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The Housing UnRecovery Is Here: Architectural Billings Plunge Most Since 2008

Tyler Durden's picture


Not only is this 'housing recovery' being built without the use of Lumber (as we explained here), but Architects are no longer useful either. The last two months - as homebuilder stocks surge and house prices spike - has seen Architectural billings plunge by the most since November 2008. The current level of activity is at its lowest since June 2012 - hardly indicative of the rampaging rapacious demand for homes that we are spoon-fed day after day...



Charts: Bloomberg


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Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:56 | 3595477 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

another "Summer Of unRecovery" courtesy of Joe Biden and Uncle Sam

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:01 | 3595503 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Gas over $4 as well here now too...and haven't really heard a peep about it his time. I guess all the media has abandoned anything that might be 'bad for stawks'.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:04 | 3595512 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Gas spike right on schedule....the Thursday before Memorial Day. They just keep taunting us.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:07 | 3595521 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I'm in NY and it's $3.67. Where is it over $4 other than Kalifornia?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:08 | 3595528 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's $3.90 here in Indiana.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:12 | 3595536 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

For regular? Or do you put high test in your maserati?

$3.90? Wow.

You guys have it all wrong. You need to move to NY. It's Utopia here right now. Money flying out of people's asses. I keep jumping but I can't catch any yet. Hopefully soon. Anyway get out here. It's great, you get a free Weiner.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:23 | 3595570 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Is 3.9 the price of gas, or the maximum magazine capacity you're allowed...I can never remember.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:24 | 3595575 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

my magazines are GQ and Esquire.

I sincerely hope u guys know I am just fkin around.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:37 | 3595617 Agent P
Agent P's picture

"You need to move to NY. It's Utopia here..."

Anyone who says that is either just fkin around or a NY politician...and I didn't have you pegged as a politician. ;)

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:40 | 3595626 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

lol everyone in NY is a politician.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:26 | 3595586 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Maserati...That's funny. You don't see a lot of those around where I live.  I don't recall ever seeing one the whole time I've lived here. I have seen a Lamborghini though. I think it was somebody just passing through wondering WTF they got themselves into.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:31 | 3595600 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

That was Slaughterer

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:52 | 3595657 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Money pit falls are everywhere.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:15 | 3595538 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Well, it's $7.76 over here in germany ... you are getting close ...

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:19 | 3595558 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Guess who has Germany's gold? NY. It just keeps gettin better and better over here.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:25 | 3595578 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

"has" or "had?"

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:38 | 3595620 Acet
Acet's picture

"Says it has"

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:53 | 3595664 negative rates
negative rates's picture

They can tell you anything. A wearhouse is empty until proven full.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:59 | 3595682 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

as of right now it's still the other way around.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:41 | 3596003 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture


Well maybe they "leased" it  . . . to someone who sold it.  That's as good as gold right? 

Seriously, how do you sell (i.e. transfer title) something you don't own (it's leased, you don't have title to transfer).  Gold "leasing" is an accounting fraud on its face.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:22 | 3595564 Going Loco
Going Loco's picture

UK average about £1.35/litre x 3.785 x 1.51 = $7.72 per US gallon

But most new cars do 50 - 70 miles per gallon now. Time to sell my car.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:27 | 3595582 pavman
pavman's picture

Its $4.05 in Chicago's cheaper (e.g. subsidized) suburbs.  Its $4.15 in the richer burbs, most likely $4.30+ in the city itself.


Crook county indeed.  I never get why its so high here...RBOB is only $2.82 WTF Chuck.


Derp ... no way to delete this post :'(

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:10 | 3595719 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

ethanol blend (cheapest) was $3.90 in Des Moines, now $3.86. Diesel running $3.69 and some places $3.57. Been a long time since gasoline has been higher than diesel.

the one good thing about the price increase is that it stopped discussion at the state level of raising the gas tax (again).

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:27 | 3595588 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I hear donkey carts are really economical, but of course you have that CO2 problem to deal with. Good luck fitting that catalytic converter.

