Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Housing Numbers or False Optimism

Its becoming annoying how bad the media is at analyzing economic data, almost to the point of ignorance. Either the financial media is stupid and ignorant or they just don't want to report bad news. The housing data that came out today showing new homes sales being up was not good news, to find out why, read the article linked to above. Here is a snippet from the TraderMark blog at SeekingAlpha:

"So the important question in a seasonal number is the year over year percentage change.

Sales of new homes were down 21% versus June 2008.
So despite the handouts and almost multi-generational lows in "cheap money" mortgages - including over half the country now in FHA loans (which many times require only 3.5% down) we still dropped 20%. Praise the green shoots.

What was disconcerting if you are a home builder (but not to worry, homebuilder stocks shot up at 10 AM) was the huge drop in month over month prices. Year over year was bad... but the drop between May and June was almost unheard of: 6%. Don't even try to annualize that.

The median sales price of $206,200, however, was down 12 percent from $234,300 a year earlier and down nearly 6 percent from $219,000 in May."

Scott Dauenhauer CFP, MSFP, AIF