Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 11:38 AM
It’s 48 hours of market report nirvana!
Home prices are falling. [shocking]
And prices during the spring market didn’t fall as much as the winter. [informative]
This is all very new and helpful. [sarcasm]
Here’s a recap
NAR’s existing home sales report was released yesterday. Interpretation not to be relied on based on past spin. Headlines don’t match content.
the widely followed Case Shiller Index (bad news version) (good news version) who has not been able to kick start the trading of housing derivatives. Excludes, co-ops, condos, most foreclosures and new development.
the GSE fueled OFHEO Home Price Index (good news version) (bad news version), issued by the agency that, ironically, was neutered by the GSEs during the housing boom for their mantra of creating “affordable housing.” Excludes new development and condos.
the Commerce Department’s new housing start stats, which has some of the wildest and widest margin of error ever thought possible. This does not factor in cancellations, which in some markets have been as high as 100%.
Here’s a thought. Mortgages are more expensive and less accessible than two years ago. Until that changes, I wouldn’t expect real, measured improvement. Improvement will come eventually. Let’s deal with the situation at hand rather than all the focus of calling the turnaround correctly.
What especially drives me crazy has been the viewpoint that things are getting better based on rising activity and/or prices in the spring in certain markets. It’s called “seasonality.”