Third world regression. Bin Laden is winning.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:41 | 3595632 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I'm paying about $6.93 for the cheap stuff in Switzerland , a hell of a lot better than the $10/gallon a few years ago (ironically pre-CHF-EUR peg).

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:41 | 3595633 Oleander
Oleander's picture

Taxachusetts is where you oughta  be... gas is $3.48 here.  Houses are selling like silver eagles. Heating oil is $3.08.   

*The Boston Herald claims real estate is selling at record rates. The Boston suburbs should not be used to relect conditions in the rest of the state.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:21 | 3595748 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Last 3 senate presidents convicted, not accused, convicted of crimes.  Lt Gov quitting suddenly.  Place is just run by psychopaths that are voted in by people who believe they are smarter than everyone else in the world.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:09 | 3595529 Headbanger
Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:31 | 3595597 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture


LOL...I thought all that Shale Oil in the Dakota's was going to help bring down fuel prices......but look how "HOT" they are up there.

LOL !!!!!!   It's not about supply's all about the cost of extracting that dirty shit with expensive techniques.  Frack this....suckaz !

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:10 | 3595689 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Not to mention this stupid, smirking spokes-bitch for the shale oil and natural gas cabal touting all the high paying jobs......

Sure....but I bet you DID NOT KNOW Dakotans, is that the oil and natural gas crowd were going to suck away a large portion of your "good paying jobs" income in increased fuel and energy prices because of your energys demands in driving to work, using the heavy diesel equipment, keeping the lights on 24/7 and all the Wal-Marts and stores downtown because there are SO MANY of you rushing to get to the OIL BOOM.....not to mention all the heavy equipment needed to put down petrolium based asphalt to build new roads much less fix the ones you guys are destroying ever more quickly than before.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction....sometimes worse.

Consequences are a bitch.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:10 | 3595530 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Illinois (not Chicago).  Technically it's not $4, but $3.999 is close enough for government work.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:26 | 3595585 pavman
pavman's picture

Its $4.05 in Chicago's cheaper (e.g. subsidized) suburbs.  Its $4.15 in the richer burbs, most likely $4.30+ in the city itself.


Crook county indeed.  I never get why its so high here...RBOB is only $2.82 WTF Chuck.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:30 | 3595599 Its Only Rock N Roll
Its Only Rock N Roll's picture

$4.19 in Chicago suburbs.  $4.49 if you venture into the city. 

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:05 | 3595700 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

$4.50 in Tahoe, but worth every penny!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:47 | 3595843 TheEdelman
TheEdelman's picture

In OC over 4/gal.  Its great right now too.  Brand new bentleys, maseratis, lambos, ferraris, porshe cayennes (wives drive these ones)...  all over the roads. Its 2005 all over again.  

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:51 | 3595853 TheEdelman
TheEdelman's picture

except this time..maybe... the richies may be just trying to use up whatever fiat they can??? 


Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:16 | 3595732 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

It's basically $3.79-3.99 in MI, OH, IN.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:29 | 3595784 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

maybe they are using less qualified firms that charge a lot castanza and assc.....

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:18 | 3595541 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Architectural Billings Index web site:

The ABI serves as a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months. The indexes are developed from the monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey panel where participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

So this index is for non-residetial buildings. Unfrtuantely it is not a measure of the dollar value nor number of projects billed but only the number of architects seeing more, less or the same activity.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:30 | 3595593 pavman
pavman's picture

That's because, technically, you don't need an architect to build a house.  It doesn't hurt tho.  Architects are only required for buildings used by the public (e.g. pretty much everything but a house, shed, barn, and such).  Dam monopolists!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:58 | 3596077 saltine
saltine's picture

I'm a successful architect in the Maryland suburbs of DC. I'm a sole practioner and do small scale corporate and commercial work, mostly office space, computer rooms, labs and other techincal spaces. I've been in the profession for 40 years and in business for 25 years+. Business is not dead-in-the-water but its close. Current conditions are on par with 1973/4, 1991, 2001 and 2008/9. I'm starting to get calls from general contractor's looking for work which means (if they are starting to call small shops like mine) their backlog is drying up. Of course this eventually will affect the GC's subcontractors and material suppliers. 

