If It Walks, Looks and Quacks Like a Duck, It’s A Duck

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I have said in the past that I wish I were Diana Olick from CNBC.  She made herself a nice little career reporting on housing’s demise.  So it should be very interesting watching how she handles the role going forward.  On Tuesday the venerable reporter wrote that the data was unclear, “There is still too much noise in the numbers, however, to draw any firm conclusions yet.”  Really?, because the way I see it, the market has rebounded and things are on the way up.  Consider what David Blitzer, spokesman of S & P’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices had to say, “We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. The market may have finally turned around.”  Further still, foreclosure activity is down.  Distressed properties, as a percentage of the market, are, for most markets, in a free fall and available inventory in general is scant.  Lawrence Yun, economist for the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday, “All regions saw monthly increases in home-buying activity except for the West, which is now experiencing an acute inventory shortage.”  Acute shortage; geez that’s sounds like a market in rebounding to me.  Moreover, the pending sales data reported today also showed enormous strength in housing.  NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PSHI), which is a barometer of future closed sales activity, was up as much as 20% in some regions.  Yun went on to say, “We now have 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity”.  One wonders exactly what might cause Diana Olick to actually say what everyone else already knows, that we are in the midst of a staggering recovery in housing.  In fact, not only is housing on the mend, it is going to lead us out of our economic lethargy.  Why?  Home building.   According to Yun: “Expected gains in housing starts of 25 to 30 percent this year, and nearly 50 percent in 2013, are insufficient to meet the growing housing demand.”  Housing starts equal construction which equals jobs with a capital “J”.  It may not come in time to save the President’s job, but one can’t help but admit the policies that have come out of the White House and the Fed have kept rates at historic lows, and forced banks to deal with their own ineptitude, sufficient to get us into a full blown recovery.  Heck if the Fed hadn’t bailed out AIG and bought long term bonds and the President bailed out the Automobile Industry, we would likely be in a full blown depression, rather than on the precipice of a sustained recovery.  Yes there is little doubt that we are poised to really bust out and housing is going to lead the way.  You uh, hearing that Diana?

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