There aren’t any housing specific reports this week, but stick around a couple weeks to hear how housing continues on the road to recovery. How exactly is the question?
Bloomberg Macro indicators have fallen to seven month lows as the S&P 500 sets record highs. That hasn’t happened since 2007. Macro declines, market goes up. Must be a coincidence it mirrors 2007 trend lines.
How is housing tied to the stock market? It’s not, the stock market is a casino playing with markers printed by Bernanke. The record highs aren’t indicative of an economy staggering below 3% GDP growth for the longest stretch since 1929. Say wasn’t the stock market near record highs in 1929 also? Coincidence or canary in the mine?
The only economic report this week regarding housing was home renovation spending which has fallen back to 2010 levels. Not good.
Interest rates continue to fall to new record lows making mortgage money the cheapest since the 1950s. Equity lines of credit are cheap.Does the drop in renovation spending indicate satisfied demand?
The great American hunker down is underway. Once the vast majority renovate their homes, refinance their home, or those fortunate enough to qualify to purchase have bought a home, and are all hunkered down, what will happen to demand for housing?
There is a rapidly growing number of part time workers with no choice but to rent. Mike Shedlock reports Obamacare continues to impact the labor market with part time jobs up 441,000 while there were 148,000 fewer full time jobs in April. That will translate into demand for more multi-family construction. Obamacare will result in generations of renters.
Single family home construction will stagnate or decline, currently about half of what is considered healthy. Add EPA and OSHA mandates increasing the cost to build with the suppression of full time labor and it is little wonder the homeownership rate is at 65%, the lowest since 1995.
Manufacturing the only bright spot during Obama’s first term has reversed course as demand for American exports declines. Europe a major market for U.S. goods is living the results following decades of socialism.
Europe is broke. Most have been forced to implement austerity programs because they cannot borrow, unemployment is now at record levels above 11% (Greek youth unemployment hit 62% in April) forcing down their purchases of American imports.
This does not bode well for maintaining, let alone increasing demand for housing. The U.S. government implementing European style laws in health and finance, growing the welfare state at a record pace, increasing debt to record levels, has resulted in the worst labor market in four decades.
Although it was good news that initial claims for unemployment this week fell to 323,000, a five year low, doesn’t mean companies are hiring more people. In fact many companies report they have driven their earnings by cutting costs in the underperforming Obama economy. The biggest cost is employees.
It’s wasn’t all bad news this week. We can take heart. President Obama is embarking on an American jobs and opportunity tour.
Oh yes, I’m excited too. We all have witnessed what happens to jobs when Obama pivots to jobs.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of Fritz Pfister or identified sources, and not necessarily those of RE/MAX Professionals of Springfield or RE/MAX International.