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 13:02 | 3596232 JayKitsap
JayKitsap's picture

I'm a structural engineer near Seattle.  I've done the structural on 3 houses > $10M.  The last $1M or higher house I did was 08.  I did the structural on 0 Architect designed houses in 12, but 2 already this year.  Only did 4 houses total each in 11 & 12, done 5 new houses this year.  Commercial construction has fully tanked, one builder I do work for (he either uses me or a designer vs Archi for most of the design) had 70 jobs open on the books in 2009, now has 7 foremen in a couple of crews.

Now the Navy work I do is also drying up as that was the first thing cut with the sequester.  In some ways it is worse than 2008-9 as there was a backlog then and not all jobs died.  Now all the backlog is gone and nobody really wants to invest - I wouldn't either.

I think 81 in Detroit and 85 in Denver were steeper potholes, but there was a climb out.  Within months the new jobs recovered.  Now I wonder if it ever will.  What happens when interest rates go up a couple of %.  

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:18 | 3595556 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I thought Joe was hyper focused on gun control?

Where has he been lately?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:22 | 3595566 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I found Joe.

MSM has him doing a cameo on Jeopardy but he was actually at UPenn insulting China.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:41 | 3595630 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

I couldn't take that rambling imbecile long enough to see how he insulted the Chinese.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:37 | 3595814 auntiesocial
auntiesocial's picture

It gets worse. Supply and Demand do not dictate an honest fair market value in many if not all major markets. The banks are holding back properties, I mean a freaking boatload, not just a handful, and if they were all released onto the market to give people a real market value, the over inflated prices that are held together by the neglect of reporting reo's, fc's would a come a tumblin' down. Which they should. But this ain't real capitalism at play now is it?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:23 | 3595960 PiltdownMan
Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:57 | 3595479 Smuckers
Smuckers's picture

...Cause you don't need an architect to build a tent.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:59 | 3595487 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

The offset here is a huge increased demand for corrugate manufacturers.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:01 | 3595499 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Slowdown in housing means fewer refrigerator boxes to house the homeless.  Vicious circle...

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:07 | 3595523 SamAdams
SamAdams's picture

We don't need no steenkeen permits to build a tent gringo....

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:18 | 3595739 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Caves are in high demand. 

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:02 | 3595505 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Tent-up demand.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:23 | 3595571 B2u
B2u's picture

Plenty of corrugate available behind Sears and Walmart.  Lots of raw goodies inside the garbage bags too.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:31 | 3595602 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture


Yes, and you'll need and Architent to bring your box to life!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:40 | 3595628 Acet
Acet's picture

Hole In The Ground ... it's the new Skyscraper!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:26 | 3595771 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Maybe not, but you do need an environmental impact study (possibility of murdering thousands of protected bugs, animals and insects), erection permits, right of way assessments, color coordination study to blend in with surroundings, water, latrine, fire permits, and proof of welfare in case you have to buy something.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:57 | 3595481 onewayticket2
onewayticket2's picture

does this count "intangible" lumber and activities?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:58 | 3595482 franzpick
franzpick's picture

You didn't build this.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:01 | 3595502 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

The rare triple-post early in a thread without intervening comments.  Well done, sir.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:10 | 3595533 HulkHogan
HulkHogan's picture

He should've stretched before typing this morning.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:00 | 3595483 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Someone helped you.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:58 | 3595484 franzpick
franzpick's picture

You didn't build this.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:59 | 3595492 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Better switch to decaf...

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:04 | 3595511 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Returning this non-responding tablet today.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:21 | 3595563 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

You should try an Apple device.  CNBC tells me it's the only device available.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:58 | 3595485 Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones's picture

Looks like Ctrl-P works for architecture as well as QE...

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:00 | 3595494 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Let them make bricks without straw.  And the tally shall not decrease!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:00 | 3595496 Rainman
Rainman's picture

It all makes sense...don't need no architect to design a double-wide at the trailer park.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:10 | 3595517 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

How many architects do you need for Tract Housing?


