Housing Policy

/Housing Policy

housing policy

New Home Builders Clipped By Weak Order Growth

New home builders had a relatively rough week with several major publicly-traded builders experiencing some nasty haircuts in their stock prices. With the exception of DR Horton, it wasn't a good week for home builder stocks. While Facebook and Twitter were seeing record drops in their share prices, new home builders were also experiencing a hangover from weak growth in new home orders. The Dow Jones Home Construction Index has trended lower for most of the year, down almost 18 percent year-to-date. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why the index peaked just [...]

RECenter A&M Economists Still Wasting Texas Realtors’ Money

RECenter at A&M economists and data junkies are still wasting the dues of Texas Realtors that pay a good chunk of their salaries. It seems the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M economists are phase-locked in a myopic pursuit to somehow rationalize or justify the status quo situation with Texas housing. "Intellectual Phase-Locking is a condition that results when dogmatic 'scientific' assumptions inhibit further inquiry." Rupert Sheldrake Last year I wrote about some of the interesting details on the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and their funding. I have also clued readers in on the [...]

Autopsy Report For Affordable Housing In Dallas Fort Worth

An autopsy report for affordable homes in Dallas-Fort Worth reveals the steady evaporation of affordable housing inventory in the DFW area. Recent data show that housing prices in the U.S. are currently at their least affordable levels since the financial crisis. The latest numbers on existing home sales showed that the median price of a home hit a new all-time high. So how did this all happen? Was it an accident? Is it due to our smashingly great economy? Let's find out. As investors and speculators have gobbled up lower-priced homes across the country to [...]

April Existing Home Sales Soften 2.5%

The National Association of Realtors reported a 2.5 percent slide in existing home sales for April. That translates to a 1.4 percent decline compared to last year. According to NAR the median price of an existing home sold in April was $257,900, a rise  of 5.3 percent compared to last year. The average price of an existing home was $297,300, an increase of 3.3 percent compared to last year. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, blamed low inventory for the sluggish April sales... “The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country [...]

The Fed Has Successfully Destroyed The U.S. Housing Market

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to some "insight" on the coming economic developments that we should be preparing for in terms of debts and deficits. The company providing this research piece has over a $trillion in assets under management. Since I have a healthy skepticism of anything the financial "services" industry is selling I decided to give it a read. It was very informative, partly due to a complete fundamental ignorance of basic economics, but also because of an obvious contradiction with the author's stated assumptions. As I [...]

Fed Orders China Bank To Tighten Anti-Money Laundering Protections

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday faulted the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd for its weak anti-money laundering protections, ordering ICBC to tighten its screening of illicit money. Real estate money laundering from China into global property markets has been an ongoing theme for several years, and by all accounts the volumes of money being cleaned are still substantial. Last month the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) introduced new guidelines to replace its "Foreign Income Program". CIBC decided it should obtain income verification for foreign buyers gobbling up overpriced Canadian homes. Many of [...]

Why Is The Fed Protecting The Stock Market?

The $11 billion increase in the System Open Market Account Holdings report for February 14 has caught the attention of a number of intelligent market watchers for obvious reasons. The Federal Reserve is purportedly in the midst of a significant balance sheet normalization process whereby they are (and plan to to continue) selling large amounts of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. After amassing a portfolio of over $4.4 trillion, the Fed has used that massive hedge fund to artificially suppress interest rates and foster some serious asset inflation. The Fed was not alone in this [...]

Fed Adds $705 Million Agency MBS With Un-Unwind

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind was MIA again this week as agency MBS increased with latest System Open Market Account Account Holdings report. SOMA January 24 holdings reflected a magical $705 million INCREASE in agency mortgage-backed securities. This is rather strange behavior indeed for what was advertised as a balance sheet "unwind". It's looking more like the un-unwind, at least for the past two weeks. Much like the crony capitalist elite dining in Davos, the fine purveyors of bogus economic theory inhabiting the halls of the Marriner Eccles building are probably a tad bit [...]

Balance Sheet Unwind Hits Reverse As Interest Paid To Banks Soars

True to form, the Federal Reserve is taking a rather cautious approach to their balance sheet unwind with this week's System Open Market Account (SOMA) report showing an INCREASE of a $million in the Fed's bloated account holdings. So much for unwinding!  If you were wondering how equity markets could be marching to new highs every week in the face of tepid organic economic growth, you have your answer. Today's inflation numbers show that the Federal Reserve still can't seem to generate any inflation in the economy, with core inflation rising only 1.8% year-over-year. Home [...]

Another Fed “Senior Economist” Demonstrates Willful Ignorance

The Federal Reserve and its army of economists continue to demonstrate willful ignorance of their failed policies. This week it was the Kansas City Fed's Jordan Rappaport who penned another dose of misdirection on the housing market. Rappaport's piece, "Pent-Up Demand and Continuing Price Increases: The Outlook for Housing in 2018" is yet another example of how the Federal Reserve touts itself as a champion of real economy while they continue toe the line for Wall Street and wealthy investors. In the usual captured culture of Fed Mr. Rappaport lays out the theme of continued [...]