Unexpectedly! Sales of U.S. New Homes Dropped to Record Low in July

Here comes that “recovery summer” word again:
Sales of U.S. New Homes Dropped to Record Low in July

Sales of U.S. new homes unexpectedly dropped in July to the lowest level on record, signaling that even with cheaper prices and reduced borrowing costs the housing market is retreating.

Purchases fell 12 percent from June to an annual pace of 276,000, the weakest since data began in 1963, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median price of $204,000 was the lowest since late 2003.

A lack of jobs is hurting Americans’ confidence, leading to a plunge in home demand that threatens to undermine the one-year- old economic recovery. Builders are also competing with mounting foreclosures that are forcing down property values.

I don’t know what it will take for the news agencies to realize that The US economy is in a 1930s-style Depression, but at least CNBC ran an article on that:

Positive gross domestic product readings and other mildly hopeful signs are masking an ugly truth: The US economy is in a 1930s-style Depression, Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg said Tuesday.

Writing in his daily briefing to investors, Rosenberg said the Great Depression also had its high points, with a series of positive GDP reports and sharp stock market gains.

But then as now, those signs of recovery were unsustainable and only provided a false sense of stability, said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg calls current economic conditions “a depression, and not just some garden-variety recession,” and notes that any good news both during the initial 1929-33 recession and the one that began in 2008 triggered “euphoric response.”

“Such is human nature and nobody can be blamed for trying to be optimistic; however, in the money management business, we have a fiduciary responsibility to be as realistic as possible about the outlook for the economy and the market at all times,” he said.

The 1929-33 recession saw six quarterly bounces in GDP with an average gain of 8 percent, sending the stock market to a 50 percent rally in early 1930 as investors thought the worst had passed.

“False premise,” Rosenberg said. “And guess what? We may well be reliving history here. If you’re keeping score, we have recorded four quarterly advances in real GDP, and the average is only 3%.”

Ed Driscoll asks, What’s the Second Coming of FDR Without a Depression?

Ed points out,

Ironically, that’s not exactly the shock it’s supposed to be.

Go read the rest of his post to understand why.


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