Morning Report: Housing starts disappoint 10/19/16

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2137.5 4.0
Eurostoxx Index 343.1 0.6
Oil (WTI) 51.1 0.8
US dollar index 88.0 0.0
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.76%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.3
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.2
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.57

Stocks are up this morning as earnings reports continue to pile in. Bonds and MBS are flat.

Mortgage Applications rose 0.6% last week as purchases rose 3% and refis fell 1%.

Housing starts fell to a 1.05 million pace in September, driven by a big drop in multi-fam. Single fam was up around 8%. Building Permits rose to 1.23 million. Housing continues to be the biggest underperformer in the economy, but the subject hasn’t really come up in this election, for either side.

We have some Fed-speak today, with John Williams speaking at 8:45, Rob Kaplan at 1:30 and William Dudley tonight.

The final debate is tonight, and it looks like Hillary is pulling away from Trump at this point. The black swan event for the markets is a Democratic Party sweep, which will probably cause the stock market to spit up a hairball.

Lending standards in the jumbo space are loosening, even as the luxury end of the housing market underperforms. Loan Depot is now offering 40 year jumbo products that are interest-only for the first 10 years. Redwood is now offering a 90 LTV product that goes down to a 660 FICO.

The NAR is releasing its latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Here are the big changes over the past 35 years.

  • The first time homebuyer is a smaller percentage than it has been in the past.
  • The internet is not replacing the real estate agent
  • Houses have been getting bigger of the past 30 years, but have leveled out in recent years
  • Down payments have been going down
  • The home search process is taking longer than ever due to tight inventory

Zillow has their own report on trends in housing. Here is the executive summary (the report is very long and detailed):

“The home buying experience is both an intimidating financial transaction and an emotional milestone. Half of home buyers in the U.S. are under 36, meaning a new generation— Millennials—is shaping the future of real estate. Despite demographic reports about young adults’ urban lifestyles, Millennials share their parents’ aspirations for a single-family home, often in the suburbs.

The process of finding or selling a home is much more collaborative for Millennials than for older generations. They bring all available tools to the process, including their smartphones, social media and online networks. While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, Millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.

Millennial home buyers are also diverse. While only 9 percent of all homeowners are Hispanic, nearly 15 percent of the Millennials buying homes are Hispanic—reflecting the changing demographics of the American middle class.

Homeownership remains a vehicle for wealth in the U.S., but it can also be a financial burden, as families stretch their finances to afford the space they need, and large, dated homes owned by Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation demand maintenance and improvements.”

27 Responses

  1. I’m grabbing this post by the Frist. Because when you’re famous they just let you.


    • jnc:

      Congrats Democrats. You just gave Trump credibility.

      Just because Trump is awful doesn’t mean he isn’t right about what is going on.


      • Reminds me a lot of Nixon. Nixon was always going to beat McGovern. There was never any reason for Watergate. There’s no reason to be trying to benefit HRC with election fraud (which can almost never be done on a scale to turn the tide). Yet here we are.


    • sound “blame the messenger” klaxon


      • Best thing about HRC’s campaign is how low the bar has now been set on ethics & corruption.

        Nixon is the new normal.


        • jnc:

          Best thing about HRC’s campaign is how low the bar has now been set on ethics & corruption.

          I don’t think the depth of HRC’s corruption will have any impact at all on the standard to which non-D’s will be held by either the D’s themselves or the media at large. It is a mistake to think that just because someone on the left has been able to do or say something without blowback, similar treatment must be afforded to others in the future.


        • Nixon was totally different, and way worse, because he was a dude, and a Republican.


        • “It is a mistake to think that just because someone on the left has been able to do or say something without blowback, similar treatment must be afforded to others in the future.”

          Because that’s ultimately not the narrative. The narrative is fluid, and is already one in which Hillary has done nothing, all the investigations prove she is as pure as the driven snow, etc. I’ve read more than a few articles that start with premise of Hillary Clinton being corrupt or a liar being absurd, and then give bits of her biography, laying out the case that she has only ever wanted to help people. And everything else you’ve ever heard about her are lies, by Republicans, that hate her for daring to try and help people. And for being a woman.


        • I guess the best thing is that the myth of “good honest progressive government” has been destroyed.


