Existing Home Sales Data Reinforces Artificial Supply Constraint

By: Friday October 19, 2012 9:15 am

Existing home sales fell last month, but prices continued to rise year-over-year regardless (prices actually fell month-to-month by 0.5%). And this data point reinforces the story of the housing market, which is “recovering” based on constrained supply, in some cases artificially constrained supply. Total housing inventory fell 20% year-over-year, and now stands at 5.9 months [...]

New Home Sales, Home Price Statistics Continue to Fuel Optimism on Housing

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 10:59 am

New home sales stayed flat in August, a modest miss from expectations. Still, new home sales are on track for a 16% increase year-over-year. This still puts annual sales at the third-lowest on record, but it’s a boost from the bottomed-out years of 2010 and 2011. The recovery is sluggish, but it’s moving in an upward direction.

The Path for Housing Is Dangerous

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 12:59 pm

The other channel of a potential economic recovery would be housing. This was the channel that got Paul Krugman so jazzed last week. I should note that the Federal Reserve’s economic projections show basically no difference from their last ones in June, and Bernanke said specifically that housing is “a piston that has not fired” [...]

Housing Price Index Shows First Year-Over-Year Increase in 21 Months

By: Tuesday August 28, 2012 9:32 am

The housing recovery narrative got a boost today from the Case-Shiller price index, which went positive year-over-year for the first time since a first-time homebuyer’s tax credit goosed the numbers in 2010. So really, this is the first year-over-year increase since the housing bubble collapsed in 2007 2006. And the usual suspects are ecstatic. Brad [...]

Housing Market Shifting Into Dangerous Equilibrium

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 7:08 am

Existing-home sales rose slightly in July, and while the numbers are still at a historical low, this has spurred a new round of optimism over the housing market. At the same time, the fragility of the market can be seen in the report by the National Association of Realtors that applications for home mortgages fell [...]

The Housing Recovery Debate Should Not Just Focus on Prices

By: Thursday August 16, 2012 10:25 am

Nick Timiraos, a housing reporter at the Wall Street Journal who I respect, has posted a couple articles about shadow inventory. As we have seen, banks have intentionally kept the houses they own outright through the foreclosure process off the market, constricting supply and artificially propping up home prices. Some housing analysts look to the [...]

Housing Recovery Narrative Surges Forward, But Reasons for Price Rise More Sinister

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 7:37 am

The “housing is back” narrative got another boost with a story in the Wall street Journal that simultaneously makes an unequivocal statement about home prices, and then acknowledges wild variance in the data set. Home prices rose by their largest percentage in at least seven years during the second quarter, propelled by low inventories of [...]

Existing Home Sales Fall

By: Thursday July 19, 2012 12:53 pm

Existing home sales fell in June, a blow to the continuing narrative of a comeback in the housing market. The decrease comes at the outset of the peak buying season. Bloomberg believes that this fits in line with a weakening US economy: Home purchases slid 5.4 percent in June to a 4.37 million annual rate, [...]

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