Thursday, March 26, 2009

Investors are Idiots - Monday's Stock Market Gains

Did anybody else feel that something was fishy about Monday's stock market bounce?

Headlines like this - "Stocks surge on bank plan, rise in home sales" made me a little curious about what they were using as a sign of a rise in home sales.

As usual, the media is making a hash of the statistics.

Yes sales rose in February over January, they almost always do as housing sales are seasonal.

In reality, according to the NAR housing sales were DOWN 4.6% from February 2008. That's the important statistic, not that they were up 5% from January.

How is Portland doing? While the number of closed sales were up 17% from January they were DOWN 38.1% from February 2008. (Clint's charts show this well here.)

So while the overall US market is showing signs of nearing a bottom, Portland is still showing signs of being in the throes of a major decline.

And once again I'm left shaking my head at the quality of the journalism in the US.

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Anonymous said...

I was looking at homes in west linn/lake oswego. The realtor said that we have hit the bottom. We were at an open house a couple weekends ago and it was full of people. My question is...are people looking and waiting for the market to drop further OR is it now the time to buy? I was hoping that we are far from the bottom and the activity we are seeing is seasonal. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

I am sure a lot of folks are wondering about the location of the bottom. What I like to ask myself (and realtors) is why rush in to buy now? What would cause prices to go up now and what caused the bubble?

Do we have easy and cheap financing?

What's the inventory looking like?

Doubt if we have a lot of Californians moving up with their wads of cash given the state of their market.

The theory that RE only goes up has been busted.

How will our growing unemployment effect prices?

What's shadow inventory?

PDX Outsider said...

We're far from the bottom. Sales and prices are down from last year, and inventory is sky high.

The market isn't going to just bounce back like the stock market either, real estate is far from liquid. We will not only be able to acurrately call the bottom, but we might stay at the "bottom" for years.

The next time an agents says that we're at the bottom ask them how they know this, and see if they can quote any real data, or if they just spout the NAR BS that "sales are up from January."

Anonymous said...

I have never understood the attraction to Lake mosquitOswego. That so called lake is gross but buyers are willing. There are two kinds of buyers those that have cash and those that don't. Those who do not possess cash have not fully realized that cheap money means high caliber credit. Those with cash (a substantially small sector of potential buyers)will be bargain shopping. My guess is the later will wait things out because we have not hit bottom. Oregon's unemployment rate will only make the pool of potential buyers smaller thereby making a bottom farther out. There are serious unsolved structural problems with the financial system and this will make recovery unseen for quite sometime. Prices will continue to decline with inventory increasing.

Stefanie Krasner said...

Hey, I like your site, and your attitude. Give us some more, please.

P.S. I think the only people doing well in real estate right now are the folks who make those wood posts for the "For Sale" signs. Inventories for their posts must be depleted. They are probably scrambling to keep up with the demand.

PDX Outsider said...

Thanks for the comment Stephanie, and thanks for not being yet another anonymous commenter.

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