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Monday, July 08, 2024

Housing July 8th Weekly Update: Inventory up 1.1% Week-over-week, Up 40.0% Year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 7/08/2024 08:13:00 AM

Altos reports that active single-family inventory was up 1.1% week-over-week. Inventory is now up 32.1% from the February seasonal bottom, and at the highest level since July 2020.

Altos Home Inventory Click on graph for larger image.

This inventory graph is courtesy of Altos Research.

As of July 5th, inventory was at 653 thousand (7-day average), compared to 646 thousand the prior week.   

Inventory is still far below pre-pandemic levels. 

The second graph shows the seasonal pattern for active single-family inventory since 2015.
Altos Year-over-year Home Inventory
The red line is for 2024.  The black line is for 2019.  Note that inventory is up 75% from the record low for the same week in 2021, but still well below normal levels.

Inventory was up 40.0% compared to the same week in 2023 (last week it was up 38.4%), and down 31.2% compared to the same week in 2019 (last week it was down 33.2%). 

Inventory should be above 2020 levels for the same week next week.

Back in June 2023, inventory was down almost 54% compared to 2019, so the gap to more normal inventory levels is slowly closing.

Mike Simonsen discusses this data regularly on Youtube.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Sunday Night Futures

by Calculated Risk on 7/07/2024 06:46:00 PM

Schedule for Week of July 7, 2024

• No major economic releases scheduled.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures S&P 500 are down 9 and DOW futures are down 59 (fair value).

Oil prices were higher over the last week with WTI futures at $83.16 per barrel and Brent at $86.54 per barrel. A year ago, WTI was at $74, and Brent was at $79 - so WTI oil prices are up about 12% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $3.47 per gallon. A year ago, prices were at $3.51 per gallon, so gasoline prices are down $0.04 year-over-year.

Moody's: Retail Vacancy Rate Unchanged in Q2

by Calculated Risk on 7/07/2024 08:21:00 AM

Note: I covered apartments and offices in the newsletter: Moody's: Apartment Vacancy Rate Unchanged in Q2; Office Vacancy Rate at New Record High

From Moody’s Analytics economists: Apartment Demand Slowly Catching Up, Office Stress Continued to Manifest, Retail Resilient Despite Bankruptcies, And Industrial Cools Down

The Q2 2024 data maintained its familiar trend with the retail vacancy rate holding steady at 10.4%. Both asking and effective rents experienced a marginal increase of 0.2% to $21.79 and $19.07 per square foot respectively. The second quarter consumer spending fell short of expectations: after a 0.2% decline in April, retail sales in May were only up by 0.1%, not meeting the anticipated 0.3% increase. As low-income consumers continued to feel the pinch, those in the middle are now encountering financial challenges while high earners pulled back on luxury item purchases. However, spending has not ground to a halt: consumers plan to travel and attend concerts this summer, indicating a shift in preference towards experiences over goods.

The current trends signal an expectation of relatively subdued construction activity for the rest of the year. In the absence of significant new developments, current shopping and neighborhood centers have taken advantage of companies applying the smaller-yet-smarter model to fill their vacant anchors. This approach involves large retail chains offering a limited selection of their products in more compact locations. The business rationale is to address the decline in revenues by reducing operational costs through lower rental expenses, fewer staff members, and a reduced inventory, culminating in decreased overall overhead and, consequently, higher profit margins. This strategy is helping retail landlords fill vacancies caused by recent bankruptcies and attributing to the stabilized vacancy rate.
Retail Vacancy RateThis graph shows the strip mall vacancy rate starting in 1980 (prior to 2000 the data is annual). 

Back in the '80s, there was overbuilding in the mall sector even as the vacancy rate was rising. This was due to the very loose commercial lending that led to the S&L crisis.

In the mid-'00s, mall investment picked up as mall builders followed the "roof tops" of the residential boom (more loose lending). This led to the vacancy rate moving higher even before the recession started. Then there was a sharp increase in the vacancy rate during the recession and financial crisis.

Recently the vacancy rate has held steady at a high level as online shopping continues to impact brick and mortar stores.

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Real Estate Newsletter Articles this Week: Office Vacancy Rate at New Record High

by Calculated Risk on 7/06/2024 02:11:00 PM

At the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter this week:

FHFA Percent Mortgage Rate First LienClick on graph for larger image.

