The best view is always from the top of the mountain. That’s probably why the outlook seems so promising for US auto and housing markets. Both appear to be doing well on the surface, but dig a little deeper and concerns soon emerge. The chart above demonstrates the point, updating the data from my July post […]
Tag Archives | US house prices
“Recent economic reports suggest a bleaker picture for housing…. Some of the weakness reflects the cold weather in much of the country. However, higher home prices and mortgage rates are taking a toll on affordability.” This was the sober report yesterday from the chairman of the authoritative S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, adding that “the strongest part […]
Housing used to be the key driver for US chemical demand in the SuperCycle, and went into overdrive in the subprime era between 2003-6, when housing starts rose to 2 million/year. We don’t yet have December’s data, but we already know that 2013′s total will be only half this level, despite all policymakers’ efforts to revive the […]
The blog is changing its regular presentation of US house price movements, to mirror that used for auto sales. This should help to identify month-by-month changes. It also means there is no need to use seasonally adjustmed numbers. These are guesswork at the best of times. And in Q1 they have been tested to the […]
The US foreclosure process used to take around 36 weeks, once the homeowner stopped making payments. But as the chart shows, based on information provided by LPS Applied Analytics, this period has doubled since the housing crisis began in 2008. In November, it was taking nearly 72 weeks, or 16 months. Meanwhile, the number of […]
US housing was the prime cause of the current financial crisis. US banks spent most of the 2000-7 period lending at low ‘teaser’ rates to borrowers who had no prospect of repaying the loan. And by syndicating the loans to gullible European banks, they ensured that losses were shared equally, when credit standards finally began […]
Q4 was never going to be good for US housing markets. The financial crash of September/October not only terrified potential buyers, but also meant they found it increasingly difficult to secure loans. As the chart shows, this lethal combination hit house prices hard. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller figures show prices down 24% in October from the […]
We now have an possible indication of how far house prices may have to fall in some parts of the USA, in order to attract buyers. Last month, Southern California saw a 65% rise in property sales versus September 2007. The reason, a major increase in foreclosed properties for sale. The impact on prices was […]
September was another difficult month for the cornerstones of US chemical demand, autos and housing: • GM cut prices dramatically via its ‘Employee discount for everyone’ programme. But even so, sales fell 16% versus last year (blue column) • Toyota (red column), fell 30% • Ford (green column) fell 34% • Chrysler (purple column) fell […]
The US government has finally decided to nationalise the two home loan giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Readers will remember I forecast this would be necessary a year ago, in a letter to the Financial Times. I argued then that ‘a buyer of last resort, such as the Federal government, would probably now need […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.