After 3 straight months of home price declines, August and now September have seen the usual seasonal pattern unfolding as Case-Shiller reports 0.61% rise in September (double the +0.3% expectations). Of course this runs in the face of NAR's 4 month decline in median home prices, but who's quibbling. Notably, 2015 is playing out almost exactly the same as 2014... winter is coming.
It had been a relatively quiet session overnight when as reported previously, the geopolitical situation in the middle east changed dramatically in a moment, when NATO-member country Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet allegedly over Turkish territory even though the plane crashed in Syria, and whose pilots may have been captured by local rebel forces. The news promptly slammed Turkish assets and FX, sending the Lira tumbling, pushing lower European stocks and US equity futures while sending 2 Year German Bunds to record negative yields.
It may be a holiday shortened week in the US with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales on deck (some of which may be starting as soon as Wednesday) but there is a lot of macro data to digest in the next few days.
We would say today's main event is the culmination of the Fed's two-day meeting and the announcement slated for 2 pm this afternoon, however with the 90 economists polled by Bloomberg all expecting no rate hike, today's Fed decision also happens to be the least anticipated in years (which may be just the time for the Fed to prove it is not driven by market considerations and shock everybody, alas that will not happen). And considering how bad the economic data has gone in recent months, not to mention the recent easing, hints of easing, and outright return to currency war by other banks, the Fed is once again trapped and may not be able to hike in December or perhaps ever, now that the USD is again surging not due to its actions but due to what other central banks are doing.
For the first time since April, Case Shiller Home Prices rose month-over-month (though barely at +0.11%). However, this very modestly better than expected print was all thanks to downward revisions of previous data. San Francisco continues to lead the 20-city index with a 10.7% YoY gain. This is the 6th month in a row in which year-over-year gains are basically stagnant at +5%
Two biggest move overnight came from everyone's favorite carry pair, the USDJPY, which may have finally read what we said yesterday, namely that with the Fed and ECB both doing its job, there is little need for the Bank of Japan to repeat its Halloween massacre for the second year in a row, and as a result will keep its QQE program unchanged. It promptly tumbled from its 121 tractor level, to just above 120.25, where BOJ bids were said to be found. With the FOMC October meeting starting today, the other overnight catalyst was not surprisingly the latest Hilsenrath scribe in which he removed any uncertainty about a Wednesday hike, "leaving mid-December as the central bank’s last chance to raise rates this year."
As Case-Shiller clearly shows, Detroit - after staging a brief dead cat bounce in the aftermath of its bankruptcy and since sliding once again - may no longer be the worst city for home prices in the US. It has now been displaced by a city which many speculate will be nothing short of the "next Detroit."
For the 5th month in a row, Case-Shiller home prices missed expectations and dropped 0.2% MoM in July (the biggest drop since July 2014). Year-over-year, home prices have been stable around a 5% increase for 6 months which seems oddly linear and seasonally-smoothed, but broad price gains YoY also disappointed again, rising 4.7% (against 5.2% expectations). San Francisco and Denver continue to see the highest YoY gains (10.4% and 10.3% respectively) and Phoenix posted its 8th consecutive annual gain - the longest streak among the 20 major cities Case-Shiller track.
Asian Equities Tumble On Commodity Fears; US Futures Rebound After India "Unexpectedly" Eases More Than ExpectedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/29/2015 05:52 -0500
It was a tale of two markets overnight: Asia first - where all commodity hell broke loose - and then Europe (and the US), where central banks did everything they could to stabilize the already terrible sentiment.
"What happens in any bull asset bubble such as what we've seen is you run out of buyers. It's hard to get deals done if the bottom third can't get a mortgage."
Home prices rose 4.97% YoY in June, according to Case-Shiller's 20-City index, missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row. Price appreciation has now been flat for 5 months - despite surging home sales - as bubblicious San Francisco saw price depreciation once again. Portland amd Denver saw the most appreciation in June. This is the second month in a row of sequential seasonally-adjusted declines in home prices, and along with TOL's dismal report this morning, suggests maybe another pillar of the 'strong' US economy meme is being kicked out... and Case-Shiller warn more than one rate hike by The Fed (or a stock market plunge) will stymie housing considerably.
The PBOC cut itself was not surprising, considering the PBOC now has to juggle and micromanage every aspect of the economy, from its sliding currency, to the bursting stock bubble, to record capital outflow, to soaring real interest rates, to the slowing economy. In fact, bulls around the globe will welcome the latest central bank bailout. Which also happens to be the worst aspect of today's intervention, because one can once again toss all the talk that China would finally stop intervening in asset pricing, with today's decision merely perpetuating the market's reliance on central banks. As a reference, this was the second time China cut both RRR and interest rates in 2 months: the last time it did so was during the depths of the financial crisis.
Housing is a very important component of any economy, and often an indicator of the well-being of a society. In the US, housing has been deteriorating since the sub-prime crisis. The changes are not only cyclical but structural. Past experiences need to yield to an objective analysis of where we are heading. Here is the way we see it...
Both bubbles (rents and housing) are vulnerable to popping. The real test of valuation is: what's it worth in a recession, after all the easy money and the jobs that depended on easy money have vanished?