Posts filed under “Data Analysis”

Housing is Falling Much Faster than Reported

Real Estate Consultant John Burns has looked at the housing data and reached a rather interesting conclusion: "The housing market has softened much more than is being reported.

Given all the negative news coverage, that’s almost hard to believe. But John does a good job dissecting the data, and he is now concerned  that both the publicly disseminated New and Existing Home Sales information is misleading. Even worse, he fears, is that  policy makers are relying on this bad data to conclude that the housing market correction has not been too severe.

Regular Big Picture readers should recognize some of John’s conclusions.

Here are his top concerns:

Closing Data: Sales have actually fallen 22% year-over-year, based on comparing trailing 12 month periods. If you
compare year over year sales, the decline is even more severe.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Data:  MBA Seasonally
Adjusted Purchase Application Index is down 18% from
its peak in September 2005.

Builder Data: D.R.
Horton and Lennar have reported that orders have declined 27% to 37%,
year-over-year — even as they have dropped prices
significantly. These are the nation’s two largest homebuilders.

Realogy Corporation Data: In 2006, there was a year-over-year decline of 18% in brokerage related transactions at Realogy owned firms (Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA)

2005-2006 National Association of
State Data: The NAR is showing some very sharp year-over-year corrections: Florida down 28%;  California down 24%;  Arizona off  28%. However, the NAR data may actually be understating the falloff. John’s data the more likely actual sales decrease to be closer to 34%, 27% and 38%, respectively. Prior to 2005, John’s data tracked very closely with the NAR, so this deviation is worth further investigation.

The entire piece, and all of its sourcing, is well worth a read.


Housing is Falling Much Faster than Reported   
John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC)

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

Inflation Errors (Part II)

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Psychology

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation

CPI & Retail Sales

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Energy, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Markets

Commerce Retail Sales Data: Beware Gas Inflation

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Economy, Energy, Retail

More on NFP: More Recognition of Disbelief

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Psychology

NFP: 88k (and I don’t believe even that)

The Payroll numbers are out, and they are not particularly pretty:

88,000 new jobs were created in April, according to BLS. This is the weakest job gain since November ’04. Cumulative revisions for prior months were to the downside by 26,000.

As expected, losses were in Manufacturing (19k), Retail (26k) and Construction (11k). The  weakness in Construction has been very uted, implying that the full impact of the housing slow down has yet to be fully realized.

Biggest gains were had in Services (116k), Education and Health (53k), Gov’t (25k) Professional (24k) and Leisure/Hospitality (22k).    

Temporary help jobs fell for a 3rd month (January was flat) making 4 consecutive months of no gains. Temp help tends to lead employment gains, and this weakness can be read as a future forecastor of employment.

We don’t pay close attention to the Household survey, (the self reported number is very volatile) but the drop of -468k was an eyebrow raiser.


Birth Death Adjustment:  A whopping 317k B/D adjustment — that is the single largest "adjustment" on record for any single given month. And despite that giant add, the number was a very soft 88k.

To put this into some context, of those 317k new jobs hypothesized by BLS, 49k of those supposed jobs are in construction. Now what are the odds of that?

While Wall Street celebrates the upcoming recession, let me remind you that this economy requires about 150k new monthly jobs to merely keeep up with population growth.

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Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

NFP: The Return of the Over?

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

Auto Sales Reveal the Slow Motion Slowdown Continues

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Economy

GDP Ex Housing

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Real Estate