Exisiting Home Sales Pop

Very strong existing home sales reported this morning — the immediate reaction was for yields to tick up, and equities to head south. I assume the strength led traders to conclude the Fed has more work to do.

I read the data as rather mixed. Inventory rose 5.2% in to a 5.3 months
supply, of 3.03 million, near an all-time record (3.04 million in 1986). Median prices were up 10.6%
year-over-year to $209,000.

And that chart at right shows that this may just be a bounce off of low levels; Very often, sales get put off for a variety of reasons, and we may be seeing the prior 3 months unfinsished business getting put to bed — hence, the bounce.

As much as I mock the retailers for their weather dependent excuses, nice weather does bring out the home shoppers, and we have had a much warmer-than-usual
winter — especially January (those sales may not show up til February).

Here’s the specifics via the WSJ:

The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing
single-family homes and condomiums rose by 5.2% in February to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 6.91 million units. Singe-family home sales rose 4.7%,
while sales of condominiums and co-ops jumped 8.8%.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate
for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.25% in February, up from
6.15% in January; the rate was 5.63% in February 2005.

The national median existing-home price was $209,000 in February,
up 10.6 % from $189,000 a year ago. The median is a the price where half of the
homes on the market sold for more and half sold for less.

I think the working assumption in the pits and on the floor may be "so much for One and Done."

Existing-Home Sales Rose By 5.2% in Latest Month
WALL STREET JOURNAL, March 23, 2006 10:17 a.m.

Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Real Estate

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Category: Technology, Weblogs

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Category: Weblogs

The Music of the Market

Lately, I have been noticing that many economists, analysts and strategists have been having some sly fun by naming their research after songs.

My own contributions to the space have been the past two commentaries: Bad Moon Arising, and Been Down So Long (It looks like up to me).

But I also noticed that John Roque’s past two comment’s were titled BRIC House, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T. AndMorgan Stanley asked: Will the Real Slim Saving Rate Please Stand Up?

Most of these players came of age during the Golden Age of Rock-N-Roll (Disco era aside) in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I’m bettting that most of this crew (present company included) are in their 30s or 40s.

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Category: Economy, Financial Press, Investing, Markets, Psychology