Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Housing starts up 17% month-over-month, but...

Diana Olick explains why the details behind the headlines are not so good:
First of all, the biggest part of the gain was in multi-family, up 61.7 percent month to month, but that’s after falling 49 percent in April. Patrick Newport, an economist at HIS Global Insight, says the multi-family market is still in a “deep slump,” despite the monthly jump. ...

As for single family, ... 50 percent of sales in May were on spec. ... So why all the spec now? Because builders are trying to jam all these homes into buyers’ pockets before the expiration of the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit. It turns into a pumpkin November 30th.
She then enumerates the headwinds still facing the housing market:
The government and industry programs to ease foreclosures are not showing big successes. A lot of Alt-A borrowers are in big trouble and many won’t qualify for any of the bailout programs. With interest rates in the mid 5’s, refinancing isn’t going to do much of anything for many borrowers. There is no sign of abatement in delinquencies, and while investors are in there, using old-fashioned cash to eat up inventories of distressed properties, there are plenty more foreclosures in the pipeline just waiting to hit the market.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing that analysis from Diana Olick. Sometimes people need to read up more than just the headlines, I guess.