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Old 06-28-2012, 06:21 PM  
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Please, god: the housing market may be starting to recover.

Took us long enough. Jesus.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/bu...-way.html?_r=2

After Years of False Hopes, Signs of a Turn in Housing
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
Published: June 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.

The housing market is starting to recover. Prices are rising. Sales are increasing. Home builders are clearing lots and raising frames.

Joe Niece, a real estate agent in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, said he recently concluded a streak of 13 consecutive bidding wars over homes that his clients wanted to buy. Each sold above the asking price.

“I just had a home that wasn’t supposed to go on the market for two weeks sold before it even went on the market,” Mr. Niece said. “It’s definitely a lot different than what we saw” during the last few summers.

Like the economic recovery that began three years ago, what happens next is likely to prove a little disappointing. The pace of recovery will probably be slow, and the prices of many homes will continue to decline.

Millions of people remain underwater, owing more on their homes than the homes are worth, and unable to sell. Millions of families still face foreclosure. And a setback in the still-fragile economic recovery could easily reverse the uptick in housing prices, too.

But roughly six years after the housing market began its longest and deepest slide since the Great Depression, a growing number of experts and people who actually put money into housing believe the end has come.

“Our sense is that the market is recovering, and we’re extremely confident that it’s not going to get worse,” said Ronnie Morgan, a San Diego real estate professional who recently created a $10 million partnership to buy foreclosed homes. The group, Alegria Real Estate Funds, already has bought about 20 homes in suburban communities, most of which they plan to hold as rental properties.

“It feels very much like we’ve hit a bottom and we’re starting to come off of that bottom,” said Stuart Miller, chief executive of Lennar, a major national home builder based in Miami. The company said Wednesday that second-quarter profits were higher than expected, and orders for new homes rose 40 percent.

“I’m a little nervous,” Mr. Miller quickly added in a conference call with analysts, “about saying the word ‘recovery.’ ”

The trend is clear in the data. The widely respected S.&P./Case-Shiller index reported earlier this week that sales prices for existing homes rose in April for the first time this year. Several other measures, including a seasonally adjusted version of the index, show that price increases began in February. The pace of housing construction has increased. And the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that pending home sales climbed to the highest level since the end of a federal tax credit for first-time buyers in September 2010.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the housing market has shown signs of revival, and each previous episode ended with prices renewing their downward slide.

But with each passing year, an eventual recovery has grown more likely. Prices have continued to fall, and the economy has continued to recover, a combination that has expanded the pool of potential buyers. The population has continued to grow while few new homes have been built.

Basic indicators of market health that bulged during the bubble, like the ratio of housing prices to income, have returned to more normal levels.

Government efforts to help homeowners have intensified, allowing more borrowers to refinance or avoid foreclosure.

“All bets are off if anything happens to the economy, but apart from that, I think the fundamentals look better than they’ve looked in 17 or 18 years,” said Richard K. Green, a professor of real estate at the University of Southern California.

Professor Green cited the combination of rising rents and low mortgage rates as a powerful inducement to potential buyers, both renters who would prefer to own and investors who want to become landlords.

“Compared to a lot of other investments right now this looks pretty good,” he said.

The influx of investors is a major reason that the market is looking stronger. Mr. Morgan, 56, built apartments before the housing crash. In 2010, seeing a new opportunity, he and some friends started bidding at the foreclosure auctions then held on the steps of the San Diego County Courthouse.

At first they bought properties to renovate and resell. Now they are focused on potential rental properties in the kinds of gated, planned communities in suburban San Diego that once were populated almost exclusively by people who owned their homes. Some of their tenants are former homeowners.

And competition has increased. The auctions were moved from the courthouse steps last year because the crowds had grown too large.

“There’s not a whole lot of other places to put your money,” Mr. Morgan said.

There are still reasons for caution. An unusually warm winter seems to have given a temporary and misleading boost to a range of economic indicators.

The pace of economic growth remains slow and fragile, shadowed by the risk that politicians in Europe and Washington will fail to address looming problems.

