My favorite economic press release is just out: The Case Shiller/S&P Housing report:
`New York, March 31, 2015 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for January 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. However, monthly data reveal slowing increases and seasonal weakness.
Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw year-over-year increases in January compared to December. The 10-City Composite gained 4.4% year-over-year, up from 4.3% in December. The 20-City Composite gained 4.6% year-over-year, compared to a 4.4% increase in December. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.5% annual gain in January 2015 versus a 4.6% increase in December 2014.
Denver and Miami reported the highest year-over-year gains, as prices increased by 8.4% and 8.3%, respectively, over the last 12 months. Fourteen cities reported higher price increases in the year ended January 2015 over the year ended December 2014. Chicago led the way with a reported increase of 2.5%, up 11 basis points from December. Six cities reported declines, with San Francisco leading the declining annual returns with a reported rate of 7.9%, down from 9.4% annually.
The National index declined for the fifth consecutive month in January, reporting a -0.1% change for the month. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites reported virtually flat month-over-month changes. Of the nine cities that reported increases, Charlotte, Miami, and San Diego led all cities in January with increases of 0.7%. San Francisco reported the largest decrease of all 20 cities, with a month-over-month decrease of -0.9%. Seattle and Washington D.C. reported decreases of -0.5%. Unusually cold and wet weather may have weakened activity in some cities.
The housing market, as I see it, continues to be bounced around by competing factors that will take perhaps several years to resolve. On the one hand, we have social influencers (like the LBGT movement, highly mobile and not terribly reliable job prospects and coming robotics) that may be causing a lot of young people to miss some really fine deals in real estate and low rates.
The main thing to keep in mind is that over the past 100+ years, government has been watering down the purchasing power of money by right around 3.25% per year. Sometimes is shows up directly in short term inflation numbers, but when the economy is pulling in – it stays hidden.
The timing trick is to find an affordable house and live in it for a good long while – because the numbers so far have argued persuasively that when push comings to shove, government will inflate to keep people from rising up. For now, we await further declines in prospects because there’s no real economic driver to cause new hiring.
Off in the background, the corporatist global state continues making more and more decisions beyond government control and sliding them into things like the new Trans Pacific Partnership with 12 Asia nations. As the Washington Post pointed out, it won’t help consumers and it won’t help workers…to me it has the odor of another fat-cat deal. They didn’t call out the Obama posse but should have.
The hard reality of today’s world is that international business interests don’t give two cents about the lowering of the American standard of living, which is why Housing formation has slowed to a crawl.
The globalists would love to have it both ways (more growth and more trade) but outsourcing America isn’t that path. So realizing it’s a high US standard of living or locking in trade deals…we’re about to get hosed once again…and that will weigh on future housing decisions even more heavily.
Did we, or did we not call the Monday action in the market correctly?
Only another few days things should straighten out a bit.
Gold pundits are not making any more sense than usual, however. Here’s an article that says gold prices slipped because of talk of interest rate rises.
That’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Remember, I still have a list of Obama “promises” that is the current reining champion. Still, if rates were really going up, that would mean inflation is coming back. And, if inflation is coming back, the bond prices would have collapsed in a heap and the rates would be soaring on things like the 10-year note.
In fact, the 10-year note was up to a lousy 1.96% Monday so no, I ain’t buying the story about gold dropping on some theory that higher carrying costs are going to drive out the price manipulators.
We see this every month and my commodity guy – JB Slear over at www.fortwealth.com – has made something of a hobby out of watching for the end of month beat-down of the metals. Dealers drive prices into the cellar so they can make deliveries on the cheap.
If you want another End of Quarter number to watch, see oil. Here the problem is the other way around: There was a big press to drive the prices up so that the end of month chart will not show that the floor has cracked and oil is still going to the basement – around the $30 level – because we are done with it all.
April Fools Still Talking
We can hardly wait to see what kind of sell-out of principles accompanies the Iran deal when it comes. Lots of ink on last minute talks, but Iran is snookering everyone, anxious to be the first Shi’ites to build and use a bomb.
My bet is still on the table that Obama will turn out to be history’s greatest April Fool/Lord Chamberpot hybrid.
And yes, Iran is still insisting they will not give up their enriched uranium.
An odd gap may be seen between gun control laws for regular sized humans and larger gun control for crazy regimes. But, I suppose you noticed that gap, too.
From our News Analyst fellow up near Winnipeg:
Dear Mr. Ure,
Here is a report from the BBC filed under the technology section which outlines events surrounding an errant email pertaining to the G20 meeting in Australia last year. The article does not explain how the Guardian knew to file a freedom of information request.
It’s a state in America where the media is presently feasting on the Indiana version of religious freedom laws. There’s a thoughtful article in Slate about what it all means.
If you don’t have time to read it, just remember, not everything goes better with Koch.
My question is: If religion is already protected under federal law, why are the states wasting their time “double booking” laws if they really just promote what’s on the books?
The answer is simple: There’s an agenda here and we’re suspicious of all agendas.
No YAB-YACs Dept.
Oh, sure, we can’t keep the royalty from buying office, but here’s how we’re being overruled:
Swing state polls are hinting that we’re not alone in our outrage against Hillary Clinton for destroying emails. If we can’t trust her out of office, why would we trust here in?
And Jeb Bush has sided with the Indiana law on “religious freedom.”
Given who has been promoting this in multiple states, we simply follow the money trail and QUICK! Look surprised!
Nano-needles come to medicine.