Thursday, June 19, 2008

Housing is Nowhere Near Bottom

From Reuters:

Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world's biggest appliance maker, said on Wednesday that it expects the U.S. housing downturn to extend into 2009 as many newly built homes sit waiting for buyers.

"Right now, the best guess that you can have is it (housing slump) will go through 2009," Michael Todman, president for Whirlpool North America, told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in New York.

"At one point in time we thought we would see some recovery toward the end of the year," Todman said. "We don't think that now."

This is from a company whose livelihood depends in part on a healthy housing industry. In addition, it's important to remember that CEOs are trained in the art of public relations. it's rare to hear a CEO say "things are tough". Instead, you hear things like, "this is a challenging environment, but we're still doing well" or something to that effect.

In addition, consider this chart of lumber futures.

Notice that prices are near multi-year lows. Simply put, demand is dead right now.

Putting these two factors together you get a market that is nowhere near bottom.