Spin Cycle

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Fed Says No Rate Hikes In 2019, Balance Sheet Drawdown Ending In September

The Jerome Powell cave is now a comical farce. Aside from using the word "patient" about 30 times in the March FOMC statement, Jerome Powell told us the Fed does not expect to hike interest rates at all in 2019. To top things off, the Fed balance sheet that was on autopilot at the end of last year will now end this September. In terms of the Fed's projections for the economy, growth was revised down and the unemployment rate was revised up slightly. "In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Hyper-Financialized DFW Housing Market Will Get Worse

The National Association of Realtors reported pending home sales for November slid 7.7 percent compared to a year ago. Of course the headline you probably saw in the media was the 0.7 percent drop compared to October's decline in contract signings. With the stock market poised to finish one of the worst Decembers in recent memory, you can rest assured the hyper-financialized Dallas-Fort Worth housing market is going to get worse before it fully recovers. Chief economist, Lawrence Yun, attempted to diffuse concerns about sliding sales numbers in November in NAR's latest press release, but [...]

Toll Brothers Net Orders Plunge 13 Percent In Q4

Shares of luxury home builder Toll Brothers fell out of bed today. Toll reported higher net income and higher revenue on a 12 percent increase in home closings for the quarter, but the market sniffed out what some people like myself were anticipating with Toll's latest quarter... a big drop in demand for expensive luxury homes. Toll was clearing out inventory with juicy incentives during the fourth quarter, but net signed contract value plunged 15 percent while net contract units (homes) fell 13 percent. Toll's orders for California nosedived 39 percent. Oops! “In November, we saw [...]

Powell Keeping Federal Reserve’s Waffle House Open For Business

Not more than two weeks after he was touting the strength of the U.S. economy and how we are in such a good place, Fed chairman Jerome Powell, tossed out a slightly dovish speech to the audience at the Economic Club of New York. The title of the event was the 'Federal Reserve's Framework for Monitoring Financial Stability'. They could just as easily called it sticking your finger up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. While tossing out the typical central banker sound bites, Powell continued the long standing Federal [...]

Jerome Powell Visits Dallas Fed – Global Perspectives In Oblivion

Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, visited the Dallas Federal Reserve yesterday to cap the Dallas bank's Global Perspectives series. Aside from pontificating about global economic perspectives, the meeting between Robert Kaplan and Jerome Powell was insightful for many reasons. Kaplan reminded the audience of Powell's policy experience which includes time as partner at private equity firm the Carlyle Group. Listening to a Goldman Sachs alum toss softball questions to a Carlyle alum is one way, I suppose, to placate a concerned public that the economy is still healthy and the Fed is on the ball, [...]

Beazer Homes Soars On Short Squeeze, Share Repurchase Plan

Beazer Homes shares soared roughly 30 percent in a single day after the Atlanta-based homebuilder reported fourth quarter and full fiscal year results on Tuesday. From the reaction of the stock yesterday, you would think Beazer had patented a new home construction process or something else miraculous. Obviously something was thrilling investors, because it wasn't demand for Beazer homes in the fourth quarter, which fell according to the company's press release. According to Beazer, unit orders during the fourth quarter fell 0.8 percent to 1305 homes. Beazer's homebuilding revenues rose 14 percent for the fourth [...]