And the rise in prices is happening despite the vast number of vacant houses awaiting buyers, up to two million more than the normal level, with several million more houses still at risk of being foreclosed.

But this “shadow inventory” is not distributed uniformly, according to a new analysis by Goldman Sachs. Even within metropolitan areas like Phoenix, the vacant houses are clustered in less desirable neighborhoods, while buyers are seeking homes in areas where there are few vacancies.

Under these circumstances, the researchers concluded, “It is possible for us to see both house price increases and excess housing supply at the same time.”

Indeed, in a growing number of areas demand for homes is outstripping supply.

The number of homes for sale has been falling for more than a year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Some owners are waiting for prices to rise; some of them must wait because they are underwater.

Mr. Niece, the Minnesota real estate agent, said he and his partner had seen their book of listings decline from about 120 properties to 70 properties, about 45 of which already are under contract.

“I have buyers every single day complaining that they can’t find houses,” he said.

Driving through a neighboring suburb last week, Mr. Niece said that he passed a sign outside another real estate office that read, “The market is great. We’ve sold all of our inventory. We need listings.”
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #76
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Wells Fargo seems to have a lot of trouble getting their shit straight. This is the third or fourth story I have seen this year of them "foreclosing" on a home that they don't have a mortgage for. Sounds like they need to replace some employees and get some folks who can read and figure out what mortgages they do have.
This is happening to all the banks. MERS and the whole fraudclosure thing have screwed up titles bad and it will take years to sort it out. People should be going to jail for this shit.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:03 PM   #77
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Sounds good to me. They essentially destroyed these people's homes, they need to be held accountable for that.
But, but, but Shtsprayer thinks it's funny!

****ing tool.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:41 AM   #78
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http://news.yahoo.com/wells-fargo-mi...opstories.html

you can't make this stuff up.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:36 PM   #79
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http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-two-year-high

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Climb to a Two-Year High
By Alex Kowalski and Michelle Jamrisko
September 19, 2012

Sales of previously owned homes and work on single-family projects climbed in August to the highest levels in two years, signaling the residential real-estate market is contributing to the U.S. economic recovery.

Purchases of existing houses increased 7.8 percent to a 4.82 million annual rate, the most since May 2010, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for sales to increase to a 4.56 million pace. Commerce Department data showed builders began work on the most one- family homes since April 2010.

Record-low mortgage rates, more affordable properties and limited supply of new homes are driving orders at builders such as Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) In addition, sales of distressed properties are starting to account for a smaller share of the market, leading to gains in home values that are laying the groundwork for a sustained economic expansion as household sentiment and finances improve.

“The nascent housing recovery has deepened,” said Ellen Zentner, a senior U.S. economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, who projected existing-home sales would climb to a 4.85 million rate. “Ultimately, this improvement will lead to a rise in residential wealth, which tends to lift consumer confidence and spending.”

The Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilders Index (S15HOME) rose 3.1 percent at the close in New York, while the S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent. The pickup in housing helps explain why the index of builder shares, including PulteGroup Inc. and D.R. Horton Inc., has surged 83 percent this year, outpacing a 16 percent gain in the broader S&P 500.

Builder Shares
Construction of single-family houses climbed 5.5 percent to a 535,000 rate, the fastest since April 2010, after a 4.5 percent decrease, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Permits for the building of one-family homes increased 0.2 percent to a 512,000 annual pace, the highest since March 2010.

Beginning construction of all homes rose 2.3 percent to a 750,000 annual rate in August, less than forecast and restrained by a decrease in starts of multifamily dwellings that are volatile month to month.

Work on apartments and other multifamily homes dropped 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 215,000.

Beyond Builders
The housing rebound extends beyond builders -- from home- furnishings retailers like Lowe’s Cos. and Home Depot Inc. to building materials supplies such as gypsum wallboard-maker USG Corp.

Existing-home sales have improved after reaching a low of a 3.39 million annual rate in July 2010. In the buildup to the subprime lending collapse and recession, purchases reached a peak of 7.25 million in September 2005.

