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Wolf Richter

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On his site WOLFSTREET.com, Wolf Richter slices into economic, business, and financial issues, Wall Street shenanigans, complex entanglements, debacles, and opportunities that catch his eye in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and China. He lives in San Francisco.

Wolf Street - Over the past year or so, the Fed has been intensely discussing inflation in “core services,” which is where inflation had shifted to in 2022, from goods inflation which had spiked into mid-2022 but then cooled dramatically. So “core services” is where it’s at. Core services is where consumers spend the majority of their money. […]

Wolf Street - The overall home price index for the 20 metros that today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers declined by 0.6% from the prior month, the second month in a row of declines. The index formed a double-top with the first peak in June 2022 and the second peak in October 2023. The close-up of the […]

Wolf Street - The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 7.0% in the latest week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association today. The daily measure by Mortgage News Daily has been over 7% for days. These are the highest rates since mid-December, when they were on their way down. Mortgage rates had been flirting with 8% […]

Wolf Street - House prices in Canada overall fell 1.2% seasonally adjusted in January from December. Not seasonally adjusted, they fell 0.4%, having now fallen by 18.3% from the peak in March 2022, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. In dollar terms, the national index […]

Wolf Street - Credit cards are a measure of spending, not a measure of borrowing; they’re the dominant consumer payments method in the US, having largely replaced checks and cash. They’re used to pay for anything, from bar tabs to business trips that get reimbursed – and those can be large amounts. Credit cards were used for $5.8 […]

Wolf Street - The overall home price index for the 20 metros that today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers dipped a hair from the prior month and is now forming a beautiful double-top, after a huge mind-blowing spike. We’re going to get to the individual “most splendid housing bubbles” – as we’ve called them since 2017 to […]

Wolf Street - The year 2023 was supposed to be the year of the recession. It was the most anticipated recession ever, the most hoped-for recession. Starting in 2022 with the initial rate hikes, the “Leading Economic Index” predicted a recession for late 2022; and when that didn’t come, for early 2023; and when that didn’t come, for […]

Wolf Street - Just how tough it is to get inflation down after the easy battles have been temporarily won is now being demonstrated in all kinds of places, including in Canada according to the CPI data released today, and including in the US, where services inflation is in no mood to go away. Services is where the […]

Wolf Street - House prices in Canada have now fallen by 18% from the peak in March 2022 – or by $171,500 (all in Canadian dollars) – after the 1.2% drop in December from November, the sixth month-to-month drop in a row, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate […]

Wolf Street - Today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for “October” is a three-month moving average of home prices whose sales were entered into public records in August, September, and October. That’s the time frame here. It uses the “sales-pairs method,” comparing the sales price of the same house over time, thereby eliminating the issues associated with median prices […]

Wolf Street - The national median price of existing single-family houses, condos, and co-ops whose sales closed in November dropped to $387,600, down by 6.3% from the peak in June 2022, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today. 2023 is the first year since the Housing Bust when the seasonal high in June was below […]

Wolf Street - Home prices in Canada dropped 1.7% in November from October, after having dropped by 1.6% in October from September, the fifth month in a row of month-to-month declines, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. These drops whittled down the year-over-year gain to […]

Wolf Street - Subprime is re-getting into trouble, after having somewhat gotten out of trouble during the free-money pandemic, when folks used some of the free money to catch up with past-dues. In the auto industry, subprime is largely confined to older used vehicles. Less than 5% of new vehicle sales are financed with loans or leases to […]

Wolf Street - Home prices in the 20 metropolitan areas that today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers eked out the smallest month-to-month gain (+0.2%) since January, and remained a tad below its all-time peak of June last year. Here’s the close-up. We’ll get into the most splendid of the 20 metros in a moment in all […]

Wolf Street - Rate-cut bets have been piling up and getting moved closer, as everything that central bankers say – no matter what – is either being interpreted as “dovish” or is being brushed aside. The “Powell-was-dovish” mantra has been getting spread across the internet after every FOMC press conference since June 2022. In early 2022, just as […]

Wolf Street - Mortgage balances outstanding ticked up 1.0% in Q3 from Q2, to a new record of $12.1 trillion, after having dipped in Q2, according to data from the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit Report. This increase is less than half the pace than the big jumps during the era of the 3% mortgages, when […]

Wolf Street - We like the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index because it’s based on the “sales-pairs method” comparing the sales price of the same house over time, thereby eliminating the issues associated with median price indices (see “Methodology” toward the end of the article). And we like it because it shows the 20 metros it covers […]

Wolf Street - The spike in inflation in “core services” (all services except energy services) was the big nasty surprise – inflation is infamous for dishing up nasty surprises – in today’s release of the PCE price index for September. “Core services” is the index that Fed chair Jerome Powell has been hammering on, especially “core services without […]

Wolf Street - Today it’s the 30-year Treasury yield that pierced the 5% line. It currently trades at 5.02%, the highest since August 2007. The first of the long-term yields to spike through the 5% line was the unloved 20-year Treasury yield on October 3; it currently trades at 5.25%. These long-term yields above 5% are an indication […]

Wolf Street - The Canada Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses in fell for the third month in a row, in September by 1.3% from August, after having dropped by 1.1% and by 0.5% in the prior two months, to $815,300 (all prices in Canadian dollars). The three months in a row of declines came after […]

Wolf Street - The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released today, for the 20 metros it covers ticked up 0.6% in July from June, the smallest month-to-month increase since February, continuing the trend of ever-smaller month-to-month increases following the powerful bounce in the spring, when three months in a row, the month-to-month jumps were 1.5% or higher. Compared […]

Wolf Street - In a nasty big surprise of the type that inflation, once it’s running loose, likes to dish out, the Consumer Price Index in Canada re-accelerated in August for the second month in a row, to 4.0% year-over-year, according to Statistics Canada today, up from 3.3% in July, and 2.8% in June (red line in the […]

Wolf Street - The Canada Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses fell by 1.1% in August from July, after having already fallen by 0.5% in July, to $825,700 (all prices in Canadian dollars), ending a rambunctious spring selling season that had been further fueled by Bank of Canada rate-cut hopes, which then turned into two additional […]

Wolf Street - Homebuilders don’t have the luxury of outwaiting the market, or waiting for the Fed to slash rates, or whatever, they must build and sell homes, that’s their business, no matter what the conditions in the market. And the market is struggling with 7%-plus 30-year fixed mortgage rates and sky-high prices, after a ridiculous free-money spike […]

Wolf Street - Today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for “June” is a three-month moving average of home prices whose sales were entered into public records in April, May, and June, and it still shows the seasonal effects of spring selling season, when prices typically rise on a month-to-month basis, but the effects began to fade, and the index […]
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