Morning Report: Luxury condo glut in Manhattan? 3/29/16

Markets are lower this morning on weaker commodity prices. Bonds and MBS are up small.

Pending Home Sales increased 3.5% MOM and are up 5.1% YOY. This is the best number in a year, and points to a strong Spring Selling Season. Lack of inventory remains a problem.

Janet Yellen will be speaking around noon EST today. Don’t expect her to break any new ground, but just be aware.

Inflation remains tough to find, but both BlackRock and PIMCO are calling for investors to add an inflation hedge, either by switching out of Treasuries into TIPS or by buying gold.

Barclay’s is calling the latest rally in commodity prices a dead cat bounce, and is calling for a steep decline as fast money exits en masse.

Home prices rose .52% month-over-month according to Case-Shiller. Prices are up 5.4% YOY. Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco reported the biggest gains. Again, tight inventory remains an issue, along with tight credit for the first time homebuyer.

Prices continue to defy gravity in New York City, however the demand for luxury condos is beginning to wane. 423 Park Avenue, now home of the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, has 141 apartments for sale and luxury buyers are beginning to fade as foreign money is hesitant. Yet Manhattan is dotted with cranes, largely building high-end condos.

Homebuilder Lennar reported better than expected earnings this morning. EPS is the highest third quarter number since 2006. Average selling prices increased 12% to $365,000 while new orders increased 10% in units and 15% in dollar volume.

26 Responses

  1. Like

  2. Worth a note

    “U.S. Says It Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

    By KATIE BENNER and ERIC LICHTBLAU
    MARCH 28, 2016 ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/technology/apple-iphone-fbi-justice-department-case.html?_r=0

    Like

  3. I almost hope Trump wins just to watch the returns come in on the PL.

    Like

  4. NYT Editorial does a good job of laying out how the administration has been lying about ground troops in Syria and Iraq.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/opinion/america-needs-frank-talk-on-isis.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    It’s either amusing or infuriating to see them try and spin an artillery unit as non-combat troops.

    http://www.stripes.com/news/a-look-at-newly-established-fire-base-bell-where-marine-was-killed-in-iraq-1.400352

    Like

    • How campaign promises (and the ideological base) has been served by politicrats since time immemorial. Minor, minor policy changes and major changes in how words are defined and how spin is employed. Or, as has oft been observed by ideologues of their opposing number: It’s Okay When They Do It.

      Like

  5. many of whom said they are grappling with how to explain Trump and his unusual foreign policy views to clients who have a lot riding on their relationship with the United States.

    Talk about a bubble and how Political Correctness distorts language and limits debate.

    This one may be the biggest whopper of the day,

    At least one lobbyist told The Hill that his firm is preparing to write off a Trump White House, should he win the presidency, to focus their advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/274621-lobbyists-grapple-with-trump-angst-overseas

    What’s funny is the obliviousness of the author and interviewee’s as to how this article helps Trump.

    Like

    • Trump should have this put on his campaign literature:

      “A Donald Trump presidency might offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fire the government of the United States.

      Whatever that means.”

      http://blog.dilbert.com/post/141605245101/whos-afraid-of-donald-trump

      Like

      • It’s like he’s reading my mind:

        If you are sure you know how a Trump presidency would play out, ask yourself how often you have been right about this sort of thing in the past. Humans are notoriously terrible at predicting the future. Consider the fact that almost no human can pick stocks that will outperform the index no matter how much information is available. That should give you some humility.

        Some of you are not aware that financial advice is mostly a scam. Experts can’t pick winning stocks any better than a monkey with a dart board. I learned that fact when I got my B.A. in economics. I learned it a second time when I got my MBA at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. And I learned it a third time when I ignored everything I learned in school and tried to pick stocks.

        I have no idea what a Trump presidency would play out like, or what would happen. I’ve got some ideas of what probably wouldn’t happen—i.e., a wall, mass deportations—and an idea that his Muslim ban would end up being a ban of immigrants and/or travelers from specific countries, something not unlike Carter’s ban during the Iran hostage crisis. I think there’s a 50/50 chance he’d nominate liberal SCOTUS justices or, and only a 3% chance he’d answer my prayer and nominate Garey Busey to the Supreme Court. But as far as really knowing what his presidency would be and accomplish or fail at? I don’t know. Neither does anybody else.