    • I am sure the left is going to call this a hate crime…


  2. Orgasmic.

    “Mr. Smiley, do you believe that given the crisis state of our democracy, we black folk could ever find ourselves enslaved again?”
    Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming. Neither did the mostly white audience. A quiet fell over the room. I swallowed hard.
    Looking directly at the student, I could see he was dead serious, and I wanted to treat his question with the soberness it deserved. But, truthfully, I stumbled as I began to respond, not knowing how to properly frame my response.
    My answer? Yes.


    • Hysteria, not just for Trump voters.


    • At first, the answer seems ludicrous. Then, as I think about it, it seems more credible, although future slavery will not have anything directly to do with skin color. Rather, I suspect it will be much like asset forfeiture, where crimes and made-up crimes become a reason to seize both assets and labor. The debtor-prisoner could be compelled to labor to “pay of his debts”, whatever they are, and the debts structured so the debts could never be paid off.

      I’m not saying that will happen. But I can see it as a possibility.

      Old-fashioned slavery making a comeback, and called slavery, because Donald Trump is evil? That’s just stupid. Who makes money in that scenario?


    • “Equality means that everyone gets the same in America, whether they need it or not. Equity says we commit to ensuring that all fellow citizens have the basic resources that will give them commensurate opportunities to contribute meaningfully to our society.”



      • “Equality means that everyone gets the same in America, whether they need it or not.”

        What? How is that a definition of equality? Who defines what is a desirable same? What if your same isn’t the same as my same?”

        “Equity says we commit to ensuring that all fellow citizens have the basic resources that will give them commensurate opportunities to contribute meaningfully to our society.”

        Eh, I’m all for it. Someone’s got to pay for it, though. And I’m broke, so it’s not going to be me.


      • “Equality means that everyone gets the same in America, whether they need it or not.”

        Tax all income for everyone at 40% and put everyone on food stamps and housing assistance and whatever.

        Someone should run the numbers.

        We need an irony font.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If Hillary wants to increase SS taxes, doesn’t that amount to a tax hike on those under $250k?

    SS caps out at, what $127k?


    • If Hillary wants to increase SS taxes, doesn’t that amount to a tax hike on those under $250k?

      SS caps out at, what $127k?



      Both of them refused to address Wallace’s question as to whether they would accept, in a grand bargain, some reduction in SS related bennies.

      Wallace was the best of the moderators, IMHO.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, I did not watch one minute of the debate last night, but apparently the media is all aflutter this morning because of Trump’s answer to the question of whether he will “accept” the result of the election. I get that, as a tactical matter, Trump’s answer may have been idiotic. But as a matter of substance I have to wonder…what does this question even mean? Why is it even being asked?

    What would it mean to “not accept” the election results? Do people think Trump has a secret army in training somewhere, ready to storm DC and prevent Hillary from taking the oath of office? I mean, seriously, who gives a rat’s ass if Trump decides he doesn’t “accept” the election results?

    Lots and lots of people didn’t “accept” the election results in 2000. Indeed, a consortium of high profile media outlets themselves were so “unaccepting” of the results in that election that they spent the next year and all kinds of resources trying to uncover what the “real” result was.

    So let’s say that November 9th rolls around, Trump has lost by a record margin, and he announces that he doesn’t “accept” the election results. And then….what exactly? What is the concern?


    • this late in the game they are still aghast that Trump isn’t following their rules. R candidates are supposed to look down at their base and lose gracefully.


    • I seem to recall all of these people hitting their fainting couches over this were screaming “selected, not elected” not too long ago..


      • Yes, but that’s different.

        This was brought home to me (and is, repeatedly) any time 1992 and Perot is discussed, vs 2000 and Nader. I have no trouble acknowledging that Nader hurt Gore and probably cost him the election in 2000. As most on the left also grant. And he did it with 5% of the vote.

