Gyrations on Wall Street remind us of why we picked the reporting business, not the predictions business.
Overnight, global market investors built a solid base of stabilization, and this morning's futures markets surged with news that China's central bank shifted into an aggressive accommodative mode, and our own Fed officials were tamping back talk of raising U.S. interest rates as soon as September.
Since consumer confidence and household spending work as such powerful forces in both the demand side and supply of homes for sale, it's not for nothing that attention and a wave of apprehensiveness should intensify as the markets decide whether they're in correction or bear mode. Will the U.S. recovery stall?
What happens to the dollar vs. other currencies, and other economies' ability to consume U.S.-produced goods and services does tie in this small, flat world to our housing, new home, and development market. But, as mentioned above, we're reporters not prophets.
New Home Sales from the Census Bureau at 10 a.m. eastern is about as far ahead as our brains will allow themselves to go.
We know that the tumble in the stock market--which since the first quarter of 2015 has taken a dive of $1.8 trillion in value, much of that in the past few weeks--materially affects household wealth, and directly affects at least a significant share of the higher-end segment of new-home demand represented by financial services industry pros and other industry execs whose wealth has taken a beating in the stock market rout.
We also know that a "stealth force" in the early recovery, particularly in West Coast markets, has been buyers from China. John Burns notes the extensiveness of the impact those buyers have had and will continue to exert, that is, if their wealth is not wiped out in the financial dislocation occurring in their homeland right now.
That dislocation is either bad news or good news, Burns concludes, with one caveat being policies on the overseas investment cap currently sitting at $50,000.
What we're thinking, though, is that a "correction" in the financial markets, and a limbo period among non-U.S.-based home and property buyers could fix a redoubled focus where it needs to be in the United States housing market, on the "slab on grade" of our housing economy, the entry-level buyer.
If Wall Street volatility and global uncertainty and doubt put the higher-end housing market on pause, then perhaps developers, builders, policy makers, employers, and young prospective buyers will gain clarity and mission around the need to activate that lower-price-tier in the housing market.
We'll stay tuned to New Home Sales at 10 this morning, and let you know whether we're seeing anything in the just-past weeks that can tell us about what may be ahead.
Stay cool headed as the markets find their way.