Thursday, May 15, 2014

Will Bill McBride win our housing bet tomorrow?

 - by New Deal democrat

Tomorrow April's housing permits and starts will be reported, and there's a decent chance that Bill McBride will win our bet on housing.

Not because housing is suddenly on a roll, but because April 2013 was one of the two worst housing starts numbers of last year, at 852,000 (only June was worse at 835,000).  Housing starts are also more volatile than permits, and tend to follow permits by a month or two.

Since permits have had two decent months in February and March, starts are likely to follow, aided by the spring springback from winter's poor data.  Anyway, the high for starts since the  housing bust was 1,024,000 back in December.  There's a decent chance starts equal or beat that in April, and if so Bill will win our bet (a 20% YoY increase would be 1,023,000).

As to permits, April 2013 saw 1,005,000 issued.  The estimates suggest that tomorrow we will see the first YoY decline in permits in 3 years.

We'll see then.