Matrix Blog

Posts Tagged ‘National Association of Realtors’

Bloomberg View Column: A Housing Recovery Built to Last?

May 16, 2015 | 9:17 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column A Housing Recovery Built to Last?.

bvchartfaststart

Here’s an excerpt…

The housing market has recovered in fits and starts since the financial crisis, so it’s worth noting when one important indicator looks really strong. This is the case with the pending home sales index, which reflects contracts signed for purchases of single-family homes, co-ops and condos, published by the National Association of Realtors…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , , ,


Bloomberg View Column: Want a New House? Good Luck

April 26, 2015 | 12:04 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column Want a New House? Good Luck.

inventory chart

Here’s an excerpt…

Much of the analysis of the housing market focuses on sales volume and price trends. These are important metrics, of course, but they really don’t tell you much about market fundamentals because they are, to a great extent, derivative…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , ,


Bloomberg View Column: The Bidding Wars Are Back

April 26, 2015 | 11:31 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column The Bidding Wars Are Back.

biddingwars

Hard to believe this is happening again…

Here’s an excerpt…

A relic from the days of the housing boom is making a comeback. The share of sales that feature bidding wars is up. According to the National Association of Realtors, 33 percent of all sales were at or above the asking price, a strong indication that more than one bidder was involved in a transaction…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , ,


Bloomberg View Column: Real-Estate Agents Ride High Again

March 1, 2015 | 8:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column Real-Estate Agents Ride High Again.

finalchart

It was disappointing to have so many Realtors go on the attack over this piece showing they missed the entire point – I was writing about the trend, not the dollars or the splits. Are commission incomes higher in say Manhattan than in rural Texas. Doh! The very idea that incomes are rising after years of low transaction volume plus the lack of resurgence in NAR membership since the financial crisis has made for a little less competition today. This seems like good news to me for the industry. But with the barrier to entry so low, the window will close sooner than later.

I even had a PR executive at NAR send me a critical email concerning my numerical calculations and results but made the mistake of exposing her significant lack of understanding about what data NAR actually publishes. To avoid embarrassing her I opted not to share the letter in this post.

Here’s an excerpt…

This is turning out to be a pretty nice time to be a residential real-estate agent. As the housing market recovers, average income has been rising faster than sales largely because there are fewer agents planting for-sale signs…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , ,


Bloomberg View Column: Housing’s New Wealth Effect

September 27, 2014 | 1:00 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

Read my latest Bloomberg View column Housing’s New Wealth Effect. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

It was a busy week for housing market reports. The U.S. Census published its new home-sales results for August, showing an 18 percent gain from the prior month and a 33 percent increase from August 2013. News headlines relied on words such as “surged” and “soared” to describe the results.

Only a few days earlier, the National Association of Realtors released its existing home-sales report for August, which showed month-over-month sales falling for the first time in four months. The inventory of unsold properties was 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier. I recently addressed the market slowdown in “Understanding Housing’s Dog Days.”

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Bloomberg View Column: Understanding Housing’s Dog Days

August 31, 2014 | 5:04 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogoThe comparison of housing market statistics against last year’s results produced misdirection in our understanding of it’s current state. Although a year-over-year comparison gets rid of seasonality, the results are at the mercy of how normal the prior year was…

The slowdown in the U.S. housing market has caused much hand-wringing. But keep this in mind: robust housing sales and price gains in 2013 were the anomaly and at odds with tepid economic fundamentals such as income, employment and credit. It’s the year-over-year comparisons that make things look worse than they are.

Read my latest Bloomberg View column
Understanding Housing’s Dog Days.
Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View.


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , , , ,


My Bloomberg View Column: Housing Data Is Old and Moldy

July 31, 2014 | 11:32 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

After being pummeled with confusing sound bits after the release of Monday’s Pending Home SalesIndex by the NAR and the S&P/Case Shiller Index, I thought it was time to set the record straight on the applicability of this research.

This is my second column for Bloomberg View: Housing Data Is Old and Moldy


My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , , , ,


My First Post on Bloomberg View: Homebuying Gets a Housecleaning

July 28, 2014 | 9:28 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo

I was recently approached by Bloomberg View, the editorial arm of Bloomberg LP, to provide commentary on the housing market. I seem to be in good company.

