The Real Estate Channel

April 2018 Economic Outlook

Conditions we are seeing today are more normal than recent years, when investors grew accustomed to record low interest rates, a near-absence of inflation and the subdued volatility. We expect coordinated global economic expansion will continue through 2018, although improvements in some economic fundamentals may have peaked.

Yes. It's a Bubble. So What?

With sky-high valuations in the US stock market, and what we believe is a tech bubble that has dangerous implications for other areas of the market, we suggest four actions investors can take now to avoid the inevitable bursting of the bubble, and which will likely benefit their portfolios’ long-term performance potential.

New Home Sales Up in March, Better Than Forecast

This morning's release of the March New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 694K, up 4.0% month-over-month from a revised 667K in February. The forecast was for 625K. Revisions were made going back to December.

Home Price Surge Continues in February, Led by Western States

With today's release of the February S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.83% month over month. The seasonally adjusted national index year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 6.3% for the last two-plus years. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (nominal) reached another new high.

FHFA House Price Index: Up 0.6% in February

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for February. U.S. house prices were up 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 7.2% (nonseasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted, the index is up 5.29% year-over-year.

Boeing, from Purchase to Sale: A Value Investor’s Exercise of Patience, Discipline and Risk Reduct

From the time I was a little tyke, I knew the benefits of having cash available to make a purchase. With it I could easily buy something under very favorable terms when others were in desperate need of that cash.

Existing-Home Sales Grows in March, Low Supplies

This morning's release of the March Existing-Home Sales increased from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million units. The consensus was for 5.55 million. The latest number represents a 1.1% increase from the previous month and a 1.2% decrease year-over-year.

Global Credit Economic Summary & Outlook

Consumer spending and business fixed investment remained strong, pointing to continued domestic economic growth. Notably, business fixed investment growth, represented by private domestic investment, accelerated to 5.4% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, from a low of 0.71% in the third quarter of 2016.

Managing Volatility in Short‑term Markets: The Global Liquidity Ladder

In a storm, you want to be able to reach higher ground. Recent market volatility – sparked by concerns over interest rates, inflation, global trade, the tech sector and more – has many investors shifting toward more defensive portfolio positions.

Protectionists Hide in Your Wallet

When you see trade deficit data between the US and China, be aware that the numbers are vastly different depending on the source. China actually follows a more commonly used protocol to account for trade than does the US. For 2016, for example, US data shows a $375 billion trade deficit with China, whereas China shows $276 billion.

A Compliance-Friendly Social Media Strategy

Even if your ability to post to social media is restricted, it is still a very powerful prospecting tool. Here are a few ideas that don’t involve posting content.

Safety Stocks: Mind the Debt

Rising rates are adding new risks to equity markets. Stocks of companies that are saddled with debt have underperformed recently. And leverage is especially high in sectors widely seen as safe havens.

Secular Trends in Residential Building Permits and Housing Starts

Over the long haul the two series offer a compelling study of trends in residential real estate. Here is an overlay of the two series since the 1959 inception of the Starts data and the Permits data, which began being tracked a year later. The monthly data points are preserved as faint dots. The trends are illustrated with 6-month moving averages of data divided by the Census Bureau's mid-month population estimates.

New Residential Building Permits: 1.35M in March

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for March new residential building permits. The latest reading of 1.354M was an increase from a revised 1.321M in February and above the forecast of 1.330M. Figures were revised going back to January 2012.

New Residential Housing Starts Up in March

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for March new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.319M was above the forecast of 1.270M and an increase from the previous month's revised 1.295M. Seasonally adjusted figures were revised going back to January 2012.