FHFA’s National Mortgage Database: Outstanding Mortgage Rates, LTV and Credit Scores

Moody's: Apartment Vacancy Rate Unchanged in Q2; Office Vacancy Rate at New Record High

ICE Mortgage Monitor: Existing Home Inventory Surges in Florida and Texas

Asking Rents Mostly Unchanged Year-over-year

Final Look at Local Housing Markets in May and a Look Ahead to June Sales

This is usually published 4 to 6 times a week and provides more in-depth analysis of the housing market.

Schedule for Week of July 7, 2024

by Calculated Risk on 7/06/2024 08:11:00 AM

The key report this week is June CPI.

Fed Chair Powell testifies on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

----- Monday, July 8th -----

No major economic releases scheduled.

----- Tuesday, July 9th -----

6:00 AM ET: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June.

10:00 AM: Testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

----- Wednesday, July 10th -----

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

10:00 AM: Testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee

----- Thursday, July 11th -----

8:30 AM: The Consumer Price Index for June from the BLS. The consensus is for a 0.1% increase in CPI, and a 0.2% increase in core CPI.  The consensus is for CPI to be up 3.1% year-over-year and core CPI to be up 3.4% YoY.

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 242 thousand initial claims, up from 238 thousand last week.

----- Friday, July 12th -----

8:30 AM: The Producer Price Index for June from the BLS. The consensus is for a 0.1% increase in PPI, and a 0.2% increase in core PPI.

10:00 AM: University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (Preliminary for July).

Friday, July 05, 2024

July 5th COVID Update: Wastewater Measure Increasing Sharply

by Calculated Risk on 7/05/2024 08:29:00 PM

Mortgage RatesNote: Mortgage rates are from and are for top tier scenarios.

For deaths, I'm currently using 4 weeks ago for "now", since the most recent three weeks will be revised significantly.

Note: "Effective May 1, 2024, hospitals are no longer required to report COVID-19 hospital admissions, hospital capacity, or hospital occupancy data."  So I'm no longer tracking hospitalizations.

COVID Metrics
Deaths per Week✅283306≤3501
1my goals to stop weekly posts,
🚩 Increasing number weekly for Deaths
✅ Goal met.

COVID-19 Deaths per WeekClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the weekly (columns) number of deaths reported.

Weekly deaths have declined from the recent peak of 2,561 and are now below the previous pandemic low of 491 last July.   This week was at the pandemic low.

And here is a graph I'm following concerning COVID in wastewater as of June 27th (no update this week):

COVID-19 WastewaterThis appears to be a leading indicator for COVID hospitalizations and deaths.

COVID in wastewater is increasing - especially in the West and South - and unfortunately this suggest weekly deaths will likely start increasing again. Reports Active Inventory Up 38.1% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 7/05/2024 01:55:00 PM

What this means: On a weekly basis, reports the year-over-year change in active inventory and new listings. On a monthly basis, they report total inventory. For April, reported inventory was up 35.2% YoY, but still down almost 34% compared to April 2017 to 2019 levels. 

 Now - on a weekly basis - inventory is up 38.1% YoY. has monthly and weekly data on the existing home market. Here is their weekly report: Weekly Housing Trends View—Data for Week Ending June 29, 2024
Active inventory increased, with for-sale homes 38.1% above year-ago levels

For the 34th week in a row, the number of for-sale homes grew compared with one year ago. This past week, the inventory of homes for sale grew by 38.1% compared with last year, increasing the gap compared with recent weeks and notching the largest annual increase since April 2023.

Despite nearly eight months of building inventory, buyers still see more than 30% fewer homes for sale compared with before the pandemic. Limited home supply has kept upward pressure on home prices, which, combined with still-high mortgage rates, means many buyers remain on the sidelines.

New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up this week, by 10.8% from one year ago

Seller activity picked up momentum this week. New listing activity increased annually, climbing by more than in any week back to late April. Recently falling mortgage rates might be encouraging more homeowners to list their homes for sale.
Realtor YoY Active ListingsHere is a graph of the year-over-year change in inventory according to

Inventory was up year-over-year for the 34th consecutive week.  

However, inventory is still historically low.

New listings remain below typical pre-pandemic levels although up year-over-year.

