEC decided last week to maintain – or more accurately, continue ignoring – their current production target. OPEC members haven’t been sticking to…

201411.16
7
0

Bubble Behavior?

I really hate the term bubble. With regard to markets, frankly it has no meaning. One man’s bubble is another man’s rational bull market. There is no agreed upon valuation metric which, once exceeded, pegs a market or a sector or a stock as a bubble. My view on the matter is that “bubbles’ are…

201409.28
2
0

Shoeshine Boys & Thinking At The Margin

It is said that Joe Kennedy got out of the stock market in 1929 because he started to hear stock tips from his shoeshine boy. Bernard Baruch had similar feelings: When beggars and shoeshine boys, barbers and beauticians can tell you how to get rich it is time to remind yourself that there is no…

201409.10
1
0

Apps and the End of Subsidy

With the main flow of housing data a few weeks off, there is more discouraging news in the area of housing finance. Despite the retracement of interest rates, the 30-year conventional fixed in particular, since last year’s dramatic rout has done absolutely nothing toward re-establishing volumes consistent with the interim mini-bubble of 2011-12. With every…

201408.25
1
0

What’s Behind New Home Sales

New home sales rose on a year-over-year basis, but the adjusted figures suggest that says more about softness in July 2013 than strength in July 2014. Whatever the case may actually be, the seasonally-adjusted rate of home sales has been quite disappointing after the “surge” post-winter. In fact, that bounce has been all but revised…

201408.21
Off
0

Home Sales Lag Where It Counts

Existing home sales rose again in July from a downward revised June, as the monthly change of 2.4% matched June’s revised increase over May. The yearly comparisons still continue to lag, as does the overall trend after the massive interruption that began last autumn. As the pace of sales has come back somewhat in 2014,…

201408.19
1
0

Hard Dollars Back Up Housing Observations

To add more concreteness and weight to today’s observations about home construction (and renovation), comparable store sales at both Home Depot and Lowes confirm the slowing of real estate construction. It is nice, if not so often, when hard dollar figures imitate to even a small degree what is being shown of adjusted statistical probabilities….

201408.19
1
0

Housing Relates To Income More Than Credit Now

“High frequency data”, as some of these data series are known, causes an inordinate problem for those that are unwilling to move outside of monthly changes. These are the kinds of accounts that are “noisy” and can be difficult to handle absent any real context, but that does not stop them for being used persistently…

201408.15
2
0

Mortgage Supply Problems

It seems as if there is a little more complexity taking place in mortgage finance, and therefore the housing “market”, as the simplified idea of rates running the show isn’t holding water. On the surface, the general theme is one that contours to the outline of conventional mortgage interest as it ran through last year’s…