Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Home Sales increased to 517,000 Annual Rate in April

by Bill McBride on 5/26/2015 10:16:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 517 thousand.

The previous three months were revised up by a total of 5 thousand (SA).

"Sales of new single-family houses in April 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 6.8 percent above the revised March rate of 484,000 and is 26.1 percent above the April 2014 estimate of 410,000."
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

Even with the increase in sales over the previous two years, new home sales are still close to the bottoms for previous recessions.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in April to 4.8 months.

The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.

This is now in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
"The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 205,000. This represents a supply of 4.8 months at the current sales rate."
New Home Sales, InventoryOn inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
"A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted."
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.

The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is still low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is also low.

New Home Sales, NSAThe last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In April 2015 (red column), 49 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 39 thousand homes were sold in April.  This is the highest for April since 2008.

The high for April was 116 thousand in 2005, and the low for April was 30 thousand in 2011.

This was above expectations of 509,000 sales in April, and this is still a solid start for 2015.  I'll have more later today.

Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 4.1% year-over-year in March

by Bill McBride on 5/26/2015 09:16:00 AM

S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for March ("March" is a 3 month average of January, February and March prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), I use the SA data for the graphs.

From S&P: Home Price Gains Accelerate, Led by San Francisco and Denver According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Data released today for March 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. ... Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw year-over-year increases in March. The 10-City Composite gained 4.7% year-over-year, while the 20-City Composite gained 5.0% year-over-year. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015 versus a 4.2% increase in February 2015.
...
The National index increased again in March with a 0.8% increase for the month. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites increased significantly, reporting 0.8% and 0.9% month-over-month increases, respectively. Of the 19 cities reporting increases, San Francisco led all cities with an increase of 3.0%. Seattle followed next with a reported increase of 2.3%. Cleveland reported an increase of 0.4%, its first positive month-over-month increase since August 2014. New York was the only city to report a negative month-over-month change with a -0.1% decrease for March 2015.
...
“Home prices have enjoyed year-over-year gains for 35 consecutive months,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The pattern of consistent gains is national and seen across all 20 cities covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The longest run of gains is in Detroit at 45 months, the shortest is New York with 27 months. However, the pace has moderated in the last year; from August 2013 to February 2014, the national index gained more than 10% year-over-year, compared to 4.1% in this release.

“Given the long stretch of strong reports, it is no surprise that people are asking if we’re in a new home price bubble. The only way you can be sure of a bubble is looking back after it’s over. The average 12 month rise in inflation adjusted home prices since 1975 is about 1.0% per year compared to the current 4.1% pace, arguing for a bubble. However, the annual rate of increase halved in the last year, as shown in the first chart. Home prices are currently rising more quickly than either per capita personal income (3.1%) or wages (2.2%), narrowing the pool of future home-buyers. All of this suggests that some future moderation in home prices gains is likely. Moreover, consumer debt levels seem to be manageable. I would describe this as a rebound in home prices, not bubble and not a reason to be fearful.”
emphasis added
Case-Shiller House Prices Indices Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted Composite 10, Composite 20 and National indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The Composite 10 index is off 14.2% from the peak, and up 0.9% in March (SA).

The Composite 20 index is off 13.1% from the peak, and up 0.9% (SA) in March.

The National index is off 7.6% from the peak, and up 0.1% (SA) in March.  The National index is up 24.7% from the post-bubble low set in December 2011 (SA).

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices The second graph shows the Year over year change in all three indices.

The Composite 10 SA is up 4.7% compared to March 2014.

The Composite 20 SA is up 5.0% year-over-year..

The National index SA is up 4.1% year-over-year.

Prices increased (SA) in all 20 of the 20 Case-Shiller cities in March seasonally adjusted.  (Prices increased in 19 of the 20 cities NSA)  Prices in Las Vegas are off 40.6% from the peak, and prices in Denver and Dallas are at new highs (SA).

Case-Shiller CitiesThe last graph shows the bubble peak, the post bubble minimum, and current nominal prices relative to January 2000 prices for all the Case-Shiller cities in nominal terms.

