The now forgotten foreclosuregate rears its ugly head once again, courtesy of reality. Will it also serve as a strawman for early rumblings of QE3? Sure enough, stocks jump on the bad news.
From the release:
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, slipped 1.8 percent to 80.9 based on contracts signed in September from an upwardly revised 82.4 in August. However, the index remains 24.9 percent below a surge to 107.8 in September 2009 when first-time buyers were jumping into the market to take advantage of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
From NAR's Larry Yun:
"Existing-home sales have shown some improvement but the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption and contribute to an uneven sales performance in the months ahead,” he said. “Nonetheless, there appears to be a pent-up demand that eventually will be unleashed as banks resolve their issues with foreclosures and the labor market improves. However, tight credit and appraisals coming in below a negotiated price continue to constrain the market.”
And some more:
Existing-home sales are forecast to gradually rise, with some occasional dips along the way. “For 2011 we should see more than 5.1 million existing-home sales, up from about 4.8 million this year. Housing starts are expected to rise to 716,000 in 2011 from 598,000 this year,” Yun said. “We’ve added 30 million people to the U.S. population over the past 10 years, but sales are where they were in 2000, so there appears to be a sizable pent-up demand that could come to the market once the economy gathers momentum.”
What pent up demand? Zero Hedge presented an S&P opinion piece which showed that adding the shadow inventory backlog is 40 freaking months!!!