Following yesterday's 7 standard deviation beat in New Home Sales, Existing Home Sales for July missed expectations by 2 standard deviations dropping 1.64% YoY - the first annual decline since Nov 2015. The blame for this collapse - according to NAR's Larry Yun - is "frustratingly low inventory levels."
One month ago, we showed three prominent "red flags" that the US housing market was starting to roll over. Fast forward one month and we find that the adverse trends observed in early July have gotten progressively worse, and we can now add one more.
With the S&P500 at all time highs, it is time to look at the US housing market where, however, courtesy of some recent data by RealtyTrac, Bank of America and Credit Suisse we find that not all is well.
As we have discussed many times in the past, for the Average American, owning a home is increasingly unaffordable. This has led to a dramatic surge in rents, and ultimately to a significant squeeze on the cash flow of renters across the nation. As Hillbama slam any fiction-peddler as unpatriotic, the inconvenient trith is that while nearly universal among lowest-income households, cost burdens are rapidly spreading among moderate-income households as well, especially in higher-cost coastal markets.
Home prices are rising faster than wages in most of the United States, making homeownership increasingly difficult for average Americans in some of the most populous areas of the country, according to a report released on Thursday. The report found that home price growth exceeded wage growth in nearly two thirds of the nation's housing markets so far this year, with urban centers like San Francisco and New York City among the least affordable.
Sure, the stock market had a great October with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping by 8.5%, but the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street is too stark to ignore, and the Federal Reserve is about to pop the easy-money financial bubble.
"We are seeing more globalization as Southern California has become a destination for international buyers," said Mark Hughes, chief operating officer with First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market. "Eighty percent of new construction in Irvine last year was sold to Chinese buyers. International buyers are driving home prices up and sometimes out of reach for many local residents."
For those concerned if their city is among the top most frequented by this particular, and very unpleasant, breed of "zombies", here are the top 50 cities in the US in which zombie foreclosures represent the highest percentage of all properties in foreclosure. For those readers certainly located among the Top 10, now may be a great time to hit a bid, any bid and get out while the getting is good.
There's never been a better time to be a home flipper. Not only are average returns at all-time highs (you can double your money in Baltimore), you can even obtain cheap financing from Wall Street as opposed to dealing with pesky local banks. Better still, there's a very good chance you won't have to deal with annoying aspiring homeowners because according to RealtyTrac, the percentage of flipped homes sold to other "investors" is at a four-year high.
If there is one chart that most clearly captures the unsustainable US home price appreciation bubble, it is the following which was released overnight from RealtyTrac: home price appreciation nationwide has outpaced wage growth by a 13:1 ratio!