Morning Report: Existing home sales fall YOY

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2779 40.1
Oil (WTI) 14.11 2.59
10 year government bond yield 0.60%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.43%


Stocks are higher this morning after the Senate passed a stimulus bill to increase aid to small business, and oil rallies. Bonds and MBS are down.


Existing home sales fell 8.5% month over month in March, but are still up modestly on a YOY basis. “Unfortunately, we knew home sales would wane in March due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise.” Pricing was strong, with the median home price up 8% YOY. Inventory is still tight, down 10% YOY and is about 3.4 months worth. First time homebuyers increased to 34% of all buyers and investors fell to 13%.


Meanwhile, some are fretting about another housing crash. When demand outstrips supply as much as it does right now, you generally don’t see crashes. Residential real estate bubbles like we saw from 2004-2006 are rare (like once or twice a century). The conditions required for one simply aren’t in place right now.


Mortgage applications fell 0.3% last week as purchases rose 2% and refis fell 1%. Meanwhile, house prices rose 0.7% MOM in February and were up 5.7% YOY, according to the FHFA House Price Index.


JP Morgan is preparing to bring back workers in phases, according to an internal memo. Meanwhile, New York State will re-open in phases, based on how many COVID-19 cases are out there.

19 Responses

  1. Presidential medical advice, Part 2:

    An analysis of covid-19 patients in American veterans’ hospitals splashed cold water on hopes for anti-malarial drugs. In the yet-to-be-peer-reviewed study, a cohort treated with hydroxychloroquine died at a greater rate than those not given the drug. Donald Trump has promoted it, in combination with antibiotics, as a possible lifesaver. His administration’s public-health agency however warned of deadly side effects.


    • Mark:

      Presidential medical advice, Part 2:

      So Doctors across the country have been prescribing it for Covid only because of Trump? Are you sure?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not only was I just having fun at the President’s expense, but the article itself is a bit misleading. It was neither a blind nor double blind study.

        I continue to think his medical advice, when it counters what his advisors say, is sadly laughable.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The point is that is that it is hardly his medical advice, Lots of doctors around the country are prescribing it. Is it laughable when they do?

          Liked by 1 person

        • No. The point is that this was one drug to be vetted among many but the President publicly boosted and hyped it to the point there was a shortage of it for its necessary use against lupus, as individuals, not medical people, rushed to take the President’s miracle cure.

          I think you know this and it is not like you to make excuses for this man’s hype. That is different than arguing for his political positions.


        • It cannot be obtained without an RX however, so whomever received scripts received them from scientists, right?


        • No. Fools bought pool cleaner. You know that.

          But yes, MDs were probably first among the inappropriate users and, of course, inappropriate prescribers. See

          Click to access board-of-pharmacy-covid-19-prescribing.pdf

          Note, for example, the Alabama Pharmacy Board’s language about the effect of presidential press conferences.


        • The one story of the fish tank cleaner drinking broad is VERY suspicious. Most likely a murder/suicide attempt by woman with serious mental health issues. As far as I know, that was the only “fool”.

          Doctors are trained scientists and from a demographic standpoint are much more likely to be Democratic supporters than mind-numbed Trumpbots. They’re also trained scientists who understand MOA’s and potential affects on virus patients. Again, why not defer to the judgement of scientists rather than Trump?


        • Mark:

          I think you know this and it is not like you to make excuses for this man’s hype.

          I’m not making any excuses for his hype. But nor do I enthusiastically hop on the Orangeman Bad bandwagon every time the media hypes something Trump says in an attempt to make him look bad.

          As McWing points out above, you can’t just go out and buy this stuff off the shelf. It’s being prescribed by doctors, for the most part in a hospital setting. So to believe this latest critique, you have to think that doctors across the nation who are treating covid patients are prescribing it simply because Trump touted it. Do you seriously think that, or is it perhaps more likely that Trump was touting it because doctors were already using it to some effect, and he heard about it?

          I thought you were off base when it appeared you were just mocking Trump as an incompetent doctor impersonator. But now you are going to try to blame him for a drug shortage? Seriously?


        • That is fantastic.

          Liked by 1 person

        • And it’s not entirely unreasonable advice, given that hydroxychloroquine decreases Th17-related cytokines, so thus might help with the “cytokine storm” effect. But kind of depends on the cytokines apparently.

          Once better solutions and information is available, however, that should definitely be used.

          This guy’s solution was apparently tocilizumab, however:

          Worth a read.

          The guy from Hawaii 5-0 credits hydroxychloriquine for curing him. 😉


        • That being said, I’d say never take medical advice from the government. President on down.


        • The governments answer to diabetic foot ulcers is amputation rather than antibiotics, so yeah, I agree with this statement.

          Liked by 1 person

        • No. Fools bought pool cleaner. You know that.