Tract housing is a type of housing development in which multiple similar homes are built on a tract of land which is subdivided into individual small lots. Tract housing developments are typically found in North American suburbs that were modeled on the "Levittown" concept and sometimes encompass large areas of dozens of square kilometers.

Tract housing development makes use of few architectural designs, and labor costs are reduced because workers need to learn the skills and movements of constructing only those designs rather than repeat the learning curve.


Just stamp 'm out with cheap lumber and tiny pvc piping, and even cheaper labor. They'll last just long enough for them to build the last box and move on out down the road.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:12 | 3595537 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Very true Loki, you need three or four designs and you can build a complete developement. On the other hand, high end apartments and custom homes will burn up a lot of billable hours , this may be where the weakness is. No one is knocking down my door to run a job for them these days.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:00 | 3595497 Jason T
Jason T's picture

hope lumber prices plunge.. doing tongue and groove ceiling in back room this fall.  Deflation..bring it.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:01 | 3595498 new game
new game's picture

now i don't know who to believe...

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:01 | 3595500 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

If only it were just housing, that's unrecovering. But, alas, it ain't merely housing, it's the whole economy. I'd like to share some thoughts about the reasons. Maybe that's slightly off topic:

The present economic policy basically doesn't regard the economy as a moral thing, but thinks that depressions are mainly technical problems. The work economists have to do, should be to find a technical flaw and fix it. Being very familiar with technology, I can assure you, that economy is no machine and it does not follow any technical rules. What a brain can think of such baloney? How can anyone dare to compare an economy to a machine? Well, that makes sense, if you think of the fact, that Bernanke, Summers, Krugman and all these fuckfaces regard themselves as some sort of financial "technicians".
That's like thinking of the human body as a machine. One may do that, but nonetheless such a body could not be cured of any illness by using a wrench! We are lucky that Krugman and his ilk are no medics. As opposed to a machine an economy was never designed by anyone, nor has it been produced in a factory. There is no construction plan, no user's manual, no help-hotline and no netsite or forum with solutions to known problems.
Not being produced by men - it simply cannot be fixed by men. An economy is a complex and dynamic system. It has many, many parts, that are in motion everyday, and each and every part has it's own informations and goals. A farmer in the midwest may know very well that, say, his land is yet too wet to plant crops on it. Department of Agriculture wouldn't have the slightest clue. A plumber in Texas may know that business is not running as good as last year, but what would Krugman know of that? Which machine has intelligent parts, that act independantly?
And these different parts have separate goals, too. An economy is a way for it's parts to reach their respectively own ends. Imagine a car, driving where it's steering wheel wants it to. Imagine an engine that throttles down if the carburator feels like it, or that shuts down if the valves get tired. No machine has ever been constructed in such a way. Economy is more like a swarm of birds than like a dreamliner.
In the USA the wages are way down, and the people are getting more careful. They shop at great discounters to get as much as possible for their money. They wish for low prices. What else is an economy good for, if not to fulfill the needs and hopes of the people living in it? And what is the goal of economists, if not to help the people to accomplish that?
So, what do they do?
They demand that the government should raise consumer prices - so to intentionally and deliberately sabotage the people by driving up their cost of living. That's what QE is all about: To bring more money into circulation, so that prices rise. Then, the people would get less for their revenues and would thus be motivated, if not forced, to spend it immediately, before it loses even what little purchasing it has left.
And therein lies the reason why Krugman and his ilk want to regard the economy as a machine: Machines can perfectly be manipulated and controlled. But real economies can't ...
And that's why it all will fail miserably in a not so distant future. Wait for it. It's coming.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:22 | 3595565 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Awesome summary my friend.  It's posts like this one that keep me coming back to ZH. 

