The "Undisputed Housing Recovery" Is Unmissable On This New Home Sales Chart

Tyler Durden's picture


We could bore readers with the just announced New Homes Sales data from the Census Bureau, which put a somewhat largish dent in the "undisputed" housing recovery fairytale taking place in America (perhaps in the Hamptons, and triplexes in Manhattan where the NAR continues to launder Chinese and Russian oligarch money) such as:

  • December new homes sales, seasonally adjusted annualized, dropped from an upward revised 398K (was 377K) to 369K on expectations of a 385K print;
  • That this was the biggest M/M drop since February 2011;
  • That months supply rose from 4.5 to 4.9, the highest since January 2012;
  • That on an unadjusted, actual basis, a tiny 26K houses were actually sold in December, compared to 24K last December, of which just 2K in the Northeast;
  • That a whopping 1,000 houses were sold in the $750,000 and over category
  • That houses for sale rose to 150K, the highest since December of 2011
  • That the punditry already spun this as being due to lack of clarity over the Fiscal Cliff and tax hikes, when in reality with expectations of higher taxes, consumers would have spent more money on hard assets in December, but why not regurgitate generic stupidity...

Or we could just show this chart of the non-seasonally adjusted, unannualized New Home Sales in the past decade, and ask: just where is this recovery everyone keeps on talking about?

Source: St Louis Fed

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Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:27 | 3185547 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Obviously people are too busy watching Netflix to shop for a new house.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:37 | 3185583 trav777
trav777's picture

employment participation chart:  people are just fking broke

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:47 | 3185628 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Robert Shiller doesn't sound too enthusiastic about the 'housing recovery'

Being the housing guru, perhaps there's more than meets the eye. We still have huge inventories and a lot of support is coming from speculators and foreigners. Is this housing recovery real? Or just another funny-money game?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:48 | 3185639 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Turn that chart upside down to see the situation in Lloyd Blankfein's neighborhood...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:06 | 3185686 doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture

But Kyle Bass said Housing IS recovering....

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:12 | 3185703 Lost My Shorts
Lost My Shorts's picture

Hmmm... good point.

ZH is a confusing place.  One moment the various incarnations of Tyler Durden are saying the $USD is being turned into confetti.  The next moment they say the price of real estate and stocks as measured in confetti will collapse very soon.  Weak minds like mine don't know what to think.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:14 | 3185706 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

deflation-USD rips-Bernanks nightmare

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:47 | 3185927 redpill
redpill's picture


If you are going to use non-seasonally adjusted figures, look at the year-over-year change in volume and price, not at the raw volume numbers.  Or at least you could do a rolling 12 months and show the month to month movement.  This survey is too skinny to be bothered with anyway but if you are going to use it, at least make a little effort to glean the trend out of it.  Home purchasing is very seasonal, so looking at it this way is pointlessly noisy.  Also, if you're actually intertested in finding the fundamental trend I'd advise excluding the May-June 2010 period as it was heavily influenced by the federal housing tax credit.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:46 | 3185795 edifice
edifice's picture

It's just infotainment. I come here for the laughs. :D

Sun, 01/27/2013 - 01:04 | 3185814 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

What we need is a comprehensive breakdown of what the "secret formulae" are for the seasonal adjustments that all governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that tabulate & produce data regarding utilize, from unemployment (from what I've been able to glean, very shady/opaque) to housing starts/sales (much more straightforward).

At this point, the seasonal adjustment gaming of the numbers has a very upwardly/positively skewed "hopium colored glasses" affect far more often than not.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:41 | 3185906 myptofvu
myptofvu's picture

Yeah but he said it was only because most housing recoveries happen about 6 or 7 years out.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:20 | 3185838 mnevins2
mnevins2's picture

Must be because mortgage interest rates are so high!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:07 | 3185694 11b40
11b40's picture

Broke, and too afraid to re-locate for a new job, asssuming they find one.

Plus, demographics are working against any housing recovery, as the boomers want to down size....for many reasons.  They may to cash out as they had expected, to add to their retirement nest egg.  They may still have house payments that have become burdensome.  They may be less physically able to maintain their large homes and yards.  Cash flow may not allow them to pay for needed repairs.

So, every uptick in demand will be met with a fresh round of inventory.  New home builders have a long row to hoe in the average market, in my humble opinion.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:09 | 3185695 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Rising oil/gas prices are very Bullish for all those buying zero down houses out in the burbs.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 14:25 | 3186016 tango
tango's picture

Just as the FED's policy of weakening the dollar, discouraging savings and forcing folks to spend more/ pile on more debt is a wonderful boost to the housing industry.  It seems as if they were trying they could not implement policies more injurious to housing.  

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:27 | 3185551 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

That would be a pretty chart - if it were a sliding board.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:27 | 3185553 Racer
Racer's picture

 so they turn 26k into 369k

Welcome to the alchemists of USSA

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:28 | 3185554 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Yes, but January's number will be an epic increase thanks to people finally getting their funds from selling paper assets and buying homes with the money.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:15 | 3185710 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

first, I agree with half your statement. I took a Big Dump of paper this week on the uptick but I ain't buying any RE yet. I'll wait until it drops another 40%. I see too-many-to-count empty boxes around and vacant mall stores to feel confident there is any sign of recovery as yet.


