...and boy do we ever have a winner today.
From the Washington Post: “Lorenzo Wooten Jr. said that even in his Prince George’s County neighborhood, he has noticed more houses on the market and longer sales times. Wooten and his wife, Courtney, signed a contract last month to buy a $1.2 million house in Woodmore North.
‘I feel pretty comfortable where the Washington, D.C., market is,’ said Wooten, 33, a regional manager for Fannie Mae. ‘I really don’t think that they would have offered this price guarantee if the prices weren’t fairly priced currently.’
Genius works for Fannie Mae, and is purchasing a 1.2 million dollar house in an obviously declining market.
How did he miss this?
Get out before U.S. housing caves
"What will it take to shake investors’ confidence? Not high fuel prices, not Israel’s invasion of Lebanon or the alleged plot to torch a dozen airliners over the Atlantic. Not Iran’s uranium-enrichment program and the threat of another Middle East war. Investors trundle along. It’s hard to tell whether the global risk-a-thon is priced into the market, misunderstood or simply ignored. It’s still summer — grab a beer, worry later."
"Even more astounding is that investors seem oblivious to a genuine homegrown threat in the form of the waning, perhaps collapsing, U.S. housing market. David Rosenberg, Merrill Lynch’s North American economist, has fretted about a housing bubble for at least two years."
"Now he looks more right than wrong and he’s steadfast in his convictions.
Mr. Rosenberg points out that there have been 10 U.S. housing downturns in the past 50 years and seven of them triggered a “full-blown recession within 24 months.” Typically, Canada does not avoid U.S. slowdowns."
"You’d have to be living on Pluto, or in Ottawa, to miss signs that the housing market is cruising into an economic cul-de-sac….."
By the way... Merrill Lynch had this to say today...
“Merrill Lynch issued a bearish note on the homebuilding sector, predicting a slowdown already under way will get worse before it gets better. ‘We are neutral on the homebuilders because fundamentals are still too strong to call a bottom,’ Merrill analysts wrote. ‘In short, housing starts remain too high, margins are declining and rate cuts will provide little benefit from here.’”
"Christian Holland, who helps manage about $1 billion in London said, ‘Unless you’ve been on Mars, everyone’s aware that the housing market is rolling over, and that does have obvious implications on the consumer’s ability to prop up spending,’ Holland said.”