The lagged data from the worst housing indicator in the world, Case Shiller, came out this week, following last week’s release of existing home sales closings in December. Also out this week, the Commerce Department’s Report on new home sales, and the NAR’s data on sales contracts.
The Case Shiller data is still catching up with the bad news, but other, newer data released in recent days had numbers that suggested, on the surface, that the market had turned a corner. They beat consensus expectations and showed gains after seasonal hocus pocus, but it was an illusion. The data on sales contracts was extremely weak, and listings data suggests a sharp drop in prices since June. The numbers were mostly horrible, and the ones that weren’t were explainable anomalies (such as the NAR’s seasonal fudge packed data). Finally, the weekly mortgage applications, which is a virtual real time indicator of housing market activity is once again sinking into the abyss.
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