Friday, 13 January 2017
Thursday, 8 December 2016
Wednesday, 9 November 2016
For new readers: I was very bearish on the economy when I started this blog in 2005 - back then I wrote mostly about housing (see: LA Times article and more here for comments about the blog). I predicted a recession in 2007, and then I started looking for the sun in early 2009, and I've been fairly positive since then (although I expected a sluggish recovery).
I've also been optimistic about next year (2017), with most economic indicators improving - more jobs, lower unemployment rate, rising wages and much more - and with more room to run for the current expansion. Also the demographics in the U.S. are becoming more favorable (see here for more on improving demographics).
Now Mr. Trump has been elected President. How does that change the outlook?
In the long term, there is little or no change to the outlook. The future is still bright! Although I'm concerned about the impact of global warming.
In the short term, there is also no change (Mr Obama will be President until January, and it takes time for new policies to be implemented).
The intermediate term might be impacted. The general rule is don't invest based on your political views, however it is also important to look at the impact of specific policies.
I will probably disagree with most of Mr. Trump's proposals for both normative reasons (different values), and for positive reasons (because Mr. Trump rejects data that doesn't fit his view - and that is not good).
With Mr. Trump, no one knows what he will actually do. He has said he'd "build a wall" along the border with Mexico, renegotiate all trade deals, cut taxes on high income earners, repeal Obamacare and more. As an example, repealing the ACA - without a replacement - would lead to many millions of Americans without health insurance. And those with preexisting conditions would be uninsurable. This seems politically unlikely (without a replacement policy), but it is possible.
Since Trump is at war with the data (he rejects data that doesn't fit his views), I don't expect evidence based policy proposals - and that almost always means bad results. However bad results might mean higher deficits with little return - not an economic downturn. Until we see the actual policy proposals, it is hard to predict the impact. I will not predict a recession just because Trump is elected. In fact, additional infrastructure spending might give the economy a little boost over the next year or two. On the other hand, deporting 10+ million people would probably lead to a recession. We just have to wait and see what is enacted.
In conclusion: The future is still bright, but there might be a storm passing through.
If you were burned in 2008, the last time the housing bubble burst, you’re probably (and understandably!) gun-shy about jumping into the housing market again — especially if you think your local area could be experiencing another bubble. If you buy during a bubble, overpaying for your home, you might be forced to sell for […]
Denise Supplee and her husband, Jerry, had been in their new home in Horsham, PA, for just three months when they started to notice something strange in their bathroom. “You could see mold starting to seep through the paint,” says Denise, a co-founder and director of operations of SparkRental.com. “We had a contractor come in […]
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From Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Momentum Index Moves Higher in October
The Dodge Momentum Index grew 4.1% in October to 133.6 from its revised September reading of 128.3 (2000=100). The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. October’s gain nearly reversed the loss in September, and returns the Momentum Index to the rising trend that began earlier in the year. The commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 6.1% in October, and is 20% above last year. This suggests that despite being in a more mature phase of the building cycle, commercial construction has room for further growth in the coming months. The institutional component of the Momentum Index increased 1.4% in the month, and is now 10% higher than one year ago.Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows the Dodge Momentum Index since 2002. The index was at 133.6 in October, up from 128.3 in September.
According to Dodge, this index leads "construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year". In general, this suggests further increases in CRE spending over the next year.
Inventory was up 1.0% year-over-year in October. This was the eighth consecutive month with a YoY increase in inventory, following fifteen consecutive months of YoY declines in Phoenix.
The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) reports (table below):
1) Overall sales in October were up 12.6% year-over-year.
2) Cash Sales (frequently investors) were down to 21.0% of total sales.
3) Active inventory is now up 1.0% year-over-year.
More inventory (a theme in 2014) - and less investor buying - suggested price increases would slow sharply in 2014. And prices increases did slow in 2014, only increasing 2.4% according to Case-Shiller.
In 2015, with falling inventory, prices increased a little faster - Prices were up 6.3% in 2015 according to Case-Shiller.
Now inventory is increasing a little again, and - if this trend continues in Phoenix - price increases will probably slow in Phoenix. According to Case-Shiller, prices in Phoenix are up 2.7% through August (about a 4.0% annual rate) - slower than in 2015.
|October Residential Sales and Inventory, Greater Phoenix Area, ARMLS|
|1 October 2008 probably includes pending listings|