Friday, August 17, 2018

My extended take on housing permits and starts at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democrat

My long-form take on housing sales, updated with yesterday morning's housing permits and starts report, is up at Seeking Alpha.

Like my Weekly Indicators posts, I make a penny or two when you decide to read.  So decide to read!

Also worth mentioning: my overall view of housing differs somewhat from that of Bill McBride a/k/a Calculated Risk.  Like Bill, I don't think housing has already peaked.  But unlike Bill, I see inventory as the tail, rather than the (a?) head. "Months' inventory" typically turns up precisely because sales turn down, so doesn't give me any new information. Also, Bill is really focused on the demographic tailwind, and on "pent-up demand."  I'm not sure about the latter, since the bubble years where 2+ million units were added a year, coincided with the demographic *nadir,* i.e., there was a lot of excess housing to be absorbed. As to the former, high enough interest rates and prices will be enough to overcome it. I don't think we're quite there - yet.