In the Press

/In the Press

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 [...]

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 [...]

Shadow Bank Lending, Rising Debt To Income Ratios Fueling Denton County Home Price Growth

Shadow banks, or nonbanks as they are often called, continue to dominate the mortgage space in the real estate echo bubble. This is the case in Denton County Texas and all across the country. Since 2008 the share of mortgage originations by nonbanks has more than doubled, rising from 24% in 2008 to 54% in 0217. The share of mortgages issued by traditional large banks continue to decline. As home prices rose throughout Denton County, the quality of the mortgages originated during this boom began deteriorating. Last year the deterioration in mortgage quality was pronounced. [...]

Zillow Offers Coming To Dallas, Company Losses Widen

Zillow Offers are reportedly coming to the Dallas market sometime in 2019. The internet giant/real estate portal will reportedly be expanding its Zillow Offers iBuyer program to sellers in the DFW market sometime this year. Zillow's version of the cash offer buy-your-home-at-a-discount service is already operational in several markets including Phoenix, Vegas, Atlanta, Denver and Charlotte. Zillow reportedly has some lofty plans for their iBuyer program according to their latest investor presentation and earnings release. After posting a full-year loss of more than $119 million for 2018, Zillow founder, Rich Barton, is returning as CEO [...]

NAR: Existing Home Sales At 3-Year Low In January

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales for January posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.94 million. This was 1.2 percent lower than the December reading, and 8.5 percent lower than the same time a year ago. The median price of a resale home sold in January was $247,500 while the average price of a U.S. resale property sold in January was $286,800. With the modest rise in prices, January saw the 83rd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The inventory of existing homes in the U.S. rose 4.6 [...]

Caveman Powell Looking To Levitate Stock, Housing Bubbles

Yesterday the Federal Reserve yelped like a whipped puppy as Jerome Powell turned into the latest iteration of his market-dependent Bernanke/Yellen/Greenspan predecessors. If you remember, Mr. Powell was here in the DFW area back in November playing up the fabulous state of the U.S economy and the Fed's wonderful policies. At the time expectations were that the Fed would be raising the Federal Funds rate four more times this year with a balance sheet reduction schedule that was supposedly on "autopilot" to the tune of $50 billion per month rolling off. Flash forward one quarter [...]

D.R. Horton New Home Orders Miss Expectations With Average Prices At 5-Year Low

Arlington-based D.R. Horton posted some mixed fiscal first quarter results today with the DFW homebuilder missing profit and sales order expectations. D.R. saw rising sales and revenue for the quarter, but even with a huge tax expense reduction and 4.1 million shares repurchased by the company, things didn't quite work out as well as the company might have anticipated. D.R. Horton closed 7 percent more homes in the latest quarter, 11,500, but net sales orders for the period ending in December rose only 3 percent to 11042 homes. That D.R. Horton was able to achieve [...]

NAR: Existing Home Sales Dropped 10.3% In December

Yesterday the National Association of Realtors told us existing home sales in the U.S. were down 10.3 percent compared to the same time a year ago. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, blamed the rise in mortgage rates. "The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring." Yun is correct to a point, but still missing the bigger [...]

Dallas Fort Worth Employment Growth Still Solid, For Now

Dallas-Fort Worth employment numbers show that the DFW economy was still on solid footing in December. While local job growth has been slowing a bit, the economy has been rather resilient. Texas posted annual employment growth for 104 consecutive months in December 2018. The state unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent. Unemployment in Texas was near record lows for a third consecutive month as we ended the year, and unemployment in the DFW area was lower than the state average at only 3.3 percent. With the recent slowdown in the economy, it will be interesting [...]

False Narratives About The Housing Market Refuse To Die

False narratives about the U.S. housing market refuse to die. Mainstream media and real estate industry shills continue to deflect attention from the complex, but at the same time rather simple reasons behind the lack of housing affordability. Politico author, Lorraine Woellert, offers us a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the U.S. housing market, including the mainstream media reporting on it. I hadn't come across this piece previously, but having  now read it, there are a number of red flags that are worth calling out. Woellert seems appropriately concerned that only wealthy [...]