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Monday, March 24, 2008

Life Lesson Learned Today

NEVER try to explain agency pass-throughs on the phone. NEVER. Over the course of a month I've worked my way up to the top guy in this investment group, and now he's all enthused. I think I made a friend for life.

I'm in the middle of trying to set up some new investment instructures, and right now the opps are in strange new fields!

Back later!

PS: Look at the Existing Home Sales report. This is the one-page pdf. Scroll down to where it shows the median and average price declines for Feb sales YoY. -8.2% and -7.0% respectively. It's rapidly catching up with Case-Shiller. I must remember to go and see how they tried to spin this. It is supposed to be a 50% sample, so I believe the point about the unreliability of OFHEO numbers is made.

The southern season is a bit contrary to the rest of the country, and the average southern decline was 9.2%. The median price decline for the west was 13.4%. The NE prices are holding the best, but as the financial layoffs really take hold the impact will show.

CFNAI is well into recession territory. It really got there in October, and the 3 month rolling average continues to decline. A series of 3 month rolling average readings below -.5 is usually the marker for recession. Here's the recent sequence:
2007:07 0.15 -0.10
2007:08 -0.79 -0.26
2007:09 -0.38 -0.34
2007:10 -0.83 -0.66
2007:11 -0.63 -0.61
2007:12 -0.89 -0.78
2008:01 -0.68 -0.73
2008:02 -1.04 -0.87
The second number is the 3 month rolling average.

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