Morning Report: New home sales rise 8/24/16

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2186.0 1.0
Eurostoxx Index 345.6 2.0
Oil (WTI) 46.8 -1.7
US dollar index 85.8 0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.55%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.3
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.2
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.5

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat as well.

Bonds have been in a tight trading range over the past couple of weeks. On Friday, Janet Yellen will speak in Jackson Hole.

Existing home sales dropped 3% YOY in July as tight inventory remains an issue. The median home price increased 5.3% YOY to 244k. Unsold inventory is at 4.7 months, an uptick from June. The first time homebuyer accounted for 32% of sales compared to 28% last year. Appraisal-related issues are increasing as demand is overwhelming the already reduced supply of appraisers.

New home sales increased over 12% in July to a 654,000 annual rate. The median home price fell 5.1% month-over-month to $294,600. The median home price is down about half a percent YOY. Softness in the luxury space might be driving this as well as a move to focus more on starter homes. Supply is still tight at about 4.3 month’s worth so you can’t say it is a glut. Regardless of what is going on in pricing, the number is an encouraging sign for the economy.

You aren’t seeing softness in pricing at Toll Brothers. Their ASPs rose 16% in the third quarter YOY. Toll has been emphasizing luxury urban condo construction, which may explain part of the huge increase. Revenues increased 24% and net income rose 54%. Yet what are they doing with their capital? Buying back stock, to the tune of $97 million worth in the third quarter. If business is that good, why?

Mortgage Applications fell 2.1% last week as purchases fell .3% and refis fell 3%.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.2% MOM and is up 5.6% YOY. Home prices rose in every state except for Vermont. The Pacific Northwest and mountain states had the highest price appreciation, while the Northeast and Mid Atlantic continue to bring up the rear. In fact, the worst MSA was the Stamford-Bridgeport MSA which saw prices decline 3%. The FHFA index only looks at houses with a conforming mortgage, so it excludes jumbos and cash sales.

McMansions are not holding their resale value the way they used to. This may help explain the drop in the median sales price for new homes. The premiums are lower for new houses.

There is an old saying that if you spend some time on a website and can’t figure out what the product is, you are the product. This is especially true with Facebook. Ever wonder how facebook classifies you politically? You can find out here. This determines the political ads you see.

42 Responses

  1. NY Times endorses nullification:

    “A federal judge’s ruling on the Department of Education’s guidance for transgender students shouldn’t prevent schools from adhering to them.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/opinion/more-attacks-on-transgender-rights.html

    Like

    • “A federal judge’s ruling on the Department of Education’s guidance for transgender students shouldn’t prevent schools from adhering to them.”

      – voluntarily.

      Judge enjoined federal government from retaliating against school districts that did not adopt the federal policy.

      Like

    • “Just days after the federal Department of Education in May issued sensible antidiscrimination guidelines for accommodating transgender students, Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, set out to challenge them.”

      I realize it’s an editorial but “sensible” should be struck from the above. Leading the witness. It’s an editorial, not an advertisement. Let the reader conclude that they are sensible on their own, or not. Adding “sensible” does nothing to help the argument, IMHO. That’s just common sense and is totally obvious, and everybody agrees.

      Like

  2. Didn’t know about Peabody Coal:

    “An activist who gave between $100,00 and $250,000 wanted to set up a meeting between Clinton and an executive at Peabody Coal. “Huma, I need your help now to intervene please,” she wrote. “We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request.””

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/tracking-the-clinton-controversies-from-whitewater-to-benghazi/396182/

    And I had forgotten that Abedin was being paid separately by the consulting company that the Clinton Foundation official Brand was running on the side while working at the State Department.

    Like

    • It’s all kosher. Why do you hate people who want to help poor people? It’s because they are helping brown people that all you fascists think the Clinton Foundations and it’s many sub-charities and partners and ancillary projects are somehow “suspicious”! 😉

      Like

  3. Ever wonder how facebook classifies you politically? You can find out here.

    Now, this is funny. The only political thing I’ve ever posted on FB is clicking on the inevitable “I Voted!” link on election day. But FB–despite also noting my military and veteran status–has me pegged as Very Liberal.

