Morning Report: Home prices within 6% of peak levels 10/4/16

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2155.0 1.0
Eurostoxx Index 346.0 3.0
Oil (WTI) 48.9 0.1
US dollar index 86.4 -0.2
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.64%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.3
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.2
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.49

Stocks are up this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

Slow news day, with no economic data.

Economic confidence improved slightly in September, according to Gallup.

Former Minneapolis Fed Head Narayana Kochlerakota discusses why people feel like the economy is struggling. Per-capita GDP growth is coming in around the high single-digits over a period of 10 years. Historically, that number has been much higher. The US economy has had “lost decades” like this before (basically the 1950s and the 1970s), and growth eventually rebounded. Unsurprisingly, he calls for higher inflation, and further monetary and fiscal stimulus.


Interesting comparison between the peak of the housing bubble and labor today. In both situations, investors and employers aren’t seeing the ground shift underneath them. The piece also included a chart of housing supply over the past 16 years. Believe it or not, we still have more inventory than we did in the early bubble days, although I wonder how much of this supply consists of abandoned homes that are uninhabitable.


Home prices increased 6.2% YOY according to CoreLogic. This puts home prices at about 6% below the 2006 peak. Increasing prices combined with stagnant incomes is creating an affordability crisis.

50 Responses

  1. Brent – Why, if interest rates are lower than 2006 and prices are 6% lower than 2006 and salaries and wages are higher than 2006 is it crunch time?

    Is the answer that in 2006 there were give-away front-end ARM junk mortgages to unqualified borrowers? Or is the answer that I am comparing apples to oranges: the 6% is in adjusted dollars for inflation.



    • home price indices are not inflation-adjusted. I think the issue is more with starter homes. The builders really did not do much building at the lower price points since the MIllennials couldn’t find jobs and the high end was doing so well.

      So you have a shortage of starter homes, and that is causing affordability issues, along with student loan debt.


  2. I’m not sure if Donald Trump wants to win or not, but I’m pretty sure Omarosa wants him to lose:

    “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

    A: Omarosa clearly doesn’t understand the limitations of the power of the presidency. The expansion of presidential power beyond the founder’s intent aside, the office still isn’t that frickin’ powerful. The American President does not get to rule the universe, or make critics bow down before him.

    B: I just love how a non-conservative fake billionaire and his numerous non-conservative adjuncts are all spewing garbage that makes them into parodies of the dictatorial fascism liberals and Democrats argue the mildest form of Republican conservatism is.

    Hillary is obviously physically ill, and may have other “mental” issues as well (memory, requiring cues, something like Parkinson’s or early onset Alzhiemers or something else) and Trump and his inner circle all seem to have something like borderline personality disorder (or are straight up sociopaths). Yay!

    It’s like Alien Vs. Predator. No matter who wins, we lose!


    • While I do not always agree with Scott Adams, I find I love him more every day.

      “All things considered, I had a great week. I didn’t realize I was having enough impact to get on the Clinton enemies list. I don’t think I’m supposed to be happy about any of this, but that’s not how I’m wired.”

      “P.S. The one and only speaking gig I had on my calendar for the coming year cancelled yesterday because they decided to “go in a different direction.” I estimate my opportunity cost from speaking events alone to be around $1 million. That’s based on how the rate of offers went from several per month (for decades) to zero this year. Blogging about Trump is expensive.

      “But it is also a system, not a goal. I wrote a book about that.”


      • I went and reported the recent negative reviews of Scott Adams book on Amazon has troll spam, because justice. IF they are complaining about taxes and Donald Trump, two subjects not addressed in his book (I have read it) then that’s what they are.


    • jnc/mark:

      You may be interested in this one, if you haven’t seen it.

      The Obama administration is seeking to toss out a pair of high-profile healthcare lawsuits in which insurers claim they are owed millions of dollars under the Affordable Care Act.

      The two insurers, Moda Healthcare and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, have sued the federal government over a combined $338 million in ObamaCare payments they argue are overdue.


      Tim Jost, a health policy professor and long-time observer of the Affordable Care Act, said the federal government is now digging in on the merits of the cases for the first time.

      “It seems to me that HHS is clearly changing its position in these cases,” Jost said Monday. “The motions filed in both of these cases is a full-throated repudiation of any obligation [of the payments.”


      • Wow. That is a 180.

        And a major split between CMS and DoJ.


      • Thanks for that link, Scott.

        Perhaps they heard JNC’s complaint that they were not even yet joined on the issue but were trying to settle.

