In the Press

/In the Press

Toll Brothers Stock Trips On Higher Cancellation Rate

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers reported fiscal second quarter results today, and Mr. Market was not amused. Toll Brothers net income declined for the latest quarter as did income from operations. Income from operations fell from 10.1 percent of revenues last year to 8.4 percent of revenues in Q2 2018. Perhaps more concerning was the jump in Toll's cancellation rate, rising from 3.5 percent last year to 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018. While the absolute percentage may seem small, this is actually a significant development when you consider that Toll can be extremely [...]

Denton TX Mortgage Rates Highest In 7 Years

Denton TX mortgage rates reached their highest levels in 7 years according to the latest weekly survey data from Freddie Mac. With Denton area home prices at record levels home sales activity and prices could soon be affected. As I have detailed in previous posts, you can already see this happening in many of the more expensive DFW submarkets. It is rather ironic that the Fed's latest Quarterly Report On Household Debt and Credit shows that debt rose for a 15th consecutive quarter with the latest increase fueled by mortgages and student loans. The real [...]

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 [...]

Dallas Morning News Circulation Decline Might Reflect Quality Of Content

The circulation decline at the Dallas Morning News during the last few years might have something to do with the quality of the content. This is just the opinion of your humble blogger. According to Statista, the circulation of the DMN dropped in each of last three years for both daily and Sunday papers. Circulation of Dallas' largest paper still edges out the Houston Chronicle, but that's not saying much. While the number of readers of both papers is significantly higher, it appears fewer people are paying for the old print newspaper. Looking a the [...]

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 [...]

DC’s Fiscal Lunacy, Fed’s Unwind Creating Waves For Housing Market

The fiscal lunacy in Washington and the Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind are creating waves for the housing market. 2018 was starting off on the right foot with a noticeable, yet moderate rise in bond yields. As we received more concrete evidence that the Federal Reserve was actually unwinding some of that gigantic balance sheet, volatility erupted pretty quickly. After a 12oo point plunge in the Dow, some savvy mortgage borrowers probably took advantage of the temporary fear in the market to score a decent mortgage rate. It was a small window of opportunity, because [...]

Fed Unwinds $21 Billion, Markets Puke On Higher Yields

The Federal Reserve System Open Market Account Holdings (SOMA) report for January 31st finally revealed the balance sheet unwind in action. Since the Fed announced their balance sheet unwind last year, the actual process had been proceeding at a snails pace, particularly with the mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The MBS instruments can take 2-3 months to roll off, so the MBS unwind has been virtually invisible until this week. With a $21 billion drawdown in the latest week, including over $10 billion in agency MBS unwind, it becomes increasingly clear why the markets were puking all [...]

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 [...]

Dallas TX Employment Growth Sputters In December But Finishes Year Higher

Dallas TX employment growth sputtered in December with the non-adjusted numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission showing a gain of 2000 jobs for DFW in December. That's a far cry from the strong numbers seen in November, but the yearly gains were still respectable. Over the 12 month period the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA added 91,700 jobs. Dallas Fort Worth is still running hotter than the Houston region, with CPI numbers that are almost twice as strong (3.2% vs 1.7%). The official (massaged) unemployment rate in Dallas stood at 3.6% in December. Houston posted an unemployment [...]