Morning Report – First time homebuyers lowest since 1987 11/4/14

Markets are lower this morning along with European stocks. Bonds and MBS are higher.

In economic data, construction spending fell .4% in September, and August was revised upward to -.5%. Private residential construction fell and is up slightly on a year-over-year basis.

The ISM Manufacturing Survey came in at a very strong 59, as the manufacturing recovery continues. The ISM New York Survey fell by a lot, however, as did factory orders. IBD / TIPP Economic Optimism ticked up, however. Remember consumer sentiment surveys are influence by gas prices.

Oil is getting slammed as the Saudi Aramco cut the price of oil to the US in order to better compete with US domestic production. Lower oil and gas prices can provide a much-needed shot in the arm to domestic consumption. It could save the holiday shopping season for the retailers.

Today is election day, and pretty much everyone agrees Republicans will take the Senate. What does that mean legislatively? I think the big legislative priorities for Republicans are corporate tax reform, the Keystone pipeline, and fixing Dodd-Frank (read: rein in the CFPB). Corporate tax reform will hinge on revenue-neutrality. Obama will want to cut rates and close loopholes on a revenue-enhancing basis. Republicans don’t want to raise corporate taxes, so they will insist on revenue-neutrality. This may be too large an ideological bridge to cross. On the second issue, Keystone, lower oil prices are rendering that issue moot. Finally, there may be some possibilities on the CFPB, as the right wants to see it subject to some sort of accountability, and the affordable-housing advocates on the left are getting sick and tired of tight credit. Again, can Obama cross the ideological bridge that will subject him to scorn from the Elizabeth Warrens of the world?

The first time homebuyer is still MIA, and that is still the biggest issue facing the housing market. In fact the share of home purchases to first-timers is the lowest since 1987 when the stock market crashed. Only 33% of buyers purchased their first home this year, down from 38% a year ago. Blame a lousy job market and tight credit. The highlights of NAR’s survey can be found here.

38 Responses

  1. Frist!

    How’s the second day pain? Seems like that one was always the worst. . .


  2. Blame a lousy job market and tight credit.

    Do you think that it could also be that, after so many years of not being able to get a loan, younger buyers have come to see advantages in renting?


  3. Still hurt, but not as bad as yesterday. I walked around a bit yesterday (took my father in law on a guided personal tour of the USS Intrepid in NYC), which helped.

    I think the value proposition is heavily skewed in favor of buying, with rates so low right now. I think the issue is still a lousy job market and student loan debt.

    Historically, lenders would look at a young borrower with student loan debt and a good job and make the assumption that their salary would increase enough in a year or two to allow them to make the mortgage payment. The QM laws pretty much make that a difficult loan to make, as lenders take it a non-QM a “get out of jail free” card if the borrower ends up defaulting.

    Until we see a test case, lenders will be cautious.


    • I think the issue is still a lousy job market and student loan debt.

      Thank you.

      I learn more here of substance from you every morning.

      As I feared, my time in Westchester was taken up with emptying a truly full house. I did get to have brunch with my cousin at Orem’s Diner in Wilton on US7 on Sunday. My only respite.


      • Mark:

        I did get to have brunch with my cousin at Orem’s Diner in Wilton on US7 on Sunday.

        You probably took the Merritt, which means you passed within 200 yards of my house.


        • Scott – one of these days when I am up in Westchester visiting family I will have some time for myself. When that happens, I’ll take the Merritt exit closest to you and come visit. Either I will warn you or my social secretary, ‘Goose, will call in a timely fashion.

          Brent, Orem’s had a good diner/cafe breakfast. While my default position is that is hard to screw up, both diners in Mamaroneck make rubber omelettes. I had come to think rubbery eggs were a Yankee style, but Orem’s proved that to be an unwarranted judgment.

          On another note, this is the heaviest turnout in an off year election I ever saw. The decision to put all the non-POTUS votes on one ballot: school board, community college board, bonds, constitutional amendments,city council, county commissioners, and state races, rather than splitting them up as we used to do, seems correct now.


        • Mark:

          Definitely stop by.

          On another note, this is the heaviest turnout in an off year election I ever saw.

          What’s the over/under on Wendy Davis’ losing margin?