        The ACA was a first step toward a Swiss, not a Canadian single pay or Brit socialized, system. But to have a Swiss system requires enough care providers, regulation of insurance and delivery, and subsidies. Absent the subsidies, the system will collapse.

        For reference, see:

        My fear is that when ACA collapses because it is unsubsidized, and we fall back on the mixed system we had, that the clamor for single payer will get louder. I have always thought that going Swiss was our cheapest practical long term approach, given where we began.


    • i don’t believe for a second he wants to be first lady. or have Hillary be part of the President’s Club.


  3. Another reason to vote for Trump:

    “Donald Trump’s Dangerous Approach to Taxes
    A chief executive who says he’s smart to avoid paying his share could inspire a nation to evade the IRS.
    By Ray Fisman and Miriam Golden ”


    • Brook’s column was more or less identical… Guess the email went out of Progressive Central Command last night to push these talking points…


      • I think Brooks’ is a good order of magnitude greater on the stupidity and sanctimony scale.

        This one at least makes a comparison to Argentina and Greece whereas Brooks goes with his own make believe “lovely society”.

        But neither grapples with the fact that the contempt for taxes by various tax payers was caused by social engineers like themselves structuring the code to “nudge” people to do what they wanted and also to make sure that only the right people were paying taxes.

        Shared sacrifice & we are all in this together left the picture a while back.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not really. Probably the best ticket the libertarians have run at the Presidential level.

      Not his fault that Johnson has had multiple gaffes since then.

      Johnson’s made mistakes, but picking Weld wasn’t one of them.


      • Johnson’s made mistakes, but picking Weld wasn’t one of them.



      • Reading that article, I don’t see how Weld has helped advance Libertarianism.


        • Being anti-Trump and thus pushing back against the MSM argument that voting for Libertarians is the same as voting for Trump is valuable in terms of connecting with the younger voters.


        • jnc:

          Being anti-Trump and thus pushing back against the MSM argument that voting for Libertarians is the same as voting for Trump is valuable in terms of connecting with the younger voters.

          The MSM argument isn’t that Libertarians are pro-Trump. It is that the Libertarian ticket pulls more votes from HRC than from Trump, hence a vote for the Libertarians makes a Trump win more likely. And it seems to me that, by going exclusively anti-Trump, that is likely to actually substantiate the MSM argument. Who is more likely to find an exclusively anti-Trump message more attractive, young voters on the left who are disillusioned with HRC but really hate Trump, or young voters on the right who are disillusioned with Trump but really hate HRC?


      • jnc:

        Probably the best ticket the libertarians have run at the Presidential level.

        If by best you mean the most competitive/relevant, that is probably true. But in terms of libertarian ideology, it is probably the worst ticket they have ever run.


        • I think that winning with Johnson/Weld or similar candidates would do more to advance libertarian interests than losing with more pure candidates.

          Now, they aren’t likely to win in any event, but hitting certain thresholds does make it easier to get on the ballot in the next cycle which is the realistic goal here.


        • The key is accepting that you aren’t going to win regardless, so put the best articulaters of Libertarianism on the ticket, they were going to get a higher profile in this election so that would have been, in my opinion, the ideal. Putting Johnson and especially Weld on the ticket seemed incredibly naive and counter productive, like they thought they actually had a chance to win.

          Insert a “Now who’s being naive, Kay.” reference here.


        • Drafting Rand Paul, even if only for VP, would have been a good move. At least as high a profile as Johnson, and far more committed to and capable of articulating libertarian ideas that either Johnson or Weld.

          Maybe they tried, and Paul had no interest.


        • I thought of that but I’m guessing Rand would’ve lost his Senate seat and torpedoed any chance of a 2020 POTUS run.

          I would have picked that Alaskan dude who beat Murkowski and the Senate primary (but then lost to her in the general) he is young, vibrant and articulate.or Justin Amish.

          Actually, Amish would have been perfect.


        • What’s interesting to me is that for a long time I have been advocating for libertarians to try to advance their agenda from within the R party, rather than from without as a separate party, in much the same way that the Tea Party did. That is, by joining the R party, the L’s could force the R’s to adopt a libertarianesque agenda. Ironically it seems that the exact opposite has happened. Johnson and Weld have joined the L party and forced it to adopt a non-libertarianesque agenda.


        • that and pull enough voters were the Rs start to co-op policy.


        • Amish would have been good. House member are more expendable. don’t give up a Senate seat.


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