        But that’s entirely different than the 19% of the vote Perot got, which had no effect on the outcome, according to these same people. It’s obvious that Clinton would have won no matter what, and Perot is just a footnote. It’s absurd on the face of it, given Perot’s platform, his clear targeting of the Republican candidate for 85% of his animus and advertising, and the state-by-state results, among other things. In essence, Perot evenly drew from Democrats and Republicans, everybody knows this, so had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of election, while Nader only drew from people who would have totally voted for Gore otherwise and so threw the election to Bush. ‘

        But it’s not about the facts on the ground, is about desired outcomes, and that’s what shapes the narrative in these cases. If Gore had been selected, not elected, rather than Bush, the argument on the left would have been that the system worked and justice was done and the rightful person became president, because it’s not the mechanism or the numbers that they really objected to, it was the result.

        I had a dude tell me, in all seriousness, that the reason that Nader—polling between 5% and 8%—was asked by every reporter about how he would feel if he cost Gore the election, how he would feel if he woke up with Bush as president, and why didn’t he get out of the race to prevent that awful outcome from happening—was because everybody knew that Nader would draw only from Democrats, so it was a logical question. The reason Perot *never* got those questions, polling anywhere from 15% to 25%—was because everyone knew on election day that he would draw evenly from Democrats and Republicans, so would have no effect on the final outcome of elections.

        This was seriously his position, and he believed it 100%.


        • I voted for Perot both times. Would have voted GHB in ’92 and I believe Perot cost TX for Bush. Big Ears was controversial, but generally a hero in TX. But I have read that his “giant sucking sound” criticism of NAFTA cost Clinton OH. KW, you keep up with this – has there been a study of which states Perot affected and how? My guess is that he hurt Bush more than Clinton, but it is just my guess. The other theory out there that is a guess is that he split the anti-incumbent vote away from WJC.

          In ’96 I was going to vote for WJC but heard a lecture on how either Dole or WJC would be impeached because they were accepting such large illegal donations from foreign powers. So I voted Perot again. And Clinton was impeached. And the bipartisan Election Commission made both campaigns pay back the illegal contributions by giving them to charity.


        • Most analysis conclude that Perot did not cost Bush the election, and I see where they are coming from, and I could concede the point but I’d still argue that hindsight is 20/20 . . . the problem with Naders 5% versus Perot’s 19%, even if Perot had no effect on the final outcome, could not have been known with certainty before the election. The expectation was because of Perot’s appeal and focus, he’d impact conservative independents, Reagan Democrats, and the like, and thus hurt Bush more than Clinton . . . so, no reason for the media to beg him to get out of the race or question him on whether or not he’d be able to live himself if he threw the election to Clinton.

          One example, concluding (quite reasonably) that Perot did not affect the election:

          Search on the topic, and you’ll find an interest raft of source attacking the absurd idea that Perot might have thrown the election to Clinton: WaPo, MSNBC, Slate, Salon.

          A long discussion about it here:

          Again, the conclusion is Clinton takes it without Perot. I am not so sure, and disagree with the retconning of Perot as a purely anti-establishment candidate who attacked Washington, and did not “gang up with Clinton on Bush”. My recollection of 1992 was that Perot devoted a great deal of energy to attacking Bush.

          I did a state-by-state analysis once for electoral votes, and determined to my satisfaction that a 50/50 split of Perot’s votes, sometimes even a 60/40, could have thrown the state to Bush, making it likely (in my mind) that Bush would have won without Perot. Certainly, it’s well within the realm of possibility that Bush would have won the electoral count while running neck-and-neck or even losing the popular vote.

          I would note that most analysis doesn’t look at the downticket voting, largely because of redistricting. But even as Clinton won in 1992, the Democrats lost 9 seats in the house. And zero seats changed in the senate. While I won’t argue it’s a guarantee that sans Perot and his-now-memory-holed targeting of Bush threw the election to Clinton, I think the possibility is at least as real as it was with Nader, and was ahead of the actual 1992 election.

          At the same time, I would also argue that it’s much harder for an incumbent president to hold on to the presidency when his party has been in power for 12 years. Same reason why Republicans have a very good chance of defeating Hillary in 2020. Thus, even sans Perot, a Bush victory was by no means assured.


      • Brent:

        I seem to recall all of these people hitting their fainting couches over this were screaming “selected, not elected” not too long ago..

        Me too.


    • “What is the concern?”

      Because Trump’s base is naturally stupid and violent and racist, there will be hate crime and race riots and (because so many are gun owners) a terrible escalation of gun violence. And also our Democracy with be destabilized, because something-something-rednecks-Putin.


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: