Wondering why the future for housing as an asset is so bleak, why median housing prices continue to tumble and recently saw their biggest three month drop ever, and why there is no bottom in sight? Simple: the American public appears to have woken up to the reality that homes are no longer a flippable asset, and in fact continue to drop in price, an observation that is obvious to virtually all now. So what happens next? Why renting of course. Here is Morgan Stanley explaining (granted in a pitchbook for REITs but the underlying data is quite useful) why the Housing 2.0 paradigm is all about renting.
The Japanese government has just authorized the BOJ to buy more ETFs and REITs in order to stabilize the market. In times like this apparently preserving the global "wealth effect" is of paramount importance. In the meantime the news is getting worse- according to the French Nuclear Watchdog the containment vessel on Reactor #2 is no longer sealed (meaning radiation can enter the environment freely), while according to Kyodo the radiation level is now too high for normal work at the Reactor #4 control room.
Japan Decision To Allow BOJ To Monetize ETFs, REITs And BBB-Rated Bonds Sends Yen Higher, Gold SpikesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/28/2010 09:02 -0400
Earlier, the Japanese government approved the BOJ decision to monetize in addition to the traditional JGB securities, also ETFs, REITs, and BBB and higher-rated bonds. In other words, the BOJ is now permitted to do what the Fed will have authority to do with a few months: buy virtually all risk assets, as buying ETFs is the same as buying the general market courtesy of the most traded security in the world, SPY, to push and pull the entire market in whatever direction it goes. There are two questions at this point: is the BOJ allowed to buy foreign (read US) assets that fall under the above buckets, and whether the FX currency swap line recently established with the BOJ will allow the Fed to use Japanese proxies to monetize various US assets. Or will the Fed first seek input from the BOJ on how to proceed with sending the Dow to 36k.
How many times can they run the same play over and over? The Eurozone dive bombs, and investors immediately start buying REITs, retailers, and other assorted garbage. Maniacal trading has overtaken the stock exchanges as the 20-yr. old motion chasers are getting frantically horsewhipped by the FemBot portfolio managers to "buy whatever is going up, regardless of fundamentals".
Once again, the algospasms have turned many funds into dust as those attempting to short brokerage stocks, REITs, etc. in front of the European implosion are getting killed. Clearly, investors are voting that U.S. commercial real estate is the last bastion of safety, and the primary growth industry in 2011 will be stock trading.
Total Spread Blowout on PIIGS, Algospasms Trigger Forced Short Covering in Consumer Stocks and REITsSubmitted by RobotTrader on 04/22/2010 15:24 -0400
Today is proof that the Algo/Igor/Robo computer trading programs have run amok. While Wall St. engages in bear raids against foreign countries, panicked algos are triggering wild squeezes everywhere, causing lots of head scratching among the pundits trying to explain these insane moves. Proof that the worse the Greece situation gets, the retail stocks simply go up faster.
Another day where the problems of the PIIGS, gyrating interest rates, skyrocketing unemployment and vacancies, imploding housing starts, and other assorted ills are totally shucked off by the favored "must own" sectors: REITs, retail, and financials.
Anyone notice that Michelle C-Squared has been gradually dolling up for the inevitable Dow 11,000? Hate to sound like a broken record, but it appears that each day we have another round of breakouts in the retail and REIT sector, as if fund managers are giddy at the prospect of Michelle losing a few buttons on her blouse on Monday.
Another horrific reversal of the "risk-on" / "risk-off" trade today, as investors were spooked over the possible financial implosion of Greece. And in today's "mouseclick" world, hedge fund managers hit the "eject" button and sold anything and everything related to emerging markets and piled into safety assets.
Following the empirical evidence that banks share price moves are outstripping their fundamental performance, I have decided to run the same analysis with REITs that have beat the S&P 500.
I don't know if it has been officially declared here or not, so I will say it explicitly. Since Wall Street DOES NOT charge for their research, it is essentially a loss leader for sales. We all know this, yet we pretend that it does not happen. Well, it does. It's pervasive. It's explicit. It's now! The goal of Wall Street research is not to enrich the retail or institutional brokerage client, but to pave the way for the underwriting, sales and trading departments. Go ahead. Prove me wrong. I dare 'ya.
The recent bear rally has driven most of the solvent, semi-solvent and absolutely insolvent CRE stocks up, quite a few approaching 100%, while their macro outlook has deteriorated significantly, along with their fundamentals. Quite a few have actually acted in cahoots with the banks that held their increasingly worthless debt, having issued secondary offerings basically converting the bank holdings of debt that didn't have an icicles chance in the hottest portion of Hell of getting repaid, into worthless toilet paper, heretofore marketed as stock certificates. They have also begun offering this used toilet paper as dividends. If this isn't the sector screaming for me to come back and short it, I don't know what is.
"The amateur investor is going to get hit badly again because they're pouring money into these funds. Some of these funds managers I do not think are experienced enough to handle some of the distressed stuff they're buying and they're going to get burned." - Carl Icahn
It is sad that modern capital markets have gotten to a point when neither fundamental nor technical analysis matters. The only question is how many dollars with the Federal Reserve print tomorrow and how higher will that push stocks. For those deluded amongst you who still believe 10,000x EV/EBITDA is marginally to quite-marginally rich, and don't feel like chasing trends and passing the hot potato to the latest Down syndrome afflicted E-Trade client, here are some observations on arguably the most overbought (by a metric mile) sector, REITs, courtesy of masters of the (metric) universe, Goldman Sachs.
"Many of the issues that are cropping up in the ongoing wave of REIT and real estate restructurings
and bankruptcies are novel, and many of the issues that arise in bankruptcy in the
ordinary course have not been previously applied to the complex real estate financing structures
created in recent years. It is important to appreciate, but not to exaggerate, the hazards now facing
both lenders and borrowers." - Wachtell Lipton