Posts filed under “Fixed Income/Interest Rates”
How bored am I waiting for the next Fed Statement?
To Pause or not to
Pause, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous commodity prices,
Or to take arms against a sea of rising yield troubles,
And by opposing inflationary trends, end them?
To halt: to stop
tightening; No more; and by a tightening to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks of incremental rate increases
That Treasuries are heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d by equity traders. To halt, to cease;
perchance to dream of the end of the rate cycle: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come of runaway inflation
and gold priced over $700 an ounce.
When we have shuffled
off this mortal coil *(and into the private sector),
This must give us pause: there’s the respect of bond ghouls,
That makes calamity of markets domestic and foreign;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of said ghouls verging on madness
The oppressor’s short selling, the proud man’s margin calls,
The pangs of despised Sarbox, the law’s delay,
The insolence of regulators and the spurn of taxes
That patient value investors merit of the unworthy day trader takes,
When he himself might his quietus FOMC make
With a bare bodkin? Who
would fade the bull and buy the bear?
To grunt and sweat under a trader’s life,
But that the dread of something after Spitzer,
The undiscover’d buy side from whose bourn
No broker returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those deficit ills we have
Than fly to slowing economic growth that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all in the wake of worsening inflation
And thus the native hue of resolution at FOMC meeting
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of the steeper yield curve and greater TIPS
And enterprises of great pith and Crude Oil
With this regard their
currents turn awry from the weaker dollar,
And lose the name of action. – Softer rates you now say!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons and increased demand for
Be all my sins remember’d.
To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1)
With my deepest apologies to William Shakespeare
Sales of existing homes surprised to the upside yesterday. But one data point does not make a trend. This is the first rise (sequential monthly change) after 5 straight months of falling Home Sales. And that’s before we examine the data.
Before you declare the end of the housing slow down, consider:
- Existing Home sales actually slipped vs. last year by -0.7%; The reported gain was over last month’s data;
- the Inventory of unsold homes soared 7 percent in March, hittting an all-time record; There are now 3.19 million existing homes for sale, or 5.5 months’ supply; That’s the largest inventory since July 1998
- Existing homes edged up 0.3% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
6.92 million units; (we know that seasonally adjusted data is not always accurate)
- Year over year, the Northeast and Midwest gained, while the previously hot housing markets in the South and the West slipped;
- median home prices are still rising, albeit nmore slowly — up 7.4% year over year, to $218,000.
Here’s a data point that has me scratching my head: Why are there different numbers for the year-over-year changes for seasonally and not seasonally adjusted? Was this March somehow in a different season than last year’s March? I am perplexed.
Note that data for existing home sales comes from National Association of Realtors, a group that is certainly an interested party; Of course, as a homeowner, investor, and someone with a public bearish tilt for the second half, I’m hardly objective myself (hey, I try). But this oddity — down -0.5% for the not seasonally adjusted year over year versus down -0.7% for the seasonally adjusted year over year — is beyond my comprehension.
So much for the hard data on existing sales; Today, we get New Home Sales. Recall our prior admonishments that monthly New Home Sales Data are unreliable; look instead to a moving average.
Let’s move onto some anecdotal evidence. A friend writes:
"Flop! Wow, KB running blue light specials in California. Not surprising,
Chico area was rated one of the most overvalued markets in the country. Houses
in the $200k space. When was the last time you saw that in California? "
Here’s the sales pitch:
"Oak Knoll Place in Live Oak is located in a beautiful
community near the majestic Sutter Buttes. With easy access to Highway 99, it is
ideally located for easy access to Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Reno and a wide
variety of recreational opportunities. Yuba City and Marysville are
approximately 10 minutes south, Chico is approximately 35 miles north and the
Gray Lodge Wildlife area is approximately 10 minutes west. Live Oak has a
quaint, small-town atmosphere with many nearby recreational water activities,
including the Feather River, Yuba River and Sacramento River. Prices starting
from the High $200′s."
I don’t know Live Oak, but houses like that in California are hard to imgaine . . .
More after the jump.
Existing-Home Sales Rise Again in March
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
WASHINGTON (April 25, 2006)
Existing Home Sales data
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS