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April 13, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada: Home Prices Dip Further, -14% from Peak in March 2022, Now Below Sep 2021

Condo prices in Canada fell 0.7% in March from February, seasonally adjusted, while house prices edged up 0.3%, and so the Composite MLS Home Price Index edged down 0.1%, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. The index has now fallen 14.1% from two years ago, from the peak in March […]

April 7, 2024 | Bank of Canada Balance Sheet QT Sheds 64% of Pandemic QE Assets, Indicates QT Might End in September 2025

The Bank of Canada, in its quantitative tightening program, does not cap the roll-off. Whenever Government of Canada bonds in its portfolio mature, the BoC gets paid for them at face value and doesn’t replace them. That’s the roll-off. There are months when nothing in the BoC’s portfolio matures, and there are months when a […]

April 4, 2024 | Fed Balance Sheet QT: -$1.53 Trillion from Peak, to $7.44 Trillion, Lowest since February 2021. The BTFP Plunged by $34 Billion

Total assets on the Fed’s balance sheet fell by $99 billion in March, to $7.44 trillion, the lowest since February 2021, according to the Fed’s weekly balance sheet today. Since the end of QE in April 2022, the Fed has shed $1.53 trillion. There have been discussions at the Fed about how and when to […]

March 28, 2024 | Amid Canada’s Huge Immigration Surge, Population Growth Hits 3.2%, Fuels 10% Rent Inflation, even as Home Prices Drop

Canada’s population jumped by 1.27 million people in 2023, to 40.77 million by January 1, an increase of 3.2% from a year ago, the highest year-over-year growth rate since 1957 (3.3%), Statistics Canada said today in its report on the exploding growth of Canada’s population, driven by a huge wave of immigrants; 98% of the […]

March 26, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, March 2024 Update: Biggest Price Drops from 2022 Peak: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas

The home price index for the 20 metros that the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers declined by 0.1% from the prior month, the third month in a row of declines. Year-over-year, the index was up 6.6%. Year-over-year, wait a minute… today’s “January” 2024 reading is three months off the October 2023 peak, while […]

March 18, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada: National House Prices Flat in Feb., -16% from Peak, Condos Drop Further, on Bank of Canada’s 5% & Massive QT

House prices in Canada were unchanged in February compared to January, seasonally adjusted, having fallen by 15.6% from the peak in February 2022, according to the Home Price Benchmark Index for single family houses by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today. Compared to a year ago, it ticked up 1.6%. In dollar terms, the […]

March 14, 2024 | Higher Forever? Even Yellen Starts to Get it: Higher Inflation & Higher Yields Are Here to Stay

By now everyone sort of knows that inflation has been re-heating in a very disconcerting way for months, and that the inflation saga is far from over. There are all kinds of discussions about the future of inflation in the US, and it seems there is a rough common denominator forming: The future of inflation […]

March 7, 2024 | Gasoline Demand Has a Long-Term Structural Problem in the US: Plunging Per-Capita Consumption

Gasoline consumption in the US, in terms of product supplied to gas stations, rose by 1.5% in 2023, to 376 million gallons per day. This was down by 3.9% from 2019 and back where it had first been 20 years ago, in 2003, with two big troughs in between. Gasoline consumption is determined by miles […]

March 1, 2024 | Worst Monthly Spike of “Core Services” PCE Inflation in 22 Years, and Not Just Housing: Powell’s Gonna Have Another Cow

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. […]

February 27, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, Feb 2024 Update: 20-City Index Drops for 2nd Month from Double-Top. Biggest Price Drops from 2022 Peak: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego

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 […]

February 21, 2024 | Mortgage Rates Rise Back to 7%, Housing Market Re-Freezes, Buyers’ Strike Continues. Prices Are Just Too High

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% […]

February 14, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada: National Price Drops Further in January -18.3% from Peak. End of Easy Money

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 […]

February 9, 2024 | Our Drunken Sailors’ Credit Card Balances, Burden, Delinquencies, and Available Credit

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 […]

January 30, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, January 2024 Update. Biggest Price Drops from 2022 Peak: San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Las Vegas, even San Diego

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 […]

January 25, 2024 | The Year of the Recession that Didn’t Come: Our Drunken Sailors Partied & Spent, GDP Jumped

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 […]

January 16, 2024 | Inflation in Canada Refuses to Cooperate with Rate-Cut Bets

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 […]

January 15, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada: Nationally -18% in December from Peak, Toronto -20%. Even in Calgary, House Prices Dropped. End of Easy Money

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 […]

December 26, 2023 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, December 2023 Update

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 […]

December 20, 2023 | Here Come the New Listings of Existing Homes, Prices Drop Further, Demand Remains at Collapsed Levels

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 […]

December 14, 2023 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada: Toronto -19% from Peak, back to Sept. 2021. Hamilton Area -25%, Back to Feb. 2021. New High in Calgary

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 […]

December 6, 2023 | Subprime Comes Home to Roost for Specialized Auto Dealers, Lenders & Investors: Car-Mart Was Next to Confess

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 […]

November 28, 2023 | Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, Nov. Update: From 2022 Highs, San Francisco -11%, Seattle -10%, Las Vegas -6%, Phoenix -6%, Portland -5%, Denver -5%, Dallas -5%, San Diego

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 […]

November 23, 2023 | Even Higher for Longer if Markets Keep Fighting Central Banks, ECB’s Wunsch Explains. The Fed Has Same Problem

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 […]

November 7, 2023 | Mortgage & HELOC Balances, Delinquencies, Foreclosures: How Are our Drunken Sailors Holding Up?

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 […]

November 1, 2023 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America, October Update: 10 of the 20 Metros Down from their Peaks Last Year, 6 Metros Set New Highs

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 […]

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