Monday, February 23, 2009

Home Builder: "We can't compete"

by Calculated Risk on 2/23/2009 11:32:00 AM

Last weekend I spoke with a few builders and land developers. Talk about a depressing group. In many areas of California the builders can't compete with lender REOs, since the lenders are selling REOs below replacement costs (including construction and all entitlements).

As one developer said: "We can't compete even if the land is free!"

And on the stock market, it was just last Thursday that I wrote:

The DOW closed at 7,465.95; a six year low. The low in 2002 was 7286.27, if the market breaks that level, the DOW will be back to 1997 levels. That would mean more than a lost decade for DOW investors (not counting dividends).

As an aside, Greenspan made the "irrational exuberance" comment in a speech on December 5, 1996 with the DOW at 6,437. Not a prediction, but we are getting close to that level over 12 years later!
Also note that the closing low last November for the S&P 500 was 752.44. That could be broken today. Best to all.