They want to avoid deflation at all costs because it would mean deleveraging, meaning bank failures.  They can't accept the idea that banks, even those that have become breeding grounds of institutionalized immorality, should fail from time to time.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:38 | 3595615 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Good post but I might add a little:    What the Fed print fest is really about is providing an inflated bid for bad paper held or guaranteed by financial institutions (TARP etc) to stop a cascading collapse of the derivatives-linked overleveraged system and artificial demand for UST paper (QE) to delay the inevitable death spiral of interest costs.  And of course Fannie and Freddie creating an artificial demand for mortgage paper to delay price discovery in housing.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:30 | 3595681 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

Ya know, I hear what you are saying, but I think there are a couple of important points that should be considered, some of which coincide with your thoughts and others not so much.

1. The banks suffer from only owning a hammer. When you only own a hammer, every problem must be a nail or else you cannot solve the problem. Unfortunately the fundamental issues are not nails -

a) It is mathematically impossible to pay back debt in a fiat money system. So, the fiat money system is fundamentally flawed from the start.

b) Money is not value, per se and in an economy where value is constantly being created money is only necessary as a means of exchange ... to make trading items of value easier.

c) In a system where certain types of money have a monopoly status, be it gold or greenbacks, they do have value ... but not as something people need to survive, but as the exchange mechanism to get things people need to survive... and so each new unit of money created will have similar value because of the historical value of the previous money as an exchange mechanism ... but that value will diminsh as the supply is inflated. The banks and government, not creating value themselves can do only two things, make money worth more relative to things of value or make it worth less compared to things of value. This is their hammer.

d) The way to create a healthy economy seems to be to increase the velocity of money moving through the system, but only if that money is used for productive means that create value. The way it is supposed to work in a healthy economy is that excess value equals wealth/savings and savings can be spent or invested to create more value.

e) In theory one would think that our banks and governments would want to create a healthy economy where value is created through labor and money velocity is high, continually buying things and getting reinvested back into value adding activities. However, the fact is that our banks and governments do many things that add friction in the value creation process and actually slow down or kill value creation.

     i) they create regulation, red tape, paperwork and laws that help some business form monopolies and force others out of business. Once the monopolies are created and the regulation makes new business too costly they use labor arbitrage to create value in other countries and import products into our country at a lower cost (they pocket the difference in labor cost as arbitrage). The globalization of the workforce and destruction of the US workforce was a clear choice, caused by the governments and banks and was not some magical thing that mysteriously happened.

     ii) they tax and siphon off money that would otherwise go into peoples wealth that would be used for spending or investing

     iii) they charge interest which forces people to pay back more than they have borrowed and forces the creation of more money and inflation to be able to pay back old debts ... when inflation happens through the creation of more money one would think this would add to the amount of money that could be used to create value, but unfortunately THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Investment comes from wealth built from excess value creation. Creating money add no value, it just makes things more expensive and old dollars earned buy LESS in new value creation than old dollars. THIS IS THE BIGGEST FLAW IN THE CURRENT CENTRAL BANK THINKING ... if their intent is to really improve the economy. New money created first goes to paying off old debt with interest and second to buy things that are now more expensive due to the larger money supply and then it gets distributed to those closest to the money creators and virtually none of it gets invested in value creation.... or so our recent history would indicate.

     iv) corruption and greed keep bankers and governments from employing the full capacity of its workforce to create more value. The bankers and politicians have a choice of either keeping the money for themsleves or investing it in their people so that the people can create value and most often simply choose to keep the money themselves ... which makes the problem even worse, since the money the people have is now worth even less.

f) one has to take into consideration that what has been done to the US has been done intentionally. It works great for those in charge. They have to do very little work to maintain their power and pass it down through the generations, they have litte competition, the people are kept powerless and the people are kept distracted. It is very likely that the so called leaders do not want a more powerful nation, full of powerful and independent people. They may just want to enjoy the power they have and increase that power... by either conquering others, consolidating their monopolies or decreasing the power of others. These desires are very Machiavellian and clinically psychotic in nature.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:22 | 3595753 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I actually disagree. QE or money printing is not about raising the cost of living. This is a side effect.

It's about control. They print because they otherwise would have had to liquidate to keep the farce going. When you liquidate, you give up
Control of assets. It had nothing to do with effecting the price of those assets, it's about not having to sell them. The liquidation would have allowed savers to buy major capital goods at a big discount. They could have held on to profitable assets for decades and changed the direction of the country. And so the QE prevented that. It's about holding capital hostage. Keeping it in the hands of the incompetent and maintaining the established power structure.