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey for August ranged from 4.45 million to 4.85 million. Compared with a year earlier, purchases increased 11 percent in August, today’s report showed.

The median price of an existing home climbed 9.5 percent to $187,400 from $171,200 in August 2011. Prices have increased in each of the past six months on a year-to-year basis, the best performance since early 2006.

The increase in prices reflects both a reduction in distressed sales and a “genuine” appreciation in property values, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news conference today as the figures were released.

Home Prices

The gain in home values may induce potential buyers and sellers to enter the market. Prices last quarter posted their first year-over-year gain since 2007, according to Zillow Inc., the Seattle-based operator of the largest real-estate information website.

Higher real estate values also helped more than 1.3 million homeowners regain equity in the first six months of 2012, according to CoreLogic. About 22.3 percent of homeowners with a mortgage owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 23.7 percent three months earlier.

Even with pricier real estate, homes remain affordable. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was at 3.55 percent in the week ended Sept. 13, near 3.49 percent, the lowest since records began in 1971, Freddie Mac data show.

The Federal Reserve has also committed to purchasing $40 billion of mortgage debt a month to lower borrowing costs, helping the housing market that Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called “one of the missing pistons in the engine.”

Fed’s Bernanke

“Our mortgage-backed securities purchases ought to drive down mortgage rates and put downward pressure on mortgage rates and create more demand for homes and more refinancing,” Bernanke said in a Sept. 13 press conference after the central bank announced the debt-buying plans.

Homebuilders such as Red Bank, New Jersey-based Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. and Toll Brothers are seeing increased demand.

“Due to the industry’s rebound and our increase in sales pace, our communities are selling out more quickly and literally caught us without being able to replenish as fast as we’d like,” Ara K. Hovnanian, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said on a Sept. 6 earnings call.

Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, reported a better-than-estimated profit and an increase in revenue for its third quarter ended July 31. The average price of the homes that the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company delivered in the quarter climbed to $576,000 from $557,000 in the previous three months.

“The housing recovery is being driven by pent-up demand, very low interest rates and attractively priced homes,” Chief Executive Officer Douglas Yearley Jr. said on an Aug. 22 conference call with investors. “With an industry wide shortage of inventory in many markets, we are enjoying some pricing power.”
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:37 PM   #80
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Wall Street Journal:

Quote:
Construction of single-family homes, which made up 71% of housing starts last month, grew 5.5% in August to a rate of 535,000 units—the highest level since April 2010, when the market was boosted by federal tax credits. Single-family construction was up 27% from a year earlier.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:40 PM   #81
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http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmo...sing-recovery/

Counterparties: Your very tentative housing recovery
By Ryan McCarthy
September 19, 2012

Here’s the most recent round of housing data — including housing starts, existing home sales, and homebuilder confidence — in three quotes:

“Housing is clearly in recovery mode.”
“The U.S. housing recovery is for real.”
“The nascent housing recovery has deepened.”

Which isn’t to say today’s numbers are going to make your house suddenly jump in value. The Capital Spectator says the housing recovery is “perhaps downshifting a bit” and notes that newly issued building permits fell by 1% over the previous month. Bill McBride at Calculated Risk calls the existing home sales number “decent”, not because of housing starts but because of the market’s inventory dynamic.

Why should you care about the various measures of housing inventory? For one, they’re good ways of measuring how we’re recovering from the foreclosure crisis. Barclays recently estimated that the market’s “shadow inventory” — homes that are at or near foreclosure — includes some 3.25 million mortgages which are either in foreclosure or at least three months in default. McBride expects reluctant sellers to soon start returning to the market: “this new inventory will probably limit price increases.”