Although their well oiled machine began to append my additional title “Bloomberg Contributor” earlier in the month when being sourced, it wasn’t an oversight on their part. I didn’t submit my first post until last week. It took me a few weeks to get my groove on as I was in the midst of a 2Q14 market report release gauntlet.

Last Wednesday evening I wrote my first post about Lawrence Yun’s attendance at the Zillow Housing Forum and how NAR had become just one of the crowd, and the symbolism of it all. I got the idea when I was sent the Zillow e-vite to attend the conference and I noticed that Yun was to speak.

Excited, I submitted my first post on Thursday morning, unfortunately just before the Zillow-Trulia bombshell deal jumped into the headlines. So I needed to add this new twist – which thankfully made my original point even stronger. I re-wrote my first post and it was placed online last Friday.

Here is the first column of hopefully many to come: Homebuying Gets a Housecleaning


My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , ,


NAR May 2014 Existing Home Sales: ‘Heat-up’

June 23, 2014 | 2:54 pm | Charts |

6-23-NAR-EHSperc

[click to expand]

I always like to parse out press release of the NAR Existing Home Sales Report using their data but presented it with proper emphasis. I believe these charts are better ways to interpret the report results.

My two big rules: ignore seasonal adjustments and focus on year-over-year results. The consumer doesn’t know that the EHS report results are heavily adjusted rather than providing the actual results.

Since the annual sales figure is a multiplier of a monthly figure, why do we need to alter the actual numbers any more by adjusting for seasonality? Through recent periods like the possible expiration of the Bush tax cuts (end of 2010), the federal homeowners tax credit for new buyers and existing home buyers as well as the expiration of the fiscal cliff at the end of 2012, seasonal adjustments are subject to maddening skew.

For much of 2013, median sales price was rising at an annual rate of more than 10%…

  • It’s good to see the pace of the market returning to more sustainable conditions – last year’s market was not normal with rapid price growth and tight supply.
  • Now we are seeing inventory return to the market and rate of price growth is easing. Both are good news.
  • Mortgage rates have slipped but still not to the lows of early 2013. Falling rates not helping sales rise because last year was a release of years of pent-up demand.
  • First time buyers are still not as active as they need to be, with their share down to 27% from 29%. Typically they shold account for at least 1/3 of the market. Tight credit and tough job market are reasons (not a lifestyle changes).

 

6-23-NAR-EHS

[click to expand]

Tags: , , ,


New Angle: Blame Low Mortgage Rates

June 23, 2014 | 10:37 am |

mnd30year6-2014

The National Association of Real Estate Editors just held their annual conference and one of the experts was Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

Admittedly he has always seen the real estate world through different lenses than I so I am often thrown for a loop when I come across some of the rationale for the current state of the housing market.

A local media outlet recapped his NAREE speech but since I didn’t attend and there is no transcript, I’ll go with the following paraphrasing:

Mortgage rates reached record lows in 2012 and 2013 of around 3.3 percent for 30-year home loans. Homeowners don’t want to let go of those once-in-a-lifetime bargain mortgages, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. So homeowners avoid putting their homes on the market in order to keep those low mortgage rates and that has resulted in super low inventories of home for sale. Although rates are still low (less than 5 percent) many people are opting to rent out their houses so they can hang onto great mortgages, Yun says.

Here’s another way to look at what he says is happening:

Yun – Home sales are not rising (year-over-year) because mortgage rates are so low that would-be sellers won’t sell. They simply love their low mortgage rate more than moving.

My view – Home sales are not rising (year-over-year) because of a combination of rapidly rising home prices that reduces affordability and historically tight mortgage lending standards that resulted record low inventory. Tight credit keeps the roughly 40% of home owners with low or negative equity from selling because they don’t qualify for the next mortgage. Hence, sales fall.

There is clearly way too much emphasis on mortgage rates in our housing economy.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Tall and Thin Skyscraper Renderings: the New Bricks and Mortar

June 10, 2014 | 10:05 am |

nyposttall1

[click to expand]

The New York Post ran an article on Sunday “Chinese buyers snapping up NYC skyscrapers” that was chock full of Manhattan skyscraper renderings – I found myself clicking through all of them. While I already am familiar with each of these residential and commercial towers, I never get tired of looking at them.