          In all fairness, anyone drinking fishtank cleaner can’t be blamed on Trump. He was boosting–however inappropriately–a prescription medicine with a long history in medical treatment. Not his role, not something he should be doing, not helpful to the medical community–sure.

          But people who extrapolate that such boosting means they need to start consuming (apparently without symptoms) something that is definitely not a medicine in unmanaged doses . . . that’s on them. Murder/suicide or whatever.

          Otherwise, you might recommend someone talk to a lawyer to deal with a problematic ex-spouse, and that person hires a hitman named Richard Lawler, and then comes back to you and said: Mark told me to talk to Lawler!

          That comparison may be tortured but still, inappropriate prescribing–if in fact the case, which I’m not sure it is–because of Trump is one thing, although I’d expect even then those doctors might have some reason of thinking it would be an effective treatment beyond Trump’s recommendation–is fairly on Trump. He pimped it, and people respond to what is in the public eye more than what is recommended by data.

          But extrapolating an endorsement of a prescribed medicine with specific dosing and the willy-nilly consumption of fishtank cleaner seems a bridge too far, to me.

          Which is not a defense of Trump, as I agree he shouldn’t be pimping stuff like hydroxychloriquine prematurely to the general public.

          Although I still suspect it, and other drugs that inhibit inflammatory immune responses, are well worth looking at.


  2. One interesting, but not conclusive fact here in CA, is that we now know that we had cases and at least one death up in Santa Clara County on Feb 7. I’ve maintained my suspicion that Walter had COVID-19 in February after we returned from our trip to SF from Jan 24 to 27. We flew in and out of Oakland, ate at 3 different restaurants, went wine tasting and went on an ice cream tour. About a week after we got home Walter was sick, fever, night sweats, lethargy, and a slight cough. He made an appointment at the doctor after about 6 days of being sick but woke up that morning feeling better and cancelled the appointment.

    I’m not counting on the possibility that he had it, and possibly me too, even though I really didn’t feel sick, but it would be nice to know. Hoping to get him the antibody test when it becomes widely available. Kasi said she and Warren will be on a plane heading to CA the day after we get those results.

    I’m sure other of you are looking at the science of this and I’m definitely not looking at the politics. Once again I don’t want it but maybe I already had it and didn’t even know. What that means at this point who knows?

    I continue to ignore the politics and try to rely on the science. I’m sure you might be too but I won’t trash Trump and likewise won’t trash the biased media. It’s getting more and more difficult to find and unbiased opinion and someone to trust!


    • lms:

      I continue to ignore the politics and try to rely on the science.

      Rely on the science for what?

      What does the science tell us 1 corona virus death is worth in jobs/income lost? And where can I find how this calculation was done?

      What does the science tell us about whether hospitals in CA should be able to pay independent contractors to help deal with Corona cases or if they should be limited to hiring only permanent employees, as they are due to Newsom’s AB5?

      And where can I find the scientific study that gives us the answer?


      • I feel like science is probably the wrong word generally–because what we’re talking about is data. Science is ultimately about the scientific method (And also standardized data analysis, but any honest approach can admit case studies–the data analysis–is not qualitatively the same as studies conducted with rigorous double-blind trials).

        But before you have enough data to even reach a conclusion of any kind (much less build a model–sheesh, these people . . . just making stuff up and calling it “science” takes chutzpah) … you’re just talking about making the best decisions you can with the limited data you have.

        Thus, rather than “ignore the politics and rely on the science” I’d personally say “ignore the politics and rely on the most current data”–since science implies a rigor that is not and presently cannot be present.

        It also implies a kind of accuracy to conclusions and assertions that’s not really there, same as if a guy with 3 Phds makes blanket assertions about things he doesn’t really know much about and insists they must be right because look at how many Phds he has!

        Present policy is not based on science, as far as I can tell. It’s based on extrapolation of extremely limited data, and panic-generation–primarily by the media.

        And, frankly, I think liability concerns, and politicians worry over future campaign ads where an opponent asserts the mayor or governor “did nothing while people died”. And for obvious reasons, folks like Disney did the math and decided risks of lawsuits based on a number of coronavirus cases and potential deaths from contact made in their parks was a bigger risk than losing billions if not tens-and-billions of revenue.

        Which I’m not sure is true. Frankly, I don’t see why they couldn’t re-open the parks now with mask requirements, new sanitation protocols, and new lower capacity numbers–and perhaps reservation requirements–and have it be safer than it normally is just during flu season.



  3. Trump has finally figured out a way to get his critics on board with re-opening the economy:

    President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he “disagreed strongly” with the decision by Georgia’s Republican governor to reopen salons, gyms and other nonessential businesses that had been shuttered to contain the coronavirus, saying, “It’s just too soon.”

    Liked by 1 person

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