New Home Sales Seasonal Adjustments Go Full Retard

Tyler Durden's picture

Ok Census Bureau: enough is enough.

In the government's endless desire to show just how blistering, nay, stupendously amazingful the gargantuantest housing recovery has been, we just got news that New Home Sales in January soared, SOARED, to 437K from an upward revised 378K, slamming expectations of a 380K print (chart). "This is the best New Home Sales print since August 2008!" the mainstream media roared with adoration and approval (hoping for an avalanche of ad RFPs from Trulia, Zillow and of course, the NAR). Alas, as so often happens, there was more than meets the eye.

Much, much more.

For one: the actual, unadjusted number of homes sold in January was a meager 31K (of which 1,000 houses sold in the $750K+ range): a tiny 4K increase from December, the same as August, and lower than all months from March to July 2012 (chart); the houses for sale rose to the highest since December 2011; the Median Price plunged to $226,400, the lowest since January 2012 and down $23k from December's $249,800. Finally of the 31K houses sold in January, just 12K were actually completed, with 10K under construction and 10K not even started. So who cares: seasonal adjustments happen all the time, and January just happens to be an important inflection point right? Yes.

Which is precisely why we took the December-to-January change in New Home Sales as reported since the peak of the housing bubble, to get an accurate sense of how this inversion has behaved in history. The result is plotted below: the blue bar shows the sequential change in actual data. The red one shows the seasonally adjusted one.

Please highlight the full retard seasonal adjustment.

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Troy Ounce's picture



Exploding front lobes?

101 years and counting's picture

dont forget, confidence soared as gas climbs 50 cents, PR taxes took out 2% of everyone's gross and GDP was negative in Q4.

greyghost's picture

the bearded wonder has spoken and both gold and silver have woodies

kaiserhoff's picture

Ben looks like the south end of a jackass headed north.

Tequila for breakfast will do that to you.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Thanks, Zero Hedge. I believe this is one of only 3 places that actually takes the time to present the actual numbers of homes sold, which is the purest and most informationally beneficial method of reporting especially for those who suspect but haven't quite figured out how the government and its Main Stream Media proxy shills (all of which are owned by a scant 6 corporations) are able to "paint the tape" in various shades of total and utter bullshit.

As Mark Twain said:

"There are lies, damned lies & statistics."

redpill's picture

Actually you are incorrect.  What the Census spits out has little to do with the actual number of homes sold.  Census new home sales is a painfully small sample of permit activity, and the margin of error is such that the period-over-period change is frequently indistinguishable from zero in statistical terms.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Correct, non-adjusted permits are the only semi-useful thing they publish.  Everything else is noise.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Not to get "all anal," but permits can be for spec or sold jobs.

Depending on area and market conditions, spec homes can comprise a full 1/3 or even more of new builds.

It's important to obtain accurate data and interpret it correctly, but new homse being built or even to-be-built under signed contract can be a very useful metric of activity.

SamAdams's picture

Isn't it time to detain the bankers indefinitely without trial, or better yet, put them on the kill list?  Let's put that NDAA to good use! 

dtwn's picture

The Doctor Housing Bubble blog is a good read for analysis of the California market.  Good commentary and goes back to the first bubble.

kaiserhoff's picture

Our tax dollars at work.

Boolshiticus  Maximus

OutLookingIn's picture

Taurus excretum adim homina

kaiserhoff's picture

At least we can have a few chuckles on the way to re-education camp.

AU5K's picture

but .... but... calculated risk blog says were in a housing boom.

FEDbuster's picture

I wouldn't call it a boom, but there are signs of life at least here in AZ.   I just sold one of my rental properties in a couple of days, with two offers both at asking price.  If you take the time to price it at current market (or just above), you should see some action.  There is still a bunch of shadow inventory in my area, which they seem to be putting on the market gradually as prices rise.  Most of the low end foreclosure stuff is gone.  

walküre's picture

won't last. no underlying economy in AZ to support it.

RopeADope's picture

Just wait till there is no water sent to AZ and Saharafication commences.

FEDbuster's picture

Our growth industry is retirees fleeing Kalifornia.  BTW where is there an industrial base in the US? Detroit?

Where I am located, we don't rely on imported water.  We just have to dig deep, and there is plenty of water.

indygo55's picture

Yup, that is exactly what is happening here in SW Florida.


Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Selling existing, rented property is a totally different market from new home or existing non-rented home sales.  People are willing to pay a premium to buy 100% or near 100% tenented property.  

in4mayshun's picture

No doubt that sales are picking up dramatically in some areas. However, once again we have to look at the trends to see if theyre organic or are they being spurred by artificial demand. In Sacramento, Real Estate agents are telling people that they "should not even bother making an offer unless it is in cash." We are simply seeing a re-allocation in investment dollars. People with money are tired of seeing .25% CD yields and a seesawing equity market, so they feel they have no other option to put their money to work.

If you analyze the sales we are getting you are seeing almost zero real housing demand from college grads or young people seeking to buy a first home. Another bouble is surely being blown in the housing market in some cities.

dbTX's picture

They must pay this seasonal adjuster a heck of a lot of money.

SkottFree's picture

Not to worry the Obama hope and change adds are working, yes we can make adustments down the road to reflect the true numbers but we will never tell you what it was because new and imporved happy numbers will be issued by then! Yes we Can!

ShortTheUS's picture

That data looks like it may have been tampered with so as to indicate a more positive result than actually achieved...

mckee's picture

A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing

CaptainSpaulding's picture

"You call yourself a salesman you son of a bitch?"

CaptainSpaulding's picture

David Mamet... Neil Young and Shakespeare rolled into one

toxic8's picture

Your name is "you're wanting", and you can't play the man's game, you can't close them, and then tell your wife your troubles. 'Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fuckin' faggots?

Sudden Debt's picture

Only the Boss get's to screw the secretairy. Everybody else gets the temps.

Sudden Debt's picture


ParkAveFlasher's picture

Mitch & Murray are sitting on all the good leads, the Glengarry leads.

Sudden Debt's picture

WHAT YOU'RE HIRED FOR, is to help us... does that seem clear to you? TO HELP US, not to... FUCK-US-UP... to help those who are going out there to try to earn a living... You fairy. You company man.

101 years and counting's picture

when shit gets serious.....

Sudden Debt's picture

point your finger to the guy standing next to you....

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Your face looks familiar. Do I know you?  :)

<Those were the days my friend, I thought they'd never end.....>

FL_Conservative's picture

That's unfucking believable!  When will anyone in the MSM fucking notice what's happening?  Sorry for the rhetorical question.

Vashta Nerada's picture

The MSM knows full well what is happening - they are in on the scam.

Sudden Debt's picture

When my dog shits in the house... you could say.... "he knew all to well what he did"....


but sometimes.... you can also say: "THEY'RE TO STUPID".... and it's not a insult....

A lot of people are stupid.... and I don't say that to insult them.... they're just stupid. It's a observation...


Vashta Nerada's picture

I spent close to a decade working in the media industry, before I quit in disgust.  To them, it is always party first, and facts second - and if the facts contradict party, then leave the facts out.

ITrustMyGut's picture

honey boo boo is a Accurate portrayal of 99% of amerika