Margaret Whelan

Margaret Whelan's Posts

Experts predict when the housing market will recover Experts predict when the housing market will recover

Despite a move in mid-September by the Federal Reserve Board to lower its Federal Funds Target Rate from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent in an attempt to force interest rates down and home buying activity up, it is now clear that the housing correction still has a long way to go before it peters out. So says former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, NAHB Chief Economist Dave Seiders, and Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Christian Weller, as well as a host of other economists and interested observers who sounded off on the housing market's health in the national press during the lead up to the Fed's big Sept. 18 rate-cut announcement. Read more

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Big Money: Thinkin' About Tomorrow Big Money: Thinkin' About Tomorrow

Housing's long-anticipated downturn unfolded more sharply than many expected despite healthy underlying demand and low mortgage rates. Constrained affordability—the worst it's been in 15 years—was a key factor. Now, home prices are falling as much as 10 percent to 15 percent from their peak, with wide variances among declines across local markets. Read more

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Balancing Acts Balancing Acts

The sharp correction in demand over the last 12 months has driven many builders to switch from growth mode to harvest mode. Relative land positions, calculated in terms of years-of-lot-supply, have ballooned to nine years as the sales pace slowed. As a result, builders are walking away in droves from optioned land to free up cash. Read more

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Obeying the Laws of Gravity Obeying the Laws of Gravity

In the past nine months, new-home demand fell more precipitously than in prior slowdowns. This downward trajectory surprised many industry observers because of a generally strong economic backdrop, up to now. We believe the steep decline owes itself principally to constrained affordability, weaker consumer sentiment around housing, and rising levels of existing-home inventory. Read more

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Cheap Thrills Cheap Thrills

What a moment! Bulls argue that public home builders' stocks are cheap because of their vast land positions relative to strong long-term fundamental drivers for housing demand. Read more

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