That's the great misdirection from Keynesianism. It's a front to what otherwise would have been liquidation.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:05 | 3595516 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

yeah but we don't use architects anymore. now we go from napkin drawings right to construction because the properties are selling sooooo fast. who has time to wait for architects when there is sooooo much money to be had?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:07 | 3595520 VonSalza
VonSalza's picture

Who needs a Architect & lumber for a new house. Only need sketchup and 3d printer to build your own LEGO castle.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:07 | 3595524 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Vandelay Industries, bitchez!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:12 | 3595532 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

All too predictable. The so called housing recovery is simply the attempt of the financial system to control price by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into funds that buy real estate and pump up the price. In this way it mirrors the stock market, precious metals, food commodities and such. The banks are taking free money they have created out of thin air, paying a huge hunk to themselves and cronies and using the rest to buy real estate at prices that ensure that average people cannot afford to own and must rent... or go homoeless. In essence the banks are buying out their own putrid mortgages caused by their mortgage fraud period.

Why create money and give it to people so that they can afford to have a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear when you can just give it to yourself so that you can bid up the price of assets you already own? Seems logical to me ...f'n psychopathic parasites.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:15 | 3595544's picture

Architects are doing Gods work so no need to bill, a simple thank you will do

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:16 | 3595548 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

No surprise here the FED learned how to conjure houses out of thin air

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:16 | 3595551 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

CNBS will use 6 month [TOL] chart to pimp strong indications of recovery.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:42 | 3595636 Phillycheesesteak
Phillycheesesteak's picture

Not very useful since architects have little to nothing to do with new homebuilding.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:44 | 3595640 DadzMad
DadzMad's picture

Not many architects design homes, anyway.  A draftsman at a lumber yard typically carries the credentials to at least design up to 2 family dwellings, sometimes larger depending on the state.  The codes and ordinances determine how your home will be constructed, and the location/subdivision already determined how it will look.  Architectural billings are a sign of commercial construction activity.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:10 | 3595718 Phillycheesesteak
Phillycheesesteak's picture

Agreed. I don't know where ZH comes up with some of this shit.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 12:49 | 3596198 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

There are well over 1.75 gazillion published home designs.  We need more?

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 09:57 | 3595676 Logiclee03
Logiclee03's picture

$3.45 in Lexington....but we have a lot of horsepower!!!!

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:15 | 3595728 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

If architectural work is down it would have to be due to drop in demand at the high end I would think. Doesn't seem like there's much demand for architectural work for the $200k-$300k houses.

At least that's the impression I get from what builders are putting up now....seems like a lot of the builders are using stock designs already paid for. Either that or they're doing the designs least that's what it looks like, cuz a lot of these burb designs are fugly.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:46 | 3595824 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Just watch the lumber; all you need to know, right there.

Old joke:  Phone rings in the lumber pit - all three guys break out laughing.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 13:05 | 3596246 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

Why would anyone buy a house now? For many reasons it's a 'questionale' move. When Ben lets rates rise [as he has already hinted], house prices will correct another 20-30% [ as Shiller has said many times]. Seems crazy not to wait for 12-18 months more.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 13:47 | 3596379 boeing747
boeing747's picture

If 2013 is like 2006 again, that means each cycle is around 7 years (under zero interest rate), then from the worst year of eary 2009, add 7 years, is 2015 (2009 count as 1 year). So in 2015, you have to sell everything including 'Home, sweet home' because housing will enter long term bear market since after next crush .gov will be downgraded, can't cheaply finance housing anymore, also babyboomers downsize even faster. Yes, finally we are able to get ride of 'funny mae' and 'fatty mac'.

Fri, 05/24/2013 - 15:24 | 3596721 PoliticalRefuge...
PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

Architectural effort goes into the layout of utilities and services for residential construction- someone has to engineer the waste water treatment, streets and power.

it's obvious we are in a short lived bubble in home sales right now, and probably the last stage- gonna get ugly.

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