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Post Governmentus Interruptus, Housing Market Sags- Professional Edition

The Mortgage Bankers’ Ass. is closed this week, hence there was no release of the Mortgage Applications Index, the best real time housing demand indicator. However, this week we do have the lagged data from the worst housing indicator in the world, Case Shiller, as well as the almost-as-stupid Pending Home Sales Index from the NAR due to its being reported on a seasonally adjusted fudge pack basis. Once again, the actual numbers were down but the fudge pack was up. The important factor here is that because of the collapse to rock bottom levels in late summer ahead of the usual seasonal drop, the seasonally adjusted data is useless. The reality is that this month’s number stunk.

The housing Case Chiller finally showed some negativity, but it’s so far behind the curve that it is useless. Listing prices as of December 27 were down nearly 12% since July. The Case Shiller shows a monthly decline of 1%. That’s enough to get the mainstream pundits’ antennae up. They are beginning to worry about a “double dip” in housing. Double Dip my ass. This is just a return to trend after a period of governmentus interruptus.

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 


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