Morning Report: Housing starts improve 11/17/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2584.5 -0.5
Eurostoxx Index 384.3 -0.6
Oil (WTI) 56.0 0.9
US dollar index 87.3 -0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.37%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 102.651
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 103.494
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.9

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

Housing starts came in just shy of 1.3 million, the highest print in a year. This is up 14% from last month, but down 3% from a year ago. Building Permits came in at 1.3 million as well. Both numbers were driven by a big jump in multi-family, while single-fam continues to gradually move higher. We are still below historical numbers: From the late 50s through 2002, starts averaged 1.5 million a year. When you factor in population growth, that average is way too low for today. We probably should be pushing 2MM a year in order to keep up with population growth and to fix the inventory problem.

The House passed tax reform yesterday, and now all eyes turn to the Senate, where the latest bill made it out of Committee and is scheduled for a vote after the Thanksgiving holiday. Then begins the hard work of reconciling the House and Senate versions. The Senate bill has some high profile opposition, which makes passage difficult. This is still a very fluid situation.

Donald Trump will nominate OMB Chairman Mick Mulvaney to be the interim head of the CFPB. Mulvaney is a reliable conservative, who has a healthy skepticism of government regulation. He is expected to name another Chairman or Committee to run it, while he maintains his focus on OMB. Names mooted for the role include George Mason University professor Todd Zwyicki and ex-Congressman Neugebauer.

A study concludes that homeownership doesn’t increase wealth as much as renting and investing the savings in the stock market. The critical part of the argument is investing the savings in the stock market. I haven’t read the study, but I wonder if they are using absolute house prices instead of what you actually put up. If the house appreciates 5% a year, and you only put down 20%, what is the best number for determining your return? The it amount of the house or the amount you actually put up? Is the proper return 5% / 100% or is it 5% / 20% (or 25%)?

28 Responses

  1. Lulz

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Joe Biden sells it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good observation by Andrew Sullivan onthe Bill Clinton reevaluations:

    “Three weeks later, Broaddrick attended a small fundraiser for the Clintons. She said she was too ashamed to grapple with what happened, and felt guilty for letting Clinton meet her in her hotel room in the first place — classic patterns of a sexual victim. A friend of hers had picked up the Clintons at the airport and Hillary Clinton had asked her friend if Broaddrick would be at the event. Broaddrick recounted that, at the fundraiser, Hillary sought her out, took her hand and said, “I just want you to know how much Bill and I appreciate what you do for him.” When Broaddrick removed her hand, Clinton held on to it, looked her right in the face, and reiterated: “Do you understand? Everything that you do.” Broaddrick had no doubt in her mind what Hillary was conveying to her. She was thanking her for staying silent.

    I believe Broaddrick on this part of the story as well. Goldberg, tellingly, doesn’t. As soon as Broaddrick’s story starts to impose on today’s tribal loyalties, and possibly impugn Hillary, it loses credibility. Suddenly, Broaddrick’s account is “wildly unlikely.” Broaddrick was obviously misreading Hillary’s remark, Goldberg speculates. “Most reporting about the Clinton marriage shows Bill going to great lengths to hide his betrayals.” On the question of Bill Clinton’s decades-long history of sexual abuse, Goldberg implies, Hillary Clinton had absolutely no idea what was going on.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-danger-of-knowing-youre-on-the-right-side-of-history.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep:

    “Many men will absorb the lessons of late 2017 to be not about the threat they’ve posed to women but about the threat that women pose to them. So there will be more — perhaps unconscious — hesitancy about hiring women, less eagerness to invite them to lunch, or send them on work trips with men; men will be warier of mentoring women.”

    https://www.thecut.com/2017/11/rebecca-traister-on-the-post-weinstein-reckoning.html

    Like

  5. Good read for those who haven’t seen it, linked from the most recent David Brooks column. Probably the best challenge to libertarianism that I’ve seen.

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/10/taking-the-long-way

    Like

  6. “Suddenly, my worldview, which had been informed by officials . . . started to fall apart,” she said. “Suddenly, I was seeing that this group that I was told really had no ties, with no connection . . . was in fact being micromanaged by al Qaeda central.”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/new-york-times-reporter-obama-administration-misled-on-al-qaeda/article/2010541

    I never doubted Ben Rhodes.

    All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/05/05/white-house-official-on-some-reporters-overseas-expertise-they-literally-know-nothing/?utm_term=.ed9eccf7996b

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, sweet Jesus. The blue-on-blue action is HAWT!

    But it seems that doesn’t apply when women of colour accuse white men she’s friends with.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/11/18/lena-dunham-believe-victims-except-one-accused-friend/

    Like

  8. Now that the sexual assault claims are piling up, it is time for left wing Twitter to get the vapors over Mike Pence….

    Like

  9. Who gives a fuck?

    Why did we ever pay for it to begin with?

    Like

  10. Yeah, Trudeau should think of Mexico first.

    “He should open his eyes because sometimes what I get from him is that he will protect Canada even by sacrificing Mexico,” Fox said of Trudeau.

    Imagine, putting your own country’s priority’s first.

    “Trump, he says America (is) great! We will make America great again and the rest of the world, f— you,” Fox said.

    Prediction, nothing changes.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/world/vicente-fox-to-trudeau-don-t-be-judas-on-nafta-1.3684799

    Like

  11. I am happy to report that I have outlived one more POS.

    Like

  12. Looks there’s another victim of sexual assault perpetrated by Al Franken.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/politics/al-franken-inappropriate-touch-2010/index.html

    Plus there’s a third who was stalked and harassed by this menace.

    Like

  13. Like

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