While I’m no architectural critic and some of these designs are controversial, even cited as dangerous, I must admit I really like the genre. I was fatigued from enduring the boring, utilitarian and ultimately generic designs throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  We got a sampling of this new genre in the last new development boom a decade ago, but with the shift towards the higher end of the market, there seems to be more money available for creating iconic designs.

As far as the China hyperbole cited in the piece, it is an assumption based almost exclusively on anecdote as well as 2013 research by National Association of Realtors (cited as “US National Real Estate Association” but had no luck finding it with Google so I assumed they meant NAR). And how do we rely on an NAR survey of it’s members when so few Manhattan real estate agents are members of that trade group?

I’ve inserted all the renderings below: I’m not going to  bother labeling them since that’s not the point – you can get that detail in NY Post piece.  These are placed here for your oogling pleasure.

HudsonYards from West Chelsea (c) Related Cos..jpg

ARTS ARCHITECTURE

432PA_SE View from Central Park_copyright dbox for CIM Grou.jpg

photo.JPG

99 Church Street, Silverstein Properties, New York

56 Leonard -Woolworth view - Credit Herzog  de Meuron.jpg

53W53rd Street entrance.jpg

World Trade Center

OneVanderbilt_03_Looking-East-from-Bryant-Park.jpg

Tags: , , , ,


Pending Home Sales Fall Short of Year Ago Sales Surge

May 29, 2014 | 4:29 pm | Charts |

2014-april-phsi-05-29-2014
[click to expand]

The NAR released their Pending Home Sale Index today for April which aggregates signed contract data for the month. It is generally 2 months closer to the “meeting of the minds” between buyer and seller than their existing home sale report, that is based on closed sales (and 4 months faster than Case Shiller).

Pending Home Sales Index is not “forward looking”
In my chart above, and if you know me, I hate seasonal adjustments (SA) in housing data so this chart uses NAR’s reported numbers without adjustments. NAR always frames this release series as “forward looking” when it really is “less backward looking” because it is based on contracts, not closed sales. The end of May report reflects April contracts, half of which were probably signed in Late March. With a 2 month spread between contract and closing dates, this report is the most recent US housing market snapshot but nothing about it is actually “forward looking.”

With all the weather talk and mixed housing market messaging over the last month, this release brought us a broad range of interpretation, from “plunging” to “edging higher.”

Well, which is it? Or could it be both? Yes it can. We just need context.

According to Housingwire (uses SA numbers): Pending home sales plunge 9.2% in April So much for that post-winter, pent-up demand

Pending home sales for the month of April plummeted 9.2% compared to April 2013, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Contracts signed to buy existing homes increased 0.4% in April compared to March 2014, but that’s coming off three months of flat sales blamed on cold weather.

The expectation had been for at least a 2% gain month-over-month.

According to Diana Olick at CNBC (uses SA numbers), Pending home sales up just 0.4% in April, missing expectations

Warmer weather and higher expectations failed to cause a meaningful surge in home sales.

Signed contracts to buy existing homes increased just 0.4 percent in April, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The expectation had been for at least a 2 percent gain sequentially.

The Realtors’ so-called pending home sales index is now 9.2 percent lower than April of 2013.

What’s going on?

If you look at the above chart you can see that last year’s pending home sales were surging up until May 2013, their highest level in 3 years (since the federal homeowner tax credit program as part of the stimulus). The surge in contracts in the first half of 2013 was born out of consumer fears that rates were going to rise. In addition, all the pent-up demand accumulated during the two year period preceding the US election and fiscal cliff deadline was released into the market. Many fence-sitters became decision-makers.

This winter’s harsh weather could have delayed buyers and we should be seeing this uptick in activity by now. We probably are seeing it but it no match for the year ago surge in activity but now the market is being characterized as weak or weakening. The problem with that description is it assumes that 2013 was a normal trend of an improving market. Well it wasn’t.

So yes, sales are down from the 2013 sales surge anomaly and the weather time-shifting buyers forward further into spring this year was no match for it. In fact, I suspect the next month will show the same type of “weakness” and the PHSI results probably can’t show real improvement at least until June.

Tags: , , , , ,