    Ha!

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    • they had me as moderate…probably because I click on right and left pages…

      Like

    • It has me as a moderate too. Probably because I try to avoid clicking on any political pages.

      Like

    • You think it’s just looking what you do on Facebook, you are sadly mistaken. If you’re logged in on your phone or computer and going to websites that allow Facebook tracking (and many do) then it’s using that, too. Do you purchase books on Amazon, and do they reflect “very liberal” thinking overall? Then that’s where it gets its classification.

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    • Also, has me as a moderate. I do a fair amount of FB some weeks, and will generally like stuff from very liberal and very conservative folks, including both liberal or conservative memes, if I think they are clever. They’ve been pushing “independent voter” and “no labels” and other moderate stuff on me as well, as well as libertarian stuff. Very little conservative or liberal stuff (from Facebook itself, although some of both). About equal amounts of conservative and liberal memes posted by friends seem to get through, although I’m wondering if it pays attention to what I like at all. I don’t ever like “conservatives are Nazis” or “Trump is a Nazi” or things with quasi-misogynist or racist stuff in ’em. Seem to be seeing a little less but may just not be spending enough time on Facebook.

      Only folks so far who have actually advertised things to me that I’ve ended up buying. So far, the only “customized ad” serving that was smart enough to realize if I saw an Encom t-shirt, I would have to buy it. Which I did. Also bought a limited edition, soon-to-be-printed (I hope) T-shirt featuring the first level of Donkey Kong. Couldn’t resist. Shows me a lot of other t-shirts I have to bite my knuckles to resist.

      Has Amazon ever managed that? No, it has not. Even the stuff Amazon pushes on me in Facebook is based mostly on my Amazon browsing history (fun to see stuff I looked at on my computer without Facebook up or anything suddenly popping in as ads on my Facebook feed, because Facebook is everywhere). Facebook is the first, and so far my only, experience in targeted smart-advertising that’s actually exposed me to something, which I then bought, where that transaction would have never happened in any other way.

      Like

      • What’s funny is that I never, ever, ever click on the ads/links on FB, nor have I ever bought anything there. I “like” my friends’ hikes and baby pictures, but don’t usually say anything about news/politics posts at all (while my friends are mainly liberal, my family is mainly VERY conservative; since my purpose on FB is mostly to keep up with what my nieces and nephews are doing, I don’t try to rock the boat). I didn’t know about the Amazon link, but my Amazon algorithm has got to be crazy, because I often bundle orders of stuff for me with stuff for either friends or work (creatine powder and textbooks on neuroscience).

        Maybe they saw my repeated requests for a rainbow-farting bunny on PL or something. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Honesty can be refreshing:

    “”Because fck you, that’s why.”

    This is not an answer that an ambitious pol should give to the question of why said pol has not had a formal press conference in 263 days, but I guarantee you that it’s the answer most of the pols I’ve ever met wanted to give.”

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a47977/hillary-clinton-press-conference/

    Like

  5. Close second to least convincing spin after “Colin Powell made me do it”

    ““Why did no one care that Bob Dole was majority leader and his wife ran the Red Cross?” said Carville”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/hillary-clinton-trump-email-strategy-227347

    Well maybe because they didn’t rename it the Bob & Elizabeth Dole Foundation and start paying their political staff out of it.

    Like

  6. Worth a read:

    “Should Chevron be reconsidered? A federal judge thinks so.
    By Jonathan H. Adler
    August 24 at 3:11 PM”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/08/24/should-chevron-be-reconsidered-a-federal-judge-thinks-so

    Like

  7. Gary Johnson supports a carbon tax as a “free market” solution to man-made climate change.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/22/gary-johnson-backs-co2-fee-to-fight-global-warming/

    What a weird election year. i can’t even waste my vote on the Libertarian candidate in good conscience.

