"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

The Required Disclosures

The information presented in this blog and its individual articles is provided for informational use only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer for a particular security. The contents reflect the views and opinions of the individual writer as of the date the article was written and do not necessarily represent the views of the individual writer on the current date. They also do not in any way, shape, or form represent the views of the Firm Never-To-Be-Named. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and The Great Redoubt and its individual writers disclaim any responsibility to update such views. These views should not be relied on as investment advice, and because investment decisions for any security are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any contributor to The Great Redoubt. Neither The Great Redoubt nor any individual author can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered. Please consult your tax or financial advisor for additional information concerning your specific situation.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Existing Home Sales

North Korea hasn't managed to start shelling any islands off the coast of the United States but, based on how the markets are reacting, they may as well have. Fortunately, North Korea's actions today don't really have any impact on home sales in the US from last month. Unfortunately, even if the numbers are good, nobody will really care.

Existing home sales are exciting for the markets. They mean loans are being taken out. They mean the housing market isn't totally dead yet. They mean big ticked durable goods orders (really, has anyone ever really liked the appliances the house comes with?). They mean sales at hardware stores. They mean a thousand little trickle-down impacts on GDP that join together like the rushing of mighty waters to drive the economic engines of our nation and propel our GDP to undreamed-of heights [1].

Unless the numbers are bad. Then sad broker is sad.

Now, I think I've said it a dozen times already this week {2], but in September there were 4,530,000 existing homes sold (a 10.0% increase from August's sales). The smart guys in the expensive suits who look at this sort of thing are expecting only 4,500,000 sales for October. Are they right?

Well, no. Sad broker is sad.

The official information is on the website of the National Association of Realtors, at http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2010/11/october_retreat. In a nutshell, we hit only 4,430,000 existing home sales (a 2.2% decline from September).

So, not as good as expected. Not as bad as 200 artillery shells landing near your home, but still not great.

[1] Which, historically speaking, results in an unsustainable housing bubble that bursts and destroys the world economy. But who wants to learn from history?
[2] Three times actually. Counting this one. But who's counting.

No comments:

Post a Comment