        Clinton is more predictable, but even then . . . world events, yada yada. Unfriendly congress. Who knows, really?

        It’s actually easier to predict the mob reaction to a Trump presidency. A small fraction will adore him, no matter what. Many more supporters will end up vaguely dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. His opponents will predict the end of the world, bellyache over how America is now an embarrassment on the world stage, how it proves to electorate is all a bunch of idiots and maybe it’s time to abandon democracy for something that lets only smart people like them pick our leaders, etc. But I think it’s actually a lot easier to predict in general terms the shape of the mob response to a Trump presidency than it is anything Trump will do as president, especially considering his history gives every indication that he is a non-ideological actor, capricious, and temperamental.

        Like

    • “At least one lobbyist told The Hill that his firm is preparing to write off a Trump White House, should he win the presidency, to focus their advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill”

      that lobbyist is an idiot.

      Like

  6. I’ve been thinking about whole brouhaha in North Carolina over the transgender-in-public-bathrooms/locker rooms nonsense. Doesn’t the whole issue go away if, rather than labeling restrooms “Men/Women” or “Male/Female”, they are simply labelled “Penis/Vagina”?

    On what grounds might a man who thinks he is a woman, but has not yet been surgically transformed, sue over being disallowed from using the “Vagina” bathroom? It obviously isn’t “gender” discrimination because, by his own logic, gender is not defined by one’s reproductive organs.

    Like

    • Penis/Vagina is certainly worth a try. Let’s print up some tasteful signs and offer them, at a reasonable fee, to public accommodations of our choosing. The explanation should be a great selling point.

      Actually, I see no reason other than market rejection that would keep your idea from avoiding this Major Issue of Our Times.

      Tasteful, Picasso or Matisse like imagery might work better for your higher class of facility.

      Like

      • Mark:

        Actually, I see no reason other than market rejection that would keep your idea from avoiding this Major Issue of Our Times.

        It is amazing, isn’t it, that this has become a Major Issue of Our Time? A huge array of businesses have come in to object to North Carolina’s new law, despite the fact that it has literally no impact on the businesses whatsoever.

        Like

        • Virtue signaling to keep LGBT-MOUSE off their back. Businesses hate protests and trannies attract cameras while, say, pro-lifers do not.

          Whataya gonna do?

          Like

        • McWing:

          Virtue signaling to keep LGBT-MOUSE off their back.

          It is definitely virtue-signalling. But I think places like Google and Apple are trying to advance a political agenda, not simply spare themselves possible hassles.

          It is kind of ironic to me that the left always rails about the effect of corporate money and power on politics, but in fact the most visible instances of corporations effecting politics by throwing their weight around have been in the service of left-wing social causes.

          Like

        • @ScottC: “It is kind of ironic to me that the left always rails about the effect of corporate money and power on politics, but in fact the most visible instances of corporations effecting politics by throwing their weight around have been in the service of left-wing social causes.”

          I think this is unquestionably true. What folks like the Koch Brothers do is stroke their own vanity by enriching the media by funneling money into SuperPACs that then funnel money into ClearChannel (or whatever it is now) and CNN and Fox News and the Big Three networks. I think it’s pretty demonstrable that the money doesn’t buy elections (it may help with GoTV or redistricting campaigns, but that would be about it).

          I think it occasionally corporate money has gotten what it wants despite the left’s desires, but usually resisting things, like ClintonCare. Which was a very successful strategy for the insurance industry, as it assured that when ObamaCare was crafted it would be friendly towards the insurance industry, if of limited benefit to doctors and patients.

          For the most part, all that corporations that “throw their weight around” for right wing causes get is boycotted. So most of them are conspicuously apolitical.

          And, as always, It’s OK When Our Side Does It!

          I think it’s pretty much unquestionable that enlightened tech companies are advancing a generally liberal agenda. But it’s okay, because of justice.

          Like

    • agreed. but would label it
      Tab A
      Slot B

      Like

    • I wonder how they’d feel about bathrooms labeled “Assigned Male Gender at Birth” and “Assigned Female Gender at Birth”. It would be discriminatory, but it also embraces gender fluidity. That would be a tough call.

      Like

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