    Like

    • he is still the best option…purity versus electability

      Like

      • Brent:

        he is still the best option

        Between HRC and the Donald, sure. But given that there is no chance for Johnson to actually get elected, he could do far more by advocating on behalf of true small government libertarianism, than by pandering for progressive votes that aren’t going to matter in the end anyway.

        Like

        • It’s becoming increasingly obvious that dude has not quit smoking dope. Once again, we’re at a binary choice.

          Like

        • what is more important? building the brand or preaching to the choir?

          Like

        • Brent:

          what is more important? building the brand or preaching to the choir?

          Unskeptical faith in AGW, increases in taxation, and disdain for religious freedom have all been branded already by the D’s. If you are Coke, you don’t try to build your brand by marketing yourself as Pepsi. Bring back Libertarian Classic, as far as I am concerned.

          It seems to me that in the era of Trump, disaffected R voters, not traditional D voters, would be a pretty obvious constituency for the L’s to look to to build its brand. I, for one, was seriously considering voting L for the first time in my life, but I’d rather not vote for Prez at all than cast a libertarian protest vote for someone who either a) has no understanding of what makes libertarianism attractive in the first place (no, GJ, it isn’t the legal dope) or b) would rather make himself look more attractive to big government liberals than small government conservatives.

          Like

        • This Robert Tracinski piece pretty much reflects exactly my situation and my thoughts about Johnson and the L party.

          http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/19/if-libertarians-want-to-be-relevant-maybe-they-should-focus-on-promoting-liberty/

          Liked by 1 person

    • If you accept the premise that it’s a problem that requires government intervention in the first place, it’s probably a better proposal than direct regulation of light bulbs and washing machines.

      Like

      • yeah, you end up with the public utility model where every rate case is a negotiation with regulators who use the increase as leverage to impose their pet projects…

        Like

      • jnc:

        If you accept the premise that it’s a problem that requires government intervention in the first place, it’s probably a better proposal than direct regulation of light bulbs and washing machines.

        Perhaps, but if you accept the premise that government intervention is required, you’ve already ruled out “free market” solutions by definition. (BTW, has anyone asked Johnson about light bulbs and washing machines to confirm he doesn’t toe the pc liberal line on those, too? At this point nothing would surprise me.)

        Like

  8. It’s funny to hear Hillary and the press declare Trump moar uniquely unqualified for POTUS than, say, Gokdwater, Nixon, Reagan, Bush (1), Dole (ok, I’ll give you that one), Bush (II), McCain and Romney. The Strange New Respect for these Republicans is fascinating.

    Like

    • Trump is a stand out, admittedly, but there are only two states for former Republican presidents:

      1: awful, and the new Republican is just more of the same or worse.
      2: not bad, many redeeming qualities, but this new guy is a Nazi!

      This is a generally a media, politician and pundit approach. Individual true-believers STILL hate Reagan, Nixon and Dubya as much as they always did. Although they still all love McCain, just so long as he isn’t running for president and Sarah Palin isn’t around.

      So much cognitive dissonance around Nixon, a president more liberal than Obama or Bill Clinton, that True Believers bend like pretzels in explaining why despite a few “good” (i.e., liberal) thinks happening during the Nixon admin, he was mostly a racist conservative and, really, OSHA, the EPA, COLAs, the expanded healthcare the Nixon admin pushed . . . all that stuff was really some Democrats somewhere that made it happened, and Nixon just went along because he had no choice.

      Like

    • I think they feel better when they just embrace Nixon as one of their own, and the exemplar of the last time Republicans still had some human decency and care about clean water and air and old people. Only pundits and campaigners wax poetic about Reagan as compared to Trump, because their playing in influence game, trying to say (not inaccurately) that: you like Reagan? We like Reagan. But Trump is no Reagan! Did you like Goldwater? Goldwater was fine! But Trump is no Goldwater. You like McCain? We like McCain. But Trump made fun of him and denigrated his service!

      They don’t like Reagan or Goldwater or McCain any more than they ever did. But they’ve got their eyes on the prize.

      Like

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