Thank you and Good luck!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:27 | 3185555 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

Marc Faber: The market will punish interventionists. "In the Loop" today that "regardless of what the markets do, near-term, a correction is overdue" on the S&P.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:27 | 3185556 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Why buy when you can adversely possess it?  Just ask Loki Boy.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:53 | 3185659 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

The whole US is a result of adverse possessing the land of the prior owners. Just keep up this great tradition.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:56 | 3185665 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Just a thought experiment:  Would the property necessarily have to be vacant before adverse possession?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:07 | 3185688 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Well in any case, if Loki Boy ends up failing in Boca Raton, he could just mosey on over to the West Bank or Gaza... They seem to 'encourage' the behavior over there...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:23 | 3186983 Umh
Umh's picture

If the bank doesn't have title then his claim may be better than anyone else has at this point.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:15 | 3185816 oldschool
oldschool's picture

Actually, it's a settled thought-experiment.  It's called "law" at this point, and the answer is "yes", unless one is jointly adversely possessing with the current occupant(s).

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 14:03 | 3185972 trav777
trav777's picture

dumbest thing ever written.  The previous owners adversely possessed it from their predecessors.

Nevermind that a good portion of the US was purchased, only the "former owners" were primitives that didn't believe in honoring agreements or "sharing."  They brought their war faces, raiding, stole, and killed, like primitives do and they got war in return.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 15:21 | 3186155 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

& smallpox

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:14 | 3186316 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

From whom it was purchased? From the Spanish and French who stole it from the Indians. 18 million people lived here, it was their land.

And they were sharing until they realized that there were essentially robbed. Why should they even share their land with intruders. Would you share your house with illegal immigrants from Mexiko?

That you call them "Primitives" explains your ignorance of the facts a lot. Natives in North America were very spohisticated  people, living in harmony with nature, never caused a mass exodus of people, animals or plants, but the European and later the US-American did.

Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement in the Mississippian culture which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the Southeastern United States, beginning more than 500 years before European contact. Cahokia's population at its peak in the 1200s was as large as, or larger than, any European city of that time, and its ancient population would not be surpassed by any city in the United States until about the year 1800.

Please don't tell me the excuse that they died all of smallpox. It was a factor, but also caused by the weakening of their imune system due to dramatic change of their circumstances, force, rape, stress, slavery, hunger and bad nutrition ... the list goes on.


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:36 | 3187381 Cardinal Fang
Cardinal Fang's picture

Le mythe du bon sauvage, Le Meilleur des mondes

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 05:36 | 3187465 WTFRLY
WTFRLY's picture

So true. Western history in the textbooks is a farce.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:28 | 3185559 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Isn't "re-covery" what they call it when they back fill a grave after exhuming the body?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:29 | 3185560 SHEEPFUKKER

In a free market, prices should never really go up. If demand increases, the builders just build more right?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:40 | 3185601 Bullwinkle Moose
Bullwinkle Moose's picture

Who said there is still a free market?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:55 | 3185663 SHEEPFUKKER

I didn't say the market was free, I was just referencing the home builders going ballistic and thinking out loud that they will be screwed with all the new starts. 

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:47 | 3185635 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

In a free market, there is no banking cartell, no central bank and a gold based currency. Prices will more reflect the real value.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:49 | 3185644 Spastica Rex
Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:25 | 3186994 Umh
Umh's picture

Actually it's the paper money that's magic since it really is just a piece of paper.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:32 | 3185565 t0mmyBerg
t0mmyBerg's picture

But dude, that looks like a higher low and a higher high rightcthere.  With Spring coming on maybe another higher low.  Lower left to upper right is what I see, yeah!  Just need to take out that peak high from 2010 and BOOM! to the moon jack.  Momo baby!  Moar debt moar lumber moar steel moar everything.  Generational low.  Yeehaw!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:17 | 3185716 11b40
11b40's picture

I like your attitude, 'bro. Yeah, baby!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:35 | 3185580 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

High end housing market is just another example of the decline of America. Most of these sales are money laundering from foreign criminals. Welcome to lawless america

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 15:19 | 3186151 DosZap
DosZap's picture

High end housing market is just another example of the decline of America. Most of these sales are money laundering from foreign criminals. Welcome to lawless america



Rooskies,and Chinese are eating up Florida real estate at dimes to the dollar.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:37 | 3185586 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

The key to understanding the future of housing is to examine the situation of the organic first time buyer who has always led every "recovery".  Declining incomes, part time jobs, and student loan debt enslavement has totally decimated the ability of mortgage qualification for this segment of the population.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:39 | 3185599 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

never try to use logic in this day and age-in my case it only adds to the rage

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:20 | 3185719 11b40
11b40's picture

Plus all the boomers who want to cash out on the other end, with no buyers to hand the keys to.  Why buy new when there are so many good deals around....IF you are in the market at all.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:29 | 3185760 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

boomers got stuck-many moved into that bigger house in 2003-06 that wifey always wanted and now they are stuck(my mom and dad are in this boat)

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:44 | 3185782 edifice
edifice's picture

My folks (early Boomers) are looking to sell their 5 acre place. Dad wants a farm, Mom doesn't care, as long as the house is "nice." I told them they're selling at the worst point in housing history, and wished them luck.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:16 | 3185821 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Agreed. I had to leave my wife to force her into agreeing to sell our too-big house back in 2007. We sold, got back together and bought a short-sale house in 2011 for cash from the too-big house sale. Sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture, stop satisfying your base instincts and suck it up (by renting) for a few years.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:37 | 3186898 Dealyer Turdin
Dealyer Turdin's picture

Now that's Dealin your Turdin!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 11:40 | 3185603 Cdad
Cdad's picture

And yet...look at where the housing related stocks are on their charts?  Yet another bubble, perpetrated by the algorithmic orgasmatron over at the BlowHorn [CNBC].

And again, all of this at the low low cost of just $85 billion per month deposited in our zombie banks.  What a deal.

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