Peter Eavis, following up on a piece he had last month, points to another puzzling dynamic that could hold the housing recovery back. “Pricing in the mortgage market” Eavis writes, “appears to be have gotten stuck.” The spread between mortgage rates and mortgage bond yields, a rough shorthand for mortgage revenue, has jumped in the last year. Even as interest rates are at or near historic lows, Eavis writes, “banks aren’t fully passing on the low rates in the bond market to borrowers. Instead, they are taking bigger gains, and increasing the size of their cut.”
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #82
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http://news.yahoo.com/home-prices-co...3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

Home prices rise for sixth month, a sign of recovery
By Leah Schnurr
Reuters – 5 hrs ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. home prices rose for a sixth straight month in July in the latest sign of a sustainable housing market recovery, while a jump in consumer confidence this month offered a harbinger that Americans are ready to loosen their spending.

Six years after its collapse, economists believe the housing market has turned a corner.

Two separate reports on Tuesday showed that home prices rose in July, though the gains were not as strong as the previous month. That follows recent data that home resales and groundbreaking on new properties rose in August, while business sentiment among homebuilders hit a more than six-year high this month.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.4 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists had expected a gain of 0.9 percent, which would have matched June's advance. Case Shiller is one of the most closely watched barometers of the U.S. housing market.

On a non-adjusted basis, prices were up 1.6 percent.

The gain in house prices supports the view that "even with the broader economic recovery struggling to gain traction, the housing recovery is sustainable," wrote Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics.

Housing has regained its footing at the same time as the broader economic recovery has lost traction. The economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter, and economists say it is not likely to fare much better in the current quarter.

Larry Kantor, head of research at Barclays Capital, said housing has the potential to give a stronger boost to the U.S. economy in 2013 as steadily rising prices reassure Americans that the housing crash is past.

"We'd not previously had a decline in house prices since the 1940s so we don't know for sure, but six months of price rises may deter people from renting," he said.

Earlier this month the Federal Reserve unleashed an aggressive stimulus program in which it will buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities a month until the job market sees sustained improvement.

The Fed's announcement pushed mortgage interest rates to new record lows last week, according to data from mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac.

Still, housing faces a number of hurdles, including tight lending standards for mortgages, a large number of underwater homeowners, and a large number of foreclosures still in the pipeline.

OUT OF THE WOODS

U.S. stocks were modestly higher in the early afternoon, with housing shares up 0.4 percent. The housing index is up more than 14 percent for September so far.

The day's data helped drive down prices of Treasuries, a traditional haven from risk, as it reduced worries about slowing global growth.

Also on Tuesday, consumer confidence climbed in September to the highest level in seven months as Americans were more optimistic about the job market and income prospects.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to a reading of 70.3 from an upwardly revised 61.3 in August. It was the highest level since February and topped economists' expectations for a reading of 63, according to a Reuters poll.

With consumer spending accounting for two-thirds of economic activity, analysts are keen to see the upbeat attitudes translate into more buying.

"It does bode well for spending down the road," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

Cheerier consumers, combined with the recent rise in equities markets, could help President Barack Obama's reelection chances, with campaigning on both sides focusing on the health of the economy.

The housing market is considered a key sector of the economy.

"Housing is out of the woods and it should be making a contribution to the overall economy going forward," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, told Reuters Insider.

Compared with a year ago, prices in the 20 cities were up 1.2 percent, the biggest gain since August 2010, according to the S&P/Case Shiller index.

Prices were lower than a year ago in only four cities, with Atlanta faring the worst, down nearly 10 percent. Hard-hit Phoenix continued to rebound, with a gain of 16.6 percent.

Separately, the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency home price index showed prices rose 0.2 percent in July compared with a 0.6 percent rise in June.

Analysts cautioned that home prices could decelerate somewhat through the rest of the year as the traditional summertime buying boost wears off.

Economists expect prices will rise 1 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year, according to a Reuters poll done at the beginning of September before the Fed announced its latest quantitative easing program.

In the consumer confidence data, the Conference Board's expectations index climbed to 83.7 from 71.1, while the present situation index gained to 50.2 from 46.5.

Consumers were more optimistic on both the current and short-term outlook for the labor market and had a more favorable view on their income prospects in the next six months.