        • Over-under is for Vegas – I don’t think she gets 42%.


        • Davis is at about 39%. Big slip from Bill White in 2010.


        • Mark:

          Davis is at about 39%.

          I always thought she was little more than a media creation. She got attention for wearing pink sneakers, not for being a substantive politician. If she was an R she probably would have been mocked as a lightweight just like Palin.


  4. And here I took out a couple of sentences about the job market and student loan debt; see, I have learned something from you!

    Glad to hear about the pain level; remember: rest, eat, rest, eat, rest, eat! And vote for your local Libertarian. . .


  5. I voted for the ones they had…

    I suspect a conservative in oh-so-blue NY is basically as conservative as a southern conservative democrat.


    • Elise Stefanik is likely to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress today. If you’ve never heard of her, it’s probably because she is a Republican. It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of the NYT covers the story if/when she wins.


  6. Thanks, Mark. How was Orem’s? I live about 15 minutes away from there and never tried it.


  7. I live about 15 minutes away from there

    you passed within 200 yards of my house.

    You guys need me to be your social secretary or something! 🙂


  8. Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS 57m57 minutes ago
    I just voted without ID. I claimed to be the guy who’d registered in my name and recited his date of birth. And they BOUGHT IT.


  9. well, the polling is around 20. i think you set it at 25.


  10. Hey, NoVA–guess what I just found out? Over here on the better side of the state line we can buy alcohol on election day!


  11. Your NIH “diversity” grant got mentioned at NRO

    I’ll just bet it did!


  12. NoVA, that’s in Virginia?


  13. I had no idea that the ABC was closed on election day. weird.


  14. NoVA, based on my non-scientific Facebook feed and going to the polls, the only people having problems with the photo ID requirement are young to middle aged white male progressives who are refusing to show ID to try and make some sort of point.

    The best was a Facebook post from one who said that if his old voter ID card wasn’t good enough then he wasn’t going to bother to vote (even though he has a drivers license). I haven’t seen self marginalization like that since OWS decided it was going to be a leaderless movement that would refuse to participate in the electoral process because that would be legitimizing the “system”.


  15. that’s their privilege showing. I was surprised to see LP signs at my polling place. and and LP candidate for the House seat.


  16. I think i might have gotten banned at the PL


  17. I had no idea that the ABC was closed on election day. weird.

    They were in UT, also. Darn Republicans!

    I think i might have gotten banned at the PL

    I can see you over there. . .


  18. @jnc:

    Almost all Ds, but one L. No, I have not crossed over to the Dark Side, despite what NoVA claims.


  19. well, i guess i wasn’t banned. too bad. i must double my efforts.


  20. i must double my efforts

    He says as he twirls his mustache and disappears in a flash of flame and a puff of smoke


  21. Quote of the day:

    “Politics: Horrible people competing for the power to use state violence to make other people to do things that they wouldn’t do voluntarily.

    – Radley Balko 9:51 PM – 4 Nov 2014”


  22. Never would have picked MD governor to go R.


    • Illinois and Mass, too. I guess Mass isn’t as big a shock. The fact that the governor’s race is so close in my own CT is also a bit of a shock. From what I read, though, it sounds like Foley won’t pull it off.


  23. Coakley is just the worst. you’d think that after she lost to Brown, that would have been proof enough.


  24. I’ve been in CO since the 25th of October and didn’t even vote this year as it was an unexpected trip.

    Looks like CA still rocks though!

    It should be an interesting couple of years coming up in the Senate. R’s will probably over reach and then D’s will come back swinging in ’16.

    Enjoy your victories, the West Coast will still be habitable if any of you need a new home! 🙂

    @ Scott, I’ll send that mail I promised as soon as I get home, early next week if all goes well.


    • lms:

      the West Coast will still be habitable


      I’ll send that mail I promised as soon as I get home, early next week if all goes well.

      Great…really looking forward to it.


  25. “ScottC, on November 5, 2014 at 5:28 am said:

    I just took a peak at the VA race for the senate. Looks like the R’s would probably have had yet another seat if not for the Libertarian candidate.”‘

    We’ll see what the exit polling shows. That’s not how it polled in 2013.Hard to believe it’s been a year already since that one.


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