Recent Housing Data: Charts & Analysis

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | 06:24 AM

It has long been our view that Real Estate is the prime driver of this economy, and its eventual cooling will be a major crimp in GDP, durable goods, and consumer spending. 

4 Charts from Northern Trust are worth looking at to show how far along that process actually is:

Median Home Sale Price
Mortgages Apps
New Home Inventory
Single Family Home Sales

Here's each chart with my annotations:

Median Home Sale Price:  Putting aside for the moment the issue of "median" (it gets skewed when too many high end or entry level houses are the dominant movers) the chart shows rapid decelleration of price gains. I expect to see more of this over the next few quarters, as Sellers and Buyers engage in a stare down, as Sellers continue to gradually lose pricing power.   


New Home Inventory:
What can you say about this? Builders have created huge inventory. Its no surprise that the enormo increase in Supply has impacted prices (Demand). On this 45 year chart, the recent rise (since 2003) is historic!


Single Family Home Sales:
The long uptrend in Sales has broken; I do not know how far it retraces, but I imagine it will continue to do so as mortgage rates tick higher or the economy cools (or both). 


Mortgages Apps: Another long uptrend broken; Same story as above:  Higher rates mean less sales and refinacing. The one mortgage bright spot I see is the refinancing of ARMs into fixed rate loans.    


All charts courtesy of Northern Trust


Housing Market Is Cooling Down, No Doubts About It
Asha Bangalore
Northern Trust, May 25, 2006

New Home Sales - Headline Is Deceptive, Momentum Is Weak
Asha Bangalore
Northern Trust, May 24, 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | 06:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (2) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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We're still not back to 2003 levels in terms of mortgage activity, and that's the leading indicator of the above. The draining of excess stimulus here has much further to go, just like other markets. I'll repeat my mantra: nothing matters but liquidity.

Posted by: ndk | May 31, 2006 10:16:23 AM

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