Consumers also felt better about price increases with expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months down to 5.8 percent from 6 percent.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #83
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Cheap housing sold first. Higher priced homes are left and still not selling. You will grasp at any straw. Sad.

Go Obama
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Cheap housing sold first. Higher priced homes are left and still not selling. You will grasp at any straw. Sad.

Go Obama
and that and the price of tea in China have what to with what?

This is about 6 months of rising house prices. Not about what is sold, not to mention, where do you even pull that quasi-fact from?
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #85
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http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/375395/

Housing needs boom as projections show ND population will break 800,000 by end of decade
FARGO - North Dakota’s population will break 800,000 by the end of the decade, according to state projections released Monday – and the state will need thousands of new housing units per year to meet burgeoning demand.

By: Marino Eccher, INFORUM

Homes seemingly stack up Monday along the back side of the 4700 block of 50th Avenue South in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Matt Zeis helps build a home


ND Gov outlines housing plan to deal with growth

FARGO - North Dakota’s population will break 800,000 by the end of the decade, according to state projections released Monday – and the state will need thousands of new housing units per year to meet burgeoning demand.

The projections, part of a report on the state’s housing needs, put the state’s population at 806,541 by 2020. That would represent a 20 percent increase over the 2010 population.

The growth won’t be uniform. The state’s oil-producing regions are expected to more than double in population, while 21 rural counties shrink as the state becomes more urban.

The report credits the state’s economy for driving the growth, with the energy industry leading the way. The demand for workers in the state’s oil industry is expected to peak at about 130,000 by 2020, up from 78,000 in 2010.

Accommodating those workers and other newcomers will require adding as many as 6,000 units of housing per year.

The report was produced by NDSU’s Center for Social Research, and prepared for the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

The biggest needs will be in Oil Patch areas already slammed by housing shortages. Williston alone will need 8,000 new housing units this decade as it swells to a projected 31,000 residents.

Minot, on the fringe of the boom, is expected to grow to more than 51,000 residents.

In eastern North Dakota, Fargo’s population is expected to grow by 13 percent to 121,000 by 2020. The city will need about 11,000 new housing units by then, the report said.

West Fargo is projected to reach nearly 30,000 residents by the decade’s end, a 16 percent growth rate.

Grand Forks is expected to grow by a more modest 8 percent to 57,000 residents.

Statewide, about half of new housing units will be needed by households earning 80 percent or less than the median family income, which is about $61,500 statewide.

And the state’s rapidly growing 65-and-older population “will create increased pressure for elderly housing, much of which will be for single elderly and those with low income,” the report said.

North Dakota population by the numbers

806,541: North Dakota’s projected population by 2020, a 20 percent increase over 2010.

130,000: Number of oil sector workers expected by 2020, when the industry is projected to stabilize. That’s up from 78,000 in 2010.

6,000: The number of new housing units the state will need to add every year for the next 15 years to meet projected demand.

Half of those units need to be affordable by households earning 80 percent or less of the median income for their areas.

10,839: The number of housing units Fargo will need to add between 2010 and 2020 to accommodate projected growth.

144 percent: The population growth expected for McKenzie County between 2010 and 2020, the fastest projected in the state.

13 percent: The growth rate expected for Cass County.

21: The number of counties expected to shrink over the next decade as the state becomes more urban.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #86
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:44 AM   #87
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3 Things I Agree With David Rosenberg About
Cullen Roche
10/15/2012 1:36 AM

I liked this presentation by David Rosenberg which comes courtesy of one of the hardest working guys in journalism, Joe Weisenthal. I’ve disagreed with Rosenberg on the recession call in the USA for a long time now, but we’re on the same page about a lot of the macro trends. Here are three pertinent ones that are worth highlighting from the presentation:

Chart 1 – One of the weakest recoveries in 50 years - Rosenberg and I both agree on the de-leveraging effect from the balance sheet recession and its extremely depressing effect on GDP. This is one of the most anemic recessions in the post-war era. Not surprisingly, it’s the only one to occur during a de-leveraging so that shouldn’t be terribly surprising.



