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June 20, 2006
The Housing Market Shows Signs Of Life -- Except Where I Live
I'm not sure it means all that much, other than the data just refuses to provide any support for the full-blown crash scenario. From Bloomberg:
Housing starts rose a greater-than-expected 5 percent to an annual rate of 1.957 million, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 2.1 percent to the lowest level since November 2003.
While the increase in starts doesn't change the outlook for a cooling housing market, the number may reassure investors and Federal Reserve policy makers that the slowdown won't become a rout. Atlanta Fed President Jack Guynn and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher yesterday predicted a moderate softening in the industry.
"There's no question housing is slowing down, but it's not falling off a cliff,'' said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC in Pepper Pike, Ohio ...
By region, the clear laggard last month was the midwest...
... illustrating of the proposition that the winners in April will be later to lose -- or something like that:
Given such month-to-month variation, it's a good idea to take a look at the trend over a slightly lnger period of time. From the beginning of the year, say:
How does that stack up to last year's performance?
I'll leave it to you to decide if that is a big change or not.
If you like the pretty pictures, they are a mere click away:
(Thanks to Brent Meyer for supplying me with those templates.)
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