201801.02
1
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Housing Market Accelerates

The economy ended 2017 with current growth just slightly above trend. In general the reports of the last two weeks of the year were pretty good with housing a standout performer going into the new year. We are still trying to get past the impact – positive and negative – from the hurricanes a few…

201711.27
2
2

New Home Sales, Neither Prices Nor Volume

New home sales rose sharply again for the second consecutive month. After rising more than 18% in the month of September 2017 over August (subsequently revised down to 14%), sales rose another 6% month-over-month in October. At a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 685k, that’s the highest pace for any month going back exactly ten years…

201711.21
1
4

(A)Typical At The Bottom

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates sales of existing homes rose 2% in October 2017 from a downwardly revised September estimate. The trade group tries its best to put recent results in the best possible terms, claiming in its press release that at 5.48 million (SAAR) the number of resales is “their strongest pace…

201710.18
4
2

Sinking Apartments (Not From Storms)

Housing construction continues to slow in 2017, dragged down by fewer multi-family projects. Total permits and starts have essentially flatlined since 2015, a further slowdown from one already slowdown. The single-family market is still growing but at a historically tepid pace, leaving the pace of construction overall to be dictated by weakness in apartment development….

201709.26
4
5

The Full Employment Enigma, Housing Version

For the second consecutive month, the Census Bureau estimates that sales of newly constructed homes fell year-over-year as well as month-over-month. The data provided by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the resale market suggests there isn’t nearly enough supply of homes for sale. Other estimates also published by Census Bureau (permits/starts) declare again…

201709.20
1
3

The Real Estate View For A Second Lost Decade

The National Association of Realtor (NAR) reports today that sales of existing homes in the US were down 1.7% in August 2017 from July. At a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million, that’s the lowest pace for resales since July 2016. It is yet another data point reflecting the almost certain end of “reflation” in…

201708.24
2
2

Getting Harder Not Easier To Find Macro Improvement in 2017 (Housing)

The most recent housing data continues to suggest weakness. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that sales of existing homes were down slightly last month from June. It continues a lower trend dating back to March. Overall, the level of resales is largely flat going back to the summer of 2015. At a 5.44…

201708.16
2
2

Stuck in the Basement Until Something Actually Changes

Housing construction continues to lag in 2017. Total permits in July fell on a seasonally-adjusted basis to 1.22 million. While not a huge decline, it continues to undershoot the post-taper trend that began in 2013 (after the mini-bubble wave crested from the trough of the housing bust). The break in that trend dates, unsurprisingly, to…

201708.14
Off
1

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Ignore The Idiot

Of the economic releases of the past two weeks the one that got the most attention was the employment report. That report is seen by many market analysts as one of the most important and of course the Fed puts a lot of emphasis on it so the press spends an inordinate amount of time…

201706.16
3
1

Renewed Questions About Housing (UPDATED)

Housing construction has cooled off again after a small rebound in activity late last year. Total permits filed in April 2017 was estimated to have been 1.23 million (SAAR), down from 1.26 million in March. Unadjusted, permits were flat year-over-year and remain on average in the low single digits for growth. Despite a reported as…