Economy

/Economy

Economic Issues Affecting Texas Housing Markets

Things Get Ugly For Denton-Based Sally Beauty

Things just got ugly for Denton-based Sally Beauty supply. The international retailer and distributor of professional beauty supplies saw its stock plummet after Amazon announced its own professional beauty store. This is not exactly great news for one of Denton's largest businesses. Amazon is a virtually unregulated monopoly on multiple fronts with huge tax advantages to many of its competitors. Amazon Beauty customers will still need a license to purchase professional use products, but Amazon is playing by a different set of rules as regulators continue to turn a blind eye to Amazon's monopolistic business [...]

Single-Family Housing Permits & Starts Still Stagnating

The Census Bureau reported permits and starts numbers for May which were less than impressive. While permits were up from revised April figures, they were still lower than levels seen last year. Single-family permits (one unit structures) were down 3.3 percent from the same time a year ago. The sluggish numbers for housing permits and starts in May is a bit surprising to some of the experts considering the recent plunge in mortgage interest rates. Unfortunately there is more to the demand for new homes than just ultra low interest rates. Housing starts in May [...]

Stagnating Home Sales, Mortgage Rates & Job Growth But The Fed Only Has Eyes For Wall Street

Home sales are stagnating, mortgage rates are falling and job growth is now waning. What's not to love? Today's nonfarm payrolls report was a resounding thud with only 75,000 jobs added in May. Previous months were revised downward as well. Everywhere you look, cracks are beginning to appear in the carefully varnished edifice the Federal Reserve likes to call an economy. Maybe this is why there were 13 Federal Reserve officials hitting the airwaves this week to talk up their most favored metric of economic validation, the U.S. stock market. Earlier in the week we [...]

Denton County Employment Growth Still Solid, Why Are Home Sales Stagnating?

Denton County employment growth is still humming along. The Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to add jobs. Even with the job growth, home price gains in the DFW area continue to slow. This is confirmed in the recent numbers from Case-Shiller. Along with many professional PhD economists, the Case-Shiller committee seems to be puzzled that the housing market isn't firing on all cylinders given the recent plunge in mortgage interest rates. "Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better." Even Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist seems to be perplexed that the housing market isn't [...]

New Home Sales Jump 7 Percent In April But Momentum Is Fading

The Census Bureau reported new home sales in April which rose 7 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Sales (contract signings) for April posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units. This was close to expectations, but interestingly the April figure represented a rather large 7 percent drop from revised March numbers. The sales numbers for the previous three months were revised higher. The median price of a new home rose in April to $342,200, while the average price of a new home contracted in April rose to $393700. This [...]

Existing Home Sales Decline For 14th Consecutive Month

The National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales for April which came in short of expectations. Existing sales in April posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million units. This was 0.4 percent lower than March and 4.4 percent lower than April of 2018. According to NAR the median price of an existing home rose 3.6% in April to $267,300. The average price of an existing home in the U.S. rose 2.5% to $305,200. The inventory of existing homes for sale in April stood at 4.2 months, up 5% from a year [...]

Home Builder Confidence Not Confirmed By Housing Starts & Permits Data

This week the National Association of Home Builders reported improved confidence and business conditions among new home builders. With the big drop in mortgage interest rates, builders have been enjoying solid sales so far in 2019. NAHB chairman, Greg Ugalde, even said as much... “Builders are busy catching up after a wet winter and many characterize sales as solid, driven by improved demand and ongoing low overall supply...However, affordability challenges persist and remain a big impediment to stronger sales.” With mortgage rates just above 4 percent, the year-over-year interest rate comparisons are very favorable for [...]

DFW Contract Activity Cools In April As Stimulus From Lower Rates Fades

DFW contract activity faded in April. Looking at the preliminary sales data for North Texas, it is apparent that the stimulus from the big drop in mortgage rates has run its course. It will be another week or so before we get the official press release numbers, but the data is telling. April was another good month for home sales. Actual closings for home sales showed a robust real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but contract signings were another matter. Preliminary sales data indicate that the DFW real estate market is peaking prematurely [...]

Hoisington Quarterly Review: Parallels of Past Fed Mistakes

Hoisington Investment Management has released their latest Quarterly Review, and it's certainly worth a read if you want to understand the Federal Reserve's capitulation on policy normalization and the stagnating global economy. The global economic slowdown should really not be surprising considering the massive amounts of stimulus by global central banks which have resulted in massive amounts of debt and economic bifurcation. The problem with quantitative easing and all of the central bank intervention is that liquidity has not not been used for productive, organic growth. As the debt keeps piling up, the economic benefit [...]

Denton County New Home Sales Spring To Life In March

Denton County new home sales are enjoying a spring revival courtesy of lower mortgage interest rates. Preliminary March data for North Texas shows that home sales rebounded in March, with new home sales driving the action. Buyers were obviously lured off the fence in the DFW area when it came to buying new homes. It also helped that new home builders were keeping price points lower. The average price of new homes in Dallas-Fort Worth still shows to be softening. Pending sales data for March looks a bit weaker than closings, so it will be [...]