August Housing Starts Less Than Expected, Rise From Downward Revised Print

Tyler Durden's picture

The August housing starts number was a disappointment, printing at 750K on expectations of a rise to 767K from last month's 746K, now revised lower to 733K. This would have been a boost to a market trained to expect more QE on any economic weakness, if only all QE in perpetuity, and certainly at leat $85 billion in monthly flow, was not already priced in. As a result, we are slowly getting to the dreaded point where bad news is once again bad news, at which all faith in the Fed as a monetary policy vehicle is lost (since Fiscal policy is now perpetually deadlocked). If there was any good news, it was in the single family starts which printed at 535K in August, a rise of 28K from July, and the highest since April 2010 (when housing had again "bottomed") driven by a surge in new building in the Midwest to 134K, from 111K. Finally housing permits which are nothing but noise, declined but beat expectations modestly. Since permits are a completely meaningless category and are purely used by hedge funds to game the market (they cost a token amount of money to procure, involve no actual work, and are there merely to frame the "housing has bottomed" trope time after time, until disproven), just like Libor, there is no point to observe them.

Source: Census Bureau

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GetZeeGold's picture




Skunked again....

The Wizard of Oz's picture

Just today NPR was talking about how 'NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!' Interest rates and prices are historic lows!


Then you figure all those homes sitting in foreclosure still waiting to flood the market and we are still going to have much lower prices. Buncha fools. 




smlbizman's picture

how fucking insane is it that the ussa is the biggest fucking liar of all time as they call out china as a currency manipulator, russia for dishonest elections, iran for being a threat etc...and now the imf is accussing argentina of faking its numbers...what a fucking joke this country is.....but remember its about a video and our freedoms....

CPL's picture

I wonder if they include bulldozing houses all of the world in that number?

fonzannoon's picture

Is it possible that bad news is still good news? Twist is going to end in December. So the 85 billion in free money turns into 40 billion. I think we need bad news for them to continue at 85 buillion and if we get enough bad news maybe we can push them to 120 billion.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Is it possible that no one gives a shit about anything anymore?

fonzannoon's picture

I think that is the most likely scenario

GetZeeGold's picture



Is it possible that bad news is still good news?


Do you work for CNBC?


fonzannoon's picture

If Zerohedge started a market based news show it would immediately compete with honey boo boo

GetZeeGold's picture



Her name is Money some respect!


otto skorzeny's picture


Bernankenstein's picture

Here’s something to feel good about. The house of cards industry.

 So far, my plan of moneterrorist policies inspired by Arcanesian philosophy, and amplified via fuctional banking system, will certainly lead to the intended econimaginationary effects we are seeing today in the house of cards industry. I call it the "Invisible Sleight of Hand Theory".  I feel wealthier already, how about you?  </sarc>

DannyTX's picture

"(they cost a token amount of money to procure, involve no actual work, and are there merely to frame the "housing has bottomed" trope time after time, until disproven), just like Libor, there is no point to observe them."

I'm a builder and will tell you that permits are not just a token cost.  Municipalities are broke and raising fees.  I guarantee that I'm not getting a permit until all of my customers's lending is final and we are ready to break ground. 


HelluvaEngineer's picture

I'm a person with functional eyes, and as such I can tell you that we shouldn't be providing any more building permits.

youngman's picture

I would bet that 99% of those permits are for Apartments....that is the new bubble...everyone is buying or building apartments...

CheapBastard's picture

How  many of these housing starts are 'zero down' houses?

How many are FHA?

All I hear on the radio now are ads: "zero down mortgages are back, get yours while they last."


"Wanted: people to join the team of house flippers, none of your own money at risk, work from home....."...and so on. It's almost hard to believe this crap is back.

Until they bring back 20% down and discipline in the house market, house prices will continue to drop due to defaults, etc. since they are still selling houses to people who cannot afford them. The housing bust in the 1980s was bad, but quickly corrected since the foreclosures dropped to the market price and were scooped up by people who could afford them and provide a solid foundation to the problem.

My house is down 32% and I expect it to drop alot more.

This time is different. We are in a 20-30 year depression/recession. Look at Japan; 20 years and 2,000% debt to revenues.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

So this is bullish, right?

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Small town in the east. All my builder buddies are booking up the next 12 months in custom homes. Not boom times but their happy. The 1% can sit on their money only so long, then they spend. we need is a lot more 1 % er's.

Snakeeyes's picture

And mortgage purchase applications DOWN again despite historic low mortgage rates. This is why The Fed's latest idiocy won't work.

WhiteHose's picture

am i the first this morning to say it? fuck you bernank, and others of your ilk!

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

/ES unchanges from 8:29 am. Cue Buck Frenankie..... "Scorboard!"

in the dark's picture

"bad news is once again bad news"


Not sure I can handle that concept!

Shizzmoney's picture

I can't wait for all of these houses to be empty in 5-10 years.  It's going to be fucking awesome.

Young people, most of us, we don't want debt.  We are sick of serfdom.  And we can't afford your "houses" anyways; why push them with low interest rates?

They could offer 0% mortgages, and people still wouldn't buy homes.  The Fed's hubris sticks out like zits on a beauty queen. 

Blindweb's picture

More likely a housing cartel will have formed by then.  They will buy up all the houses with the help of the government, forcing us to pay exorbitant rents.  

I can't seem to find the recent articles describing the administration selling blocks of homes to corporations at a discount

DannyTX's picture

My building business is slower than it ever has been.  I'm a small one-man-show contractor of nothing but custom homes, and only one or two at a time ever.  I am idling right now.  I am in a small town and know all the lenders pretty well.  It is still very hard to get a loan.  We here all this zero down shit.  It sure isn't happening here.  You better have a JOB, not be self-employed, have a great credit score, etc. etc. 

SpoonyJ's picture

Sort of new here, so bear with me.  To me housing will be a disaster until everyone that has had their 2 year ding for selling short their house or some other credit disaster while dealing with a house that declined in value gets filtered through the system.  I bought a house at peak and couldn't get a soul to buy it for over 2 years and had to sell it short because in those two years the price just kept dropping.  I finally got it sold but I couldn't buy a house if my life depended on it, so I've had to rent.   I just got out of my 2+ year probation because I sold the house short and have been going through the purchase of a new house (job relo, etc.) but the banks are much much more stringent, which is fine by me, I pay my bills and will play by the rules, but it has taken over 6 months since I wanted to purchase a house to even getting close to settling, because the banks look at me as a non revenue generator, I'm just getting a house with a super cheap rate vs. going after foreclosures etc.  So this has dragged on and on and on, and I just want to buy a cheap 180k house and all the documents have been finalized for months.  I'm just waiting for a 'closer' so I can sign all the documents.  That has been 3 months.  In my opinions, banks just don't want to lend even for people who want to buy a house, have had credit numbers of 800+ but got stuck in a housing market 10 years ago and watched their house depreciate by 50% and had to short sell. 

People in my opinion want to buy houses but are in situations like me, where they simply can't because of past history of blowing it during the peak housing boom and had to sell into a buyers market, thus getting the 2 year kiss of death

Racer's picture

Strange how the one thing that they want to go up is revised downwards and the one thing they want to go down is revised up!

Very very fishy..... and obvious to all but the vacuum tubes and MSM

caimen garou's picture

I did it, I built that number, I built a chicken house, a dog house, and a bunker.

Snakeeyes's picture

At least existing home sales beat expectations today.

It has taken us this long tp overcome the damaging effects of Clinton's housing poliicies.

yochananmichael's picture



 the housing crash is over!!!!!!!!!!!