Chart 2 – Putting the housing recovery in perspective – I am substantially more bullish on housing than I was several years ago, but I am trying to keep things in perspective also. The housing “recovery” is pathetic. This chart summarizes the recency effect that has a lot of people saying we’re off to the races here….



Corporate profit trends are disconcerting – As I detailed earlier this year, corporate profits are likely to weaken and could potentially tip into a profits recession. Profit margins, weak global growth and the fiscal cliff are all big risks here. The deficit has been driving corporate profits to a huge degree in recent years so keep a close eye on that fiscal cliff situation. It will be as important as it’s been trumped up to be.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:45 PM   #88
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #89
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The Housing Bottom and the Unemployment Rate
by Bill McBride
10/15/2012 04:47:00 PM

Early this year when I wrote The Housing Bottom is Here and Housing: The Two Bottoms, I pointed out there are usually two bottoms for housing: the first for new home sales, housing starts and residential investment, and the second bottom is for house prices.

For the bottom in activity, I presented a graph of Single family housing starts, New Home Sales, and Residential Investment (RI) as a percent of GDP.

When I posted that graph, the bottom wasn't obvious to everyone. Now it is, and here is another update to that graph (and a repeat of some analysis).



The arrows point to some of the earlier peaks and troughs for these three measures.

The purpose of this graph is to show that these three indicators generally reach peaks and troughs together. Note that Residential Investment is quarterly and single-family starts and new home sales are monthly.

For the current housing bust, the bottom was spread over a few years from 2009 into 2011. This was a long flat bottom - something a number of us predicted given the overhang of existing vacant housing units.

Housing plays a key role for employment too. Here is an update to a graph I've been posting for a few years. This graph shows single family housing starts (through August) and the unemployment rate (inverted) also through September. Note: there are many other factors impacting unemployment, but housing is a key sector.



You can see both the correlation and the lag. The lag is usually about 12 to 18 months, with peak correlation at a lag of 16 months for single unit starts. The 2001 recession was a business investment led recession, and the pattern didn't hold.

Housing starts (blue) increased a little in 2009 with the homebuyer tax credit - and then declined again - but mostly starts moved sideways for two and a half years and only started increasing last year. This was one of the reasons the unemployment rate remained elevated.

Usually near the end of a recession, residential investment (RI) picks up as the Fed lowers interest rates. This leads to job creation and also additional household formation - and that leads to even more demand for housing units - and more jobs, and more households - a virtuous cycle that usually helps the economy recover.

However, following the recent recession with the huge overhang of existing vacant housing units, this key sector didn't participate. This time the unemployment rate started falling before housing starts picked up. Going forward I expect housing activity to increase and help push down the unemployment rate. Unfortunately I expect the housing recovery to be somewhat sluggish.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #90
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Housing just beat expectations.

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Housing Starts increased sharply to 872 thousand SAAR in September
by Bill McBride
10/17/2012 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Quote:
Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000. This is 15.0 percent above the revised August estimate of 758,000 and is 34.8 percent above the September 2011 rate of 647,000.

Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 603,000; this is 11.0 percent above the revised August figure of 543,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. This is 11.6 percent above the revised August rate of 801,000 and is 45.1 percent above the September 2011 estimate of 616,000.

Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 545,000; this is 6.7 percent above the revised August figure of 511,000.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years. Starts are slowing increasing.




Total housing starts were at 872 thousand (SAAR) in September, up 15.0% from the revised August rate of 758 thousand (SAAR). Note that August was revised up from 750 thousand.

Single-family starts increased 11.0 to 603 thousand in September.

The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.




This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that total housing starts have been increasing lately after moving sideways for about two years and a half years.

Total starts are up about 80% from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up 70% from the low.

This was way above expectations of 765 thousand starts in September. This was partially because of the volatile multi-family sector, but single family starts were up sharply too - and above 600 thousand SAAR for the first time since 2008. Right now starts are on pace to be up about 25% from 2011.
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