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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane’

When The Levee Breaks: Media Bubble Coverage Replaced By Katrina Tragedy

September 16, 2005 | 7:28 am |

Media coverage of the housing boom this summer crested in August after dominating the headlines, especially in Big Media. It was placed on the back burner once Hurricane Katrina inflicted its damage, particularly on New Orleans. The scope of the tragedy makes the real estate boom sound fairly petty given amount of human suffering in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The Federal Government gave the press plenty of subjects to write about as we enter the blame game so popular in Washington.

  1. Did the housing boom end?
  2. Have we entered a slow period for real estate news because nothing new is really going on?
  3. Were readers ready for a break from the real estate housing boom coverage?

The answers are no, kind of and yes.

  1. The housing boom has continued through the summer as mortgage rates remain low.
  2. August is often a particularly slow news period yet it seemed that real estate coverage was disproportional to other issues because its become an American obsession (and an easy sell to advertisers).
  3. Readers were starting to get pretty cynical about the quantity of coverage and jaded about some of the warning signs of overheating.

The hurricane’s affect on the economy will likely segue into exhaustive housing boom coverage. In the near term, the effect of the now limited coverage may benefit the housing market because the intensity of the coverage is less “in your face.” However, in the long term, it probably won’t make any difference at all. There’s a lot of psychology to consider, but at the end of the day, the market is the market.


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Economic Shock Absorbers More Powerful Than Any Found On A Hummer H2

September 6, 2005 | 9:52 pm | |

The economy is still cookin’ with gas

Well maybe a Hummer H2 isn’t a helpful analogy, but it got your attention. Many of us are walking around thinking: “Hurricane Katrina has turned out to be the largest US natural disaster that may cost us as much as $100B (4x Hurricane Andrew, the next largest), yet why does the economy still seem to be moving along, other than much higher prices at the pump?

Mortgage rates are still falling and the housing market continues to move upward. In fact, there is some speculation that the Fed will pause their regular increases in short term rates, albeit only temporarily.

Source: WSJ

The WSJ surmised today that it was due to three “Vital Shock Absorbers:” [Note: Paid Sub.]

  • Fuel Stockpiles – created to keep the erratic supply of fuel from harming the economy in the 1970’s
  • Temp Firms – allowed for placement of workers who lost their jobs from the storm
  • Fed’s Credibility – our faith in the decisions made by the Fed


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Katrina Causes Surge In Demand For Rental Housing In Outlying Areas

September 4, 2005 | 9:54 pm |
Source: NCAR

On August 29th Hurricane Katrina brought devastation to the housing markets of New Orleans, Biloxi and the surrounding areas. Now the outlying areas are anticipating a housing boom. Mobile, Alabama is seeing a scarcity of rentals.

Housing developers are looking at what type of housing they can build quickly to meet demand.

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Lumbering Giant Wants [2] Help [x 4]

September 1, 2005 | 10:47 pm | |

There has been a heated debate between the US and Canada over the tariffs being assigned to softwood imports into the US. In 2002, the US implemented these tariffs, which are reportedly contrary to the NAFTA agreement. [Note: Sub.] A 3-person arbitration board ruled that the US must refund over $5B in tariffs collected from imported Canadian softwood. The US lost the appeal on the ruling but still has refused to refund tariffs already levied.


There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the softwood tariff debate. Canada exports more than 50% of the lumber they produce to the US and the US will need more lumber as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the on-going housing boom. Look for rising prices for construction supplies as a result.
[Casper Star Tribune]
[National Post]
[CBC]


The housing boom has placed a significant pressure on the availability of lumber for construction. Wood exports from Canada are a significant source of lumber for the US and a major export of Canada.

In light of Hurricane Katrina’s extensive damages to the gulf area housing stock of Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama, demand for construction supplies are expected to increase significantly and at least one advocate for affordable housing wants the tariffs removed.

Lets hope these two allies and neighbors can resolve their differences and get this crises resolved soon.

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Disaster Relief Aid After Hurricane Katrina

September 1, 2005 | 5:19 pm |

This has turned out to be a larger disaster than anyone imagined. Here are some ideas on how you can help in the relief effort.

Relief Organizations

[American Red Cross through Apple iTunes]

I used Apple iTunes (100% goes to the Red Cross) but all are great organizations.



[American Red Cross]



[Salvation Army]



[North American Mission Board Disaster Relief Fund]



[FEMA]


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