They Don't Ring A Bell

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Who will be most disappointed by the end of the mortgage crisis? My bet is that it will be the various and sundry doomsday writers who glibly use "median" in their rationales for the 'end of the world as we know it' summaries on real estate. When mortgage lenders choked off the supply of jumbos in August it didn't take a genius to understand that the 'median' price was going to take a hit. The doomboys apparently can't afford the pixels to mention that. Nor do they appear to possess a sufficiency of pixels to note that the increase in average square footage for SFRs from 2000 and 2006 was 9.5%. Could that account for a say, 9.5%, increase in price? If it does, then it accounts for 20% of the total "exorbitant" increase over the time period. Did you know that the "exorbitant" price increase of the last seven years is actually precisely aligned with the annual increase in price over the past forty years? If you do it wasn't from the doomboys because the doomboys will never speculate on that point, no more than they will ever take a moment to examine the fact that "median" household income today has changed in the same manner that the average house has changed. Except that the "median" household has grown poorer due to its composition. The no spouse (NSP) component of the family household has increased by over 7% in seven years which dragged down the overall increase in family median household substantially. The income of the married couple component hasn't increased at the same rate as the cost increase of the median house but that has something to do with the fact that 25% of the married couple component is over 65.

Take another look at the doomboy chart MHA posted a few days ago. In particular, take a look at previous recoveries from the lows. The big home builder stocks jumped 4% today (average of Beazer, Ryland, Toll, Pulte, Lennar, Hovnanian, Horton and Centex).

Ding. Ding. Ding.


Knucklehead said...

Are you REALLY trying to tell us that his earthshaking, lives-ruining, children starving, babies freezing, hideous bit of capitalist ripoff, is perfectly normal?

How are we supposed to be freaked out if this is normal?

How are we supposed to scream bloody murder and demand salvation from the gummint if this is normal?

What a freakin' selfish killjoy you are, Ballard! Have you no shame?

Rick Ballard said...

I did my best, Knuck. You have to admit, when you took my advice and bought the basket of builder's stocks that I recommended yesterday at the bell this morning the 13.62% appreciation that you got today was a pretty nice gift.

Merry Christmas.

Say, you did buy the basket, didn't you?

vnjagvet said...

And right on cue, Schumer and Durbin were in front of the cameras telling the world that Bush was niggardly in his steps to ameliorate a bit of the problem caused by too easy credit.

The market, apparently, was listening to Bush, not Chuck and Dick.

Knucklehead said...

I never buy the baskets, Rick. The one time I did buy the basket I failed to sell it. I am doomed to muddle through investing never to realize quick, meaningful gains. Alas.