As an example, at the peak, prices in Phoenix were 127% above the January 2000 level. Then prices in Phoenix fell slightly below the January 2000 level, and are now up 50% above January 2000 (50% nominal gain in 15 years).

These are nominal prices, and real prices (adjusted for inflation) are up about 40% since January 2000 - so the increase in Phoenix from January 2000 until now is about 10% above the change in overall prices due to inflation.

Two cities - Denver (up 65% since Jan 2000) and Dallas (up 48% since Jan 2000) - are above the bubble highs (a few other Case-Shiller Comp 20 city are close - Boston and, Charlotte).    Detroit prices are still below the January 2000 level.

This was close to the consensus forecast. I'll have more on house prices later.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tuesday: New Home Sales, Case-Shiller House Prices, Durable Goods and More

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2015 08:13:00 PM

From Bloomberg: What Would Happen If Greece Doesn’t Pay the IMF: Q&A

Q: What will the IMF do?

A: A missed payment date starts the clock ticking. Two weeks after the initial due date and a cable from Washington urging immediate payment, the fund sends another cable stressing the “seriousness of the failure to meet obligations” and again urges prompt settlement. Two weeks after that, the managing director informs the Executive Board that an obligation is overdue. For Greece, that’s when the serious consequences kick in. These are known as cross-default and cross-acceleration.
From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: currently S&P futures are down 3 and DOW futures are down 20 (fair value).

Tuesday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Durable Goods Orders for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.6% decrease in durable goods orders.

• At 9:00 AM, the FHFA House Price Index for March 2015. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index.

• At 9:00 AM, the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for March. Although this is the March report, it is really a 3 month average of January, February and March prices. The consensus is for a 4.6% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for March.

• At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for an increase in sales to 509 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in April from 481 thousand in March.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for May.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly), April 2015

• At 10:30 AM, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for May.

Gasoline Prices: Down a Dollar from last year on Memorial Day

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2015 10:11:00 AM

According to Gasbuddy.com (see graph at bottom), gasoline prices are down to a national average of $2.75 per gallon. One year ago for the week of Memorial Day, prices were at $3.75 per gallon, and for the same week two years ago prices were $3.70 per gallon.

Ten years ago, price were at $2.17 per gallon, and fifteen years ago at $1.57.

Memorial DayWeekly Average
Gasoline Price
29-May-00$1.57
28-May-01$1.74
27-May-02$1.43
26-May-03$1.53
31-May-04$2.10
30-May-05$2.17
29-May-06$2.94
28-May-07$3.25
26-May-08$3.99
25-May-09$2.49
31-May-10$2.84
30-May-11$3.90
28-May-12$3.73
27-May-13$3.70
26-May-14$3.75
25-May-15$2.75


According to Bloomberg, WTI oil is at $59.40 per barrel, and Brent is at $65.37 per barrel.  Last year on Memorial Day, Brent was at $110.01 per barrel, and two years ago Brent was at $103.77.

Note: If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.



Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hotels: RevPAR up almost 50% since 2009

by Bill McBride on 5/24/2015 10:01:00 PM

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is now at $85.50. In May 2009, RevPAR had fallen to $58.39. So, RevPAR is up 46.9% over the last 6 years - and the occupancy rate will probably be at a new record high this year.  A great year for hotels!

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 16 May

The U.S. hotel industry recorded positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of 10-16 May 2015, according to data from STR, Inc.

In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy increased 0.5 percent to 70.3 percent. Average daily rate increased 5.2 percent to finish the week at US$122.10. Revenue per available room for the week was up 5.7 percent to finish at US$85.80.
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy Rate Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2015, dashed orange is 2014, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 - the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels.  Purple is for 2000.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is solidly above the median for 2000-2007, and solidly above last year.

Right now 2015 is even above 2000 (best year for hotels) - and 2015 will probably be the best year on record for hotels.

Data Source: Smith Travel Research, Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com

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