Moody's: Apartment Vacancy Rate Unchanged in Q2; Office Vacancy Rate at New Record High

by Calculated Risk on 7/05/2024 10:52:00 AM

Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: Moody's: Apartment Vacancy Rate Unchanged in Q2; Office Vacancy Rate at New Record High

A brief excerpt:

From Moody’s:
The office sector set a record vacancy rate at 20.1%, breaking the 20% barrier for the first time in history. The slow bleed occurring in the office sector has led to a steady rise in the vacancy rate as permanent shifts in working behavior have outlasted the initial wave of the pandemic four years ago. Q2’s record rate of 20.1% is up from 19.8% the previous quarter and represents the third straight record-breaking quarter beyond our previous historic peaks of 19.3% set in 1986 and 1991.
Office Vacancy RateMoody’s Analytics reported that the office vacancy rate was at 20.1% in Q2 2024, up from 19.8% in Q1 2024. This is a new record high, and above the 19.3% during the S&L crisis.
There is much more in the article.

Comments on June Employment Report

by Calculated Risk on 7/05/2024 09:14:00 AM

The headline jobs number in the June employment report was above expectations, however April and May payrolls were revised down by 111,000 combined.   The participation rate increased, the employment population ratio was unchanged, and the unemployment rate increased to 4.1%.

Construction employment increased 27 thousand and is now 630 thousand above the pre-pandemic level. 

Manufacturing employment decreased 8 thousand and is now 170 thousand above the pre-pandemic level.

Prime (25 to 54 Years Old) Participation

Employment Population Ratio, 25 to 54Since the overall participation rate is impacted by both cyclical (recession) and demographic (aging population, younger people staying in school) reasons, here is the employment-population ratio for the key working age group: 25 to 54 years old.

The 25 to 54 years old participation rate increased in June to 83.7% from 83.6% in May to the highest level since 2001.

The 25 to 54 employment population ratio was unchanged at 80.8% from 80.8% the previous month.

Both are above pre-pandemic levels and near the highest level this millennium.

Average Hourly Wages

WagesThe graph shows the nominal year-over-year change in "Average Hourly Earnings" for all private employees from the Current Employment Statistics (CES).  

There was a huge increase at the beginning of the pandemic as lower paid employees were let go, and then the pandemic related spike reversed a year later.

Wage growth has trended down after peaking at 5.9% YoY in March 2022 and was at 3.9% YoY in June.   

Part Time for Economic Reasons

Part Time WorkersFrom the BLS report:
"The number of people employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.2 million, changed little in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs."
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons decreased in June to 4.22 million from 4.42 million in May.  This is lower than pre-pandemic levels.

These workers are included in the alternate measure of labor underutilization (U-6) that was unchanged at 7.4% from 7.4% in the previous month. This is down from the record high in April 2020 of 23.0% and up from the lowest level on record (seasonally adjusted) in December 2022 (6.5%). (This series started in 1994). This measure is above the 7.0% level in February 2020 (pre-pandemic).

Unemployed over 26 Weeks

Unemployed Over 26 WeeksThis graph shows the number of workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

According to the BLS, there are 1.515 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job, up from 1.350 million the previous month.

This is down from post-pandemic high of 4.174 million, and up from the recent low of 1.050 million.

This is above pre-pandemic levels.

Job Streak

Through June 2024, the employment report indicated positive job growth for 42 consecutive months, putting the current streak in 5th place of the longest job streaks in US history (since 1939).

Headline Jobs, Top 10 Streaks
Year EndedStreak, Months
6 tie194333
6 tie198633
6 tie200033
1Currrent Streak


The headline jobs number in the June employment report was above expectations, however, April and May payrolls were revised down by 111,000 combined. The participation rate increased, the employment population ratio was unchanged, and the unemployment rate increased to 4.1%.  

Another decent report, however, the three-month average employment growth has slowed to 177 per month.

June Employment Report: 206 thousand Jobs, 4.1% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 7/05/2024 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS: Employment Situation

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 206,000 in June, and the unemployment rate changed little at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in government, health care, social assistance, and construction.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down by 57,000, from +165,000 to +108,000, and the change for May was revised down by 54,000, from +272,000 to +218,000. With these revisions, employment in April and May combined is 111,000 lower than previously reported.
emphasis added
Employment per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the jobs added per month since January 2021.

Total payrolls increased by 206 thousand in June.  Private payrolls increased by 136 thousand, and public payrolls increased 70 thousand.

Payrolls for April and May were revised down 111 thousand, combined.

Year-over-year change employment The second graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In June, the year-over-year change was 2.61 million jobs.  Employment was up solidly year-over-year.

The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio and participation rate The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 62.6% in June, from 62.5% in May. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged at 60.1% from 60.2% in May (blue line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate increased to 4.1% in June from 4.0% in May.

This was above consensus expectations; however, April and May payrolls were revised down by 111,000 combined.  

I'll have more later ...