Video

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Housing Bubbles A Global Problem

Housing bubbles are easy to see, unless of course you are one those people in the real estate industry who feign ignorance for the sake of sales. For those who care to look, it is blatantly obvious that there is an echo bubble in real estate prices. It's a global problem that poses a number of challenges, and the potential capital destruction that would result from its collapse is probably larger than many want to admit. Everyone has to dance to the music, until the music stops. Looking at an updated index of San Francisco [...]

Financialization Of Housing And The Disturbing Gap In New Home Sales

The financialization of the U.S. housing market has led to a rather disturbing gap in new home sales relative to existing home sales. This is a subject I was referencing this week when I mentioned the problem builders are facing with the lack of affordable land to build new homes on. Today the Census Bureau reported new home sales for January came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. Previous months were also revised lower, with November taking a significant haircut. On a year-over-year basis January new home sales were up 5.5 percent. [...]

Fed Looks At Texas’ Affordable Housing Problem, Fails To Look In The Mirror

The Federal Reserve can be commended on one thing. They never cease to provide entertainment in terms of their complete ineptitude and functional obsolescence. The Fed continues to show no remorse for the damage they have inflicted on the general population and their destruction of what was formerly known as the U.S. housing market. The latest comedy from the Fed comes courtesy of the inaugural report from the Dallas Federal Reserve Community Outlook Series titled 'The Scarcity of Texas Affordable Housing' In this fun-filled trip down the rabbit hole, the Fed examines the problem of the lack [...]

Census: New Home Sales Decline 6.1% YoY In February

The Census Bureau reported that New Residential Sales In February 2016 declined by 6.1 percent compared to the same month last year. Unlike some cheerleader economists, the weakness in new home sales does not surprise me in the slightest. I would also point out that contrary to the opinion some pompous housing "experts" this was not a "decent" report. It was actually a wake-up call for the housing pundits who continue provide cover for failed monetary policy and the government's refusal to reform the financial system. The sad truth is that the U.S. real estate [...]

By | 2016-09-29T13:57:08+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|Economy, Housing Policy, In the Press, Real Estate, Video|0 Comments

Mortgage Rates Drop As “Recovery” Drowns In The Sea Of Central Bank Market Manipulations

"Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction." Barack Obama - SOTU January 2016 2016 has seen one of the worst starts to a year ever for major U.S. stock indices ever, and that means mortgage rates have continued to fall during the first two weeks of the year. For those who were rushing to lock in a sub-4 percent mortgage, there really was no need to rush. It is now easy to get a 3.75 percent fixed rate 30-year mortgage here in the Houston area. Mortgage rates are driven by demand [...]

By | 2017-02-03T23:27:53+00:00 January 16th, 2016|Economy, Housing Policy, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Million Dollar Shack: Insanity In Silicon Valley Drives Middle Class Families Out Of The Market

This is nice little documentary from Michelle Joyce, a middle-class mom living in Silicon Valley. Michelle does a nice job bringing the issues of our national housing policy into the public conversation. Michelle and her husband, like many of their friends, have been priced out of the neighborhood. Unfortunately current housing policy continues to favor wealthy tech titans and investors from overseas bringing in large sums of cash. Of course I doubt any of the Realtors are asking where the cash came from and whether it was brought into the U.S. illegally. I was particularly [...]

By | 2015-10-26T19:37:39+00:00 October 26th, 2015|Housing Policy, Real Estate, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

Toll Brothers Discovers “Recovery” Is A Mirage, Stock Drops 7 Percent For The Day On Weak Q3 Results

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers announced FY 2015 third quarter quarter results today. Toll reported that Q3 net income was lower than a year ago with net income falling from $97.7 million to $66.7 million year-over-year. Toll's gross margins for the quarter fell from 22.7 percent last year to 19.8 percent this year. Amusingly, Toll's average price for a home in backlog was $829,000, the first time above $800,000. On a day when a market recovery looked quite possible, it was also interesting to see Toll's stock drop 7.8 percent today. Like many investors were finding [...]

By | 2015-08-26T00:25:56+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Development, Economy, Markets, New Home Sales, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

City of Austin Sues State Of Texas Over Unequal Appraisal System

It appears the City of Austin is taking the bull by the horns in addressing Texas' broken property tax system. The city yesterday announced a lawsuit against the state of Texas over unequal appraisals that continue to burden residential homeowners. The new lawsuit stems from Austin's challenge of TCAD commercial values earlier this summer. In that independent TCAD analysis, commercial property appraisals were shown to be under market value by as much as 50 percent. This of course would contradict the state constitutional mandate that all property be taxed "in proportion to its value". The [...]

By | 2015-08-26T11:40:42+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Housing Policy, Politics, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

Lacy Hunt: Excessive Public And Private Debt Will Curtail Growth

Interesting discussion with Lacy Hunt from Hoisington Investment Management. Hunt explains the problem of weak growth resulting from excessive debt, both public and private, and the consequences of long-term growth. Hunt seems to understand better than most that we have been pulling demand forward at the expense of future growth. Negative yields are sprouting up all over Europe. Unfortunately it looks as though the race to the bottom will continue for a little while longer, because nothing screams pent-up demand like a 1.5% yield on the 30-year US Treasury. Here is the most recent Quarterly [...]

By | 2015-04-18T11:19:34+00:00 April 18th, 2015|Economy, In the Press, Politics, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments