Its not all fun being part of the US millennial generation (those born between 1980 – 2000). They number 80 million, about the same as the BabyBoomer generation. But as the New York Times notes: “The millennial generation has less wealth and more debt than other generations did at the same age, thanks to student […]
Tag Archives | US housing
US housing starts are slowing so far this year, with February’s starts just below the million level again on an annualised basis. This follows the steadily declining rate of home ownership, which is now back at 1995′s level of 64%. And yesterday’s Case-Shiller report on home prices suggests the 10-City Index may well have peaked back in […]
US housing markets will never be the same again. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis by the blog for ICB. The picture above of a typical US family from the BabyBoom days tells the story: The number of US babies born between 1946 – 64 increased by 50% versus the previous 18 years 4 million […]
Every now and then, the blog scratches its head and wonders, “what would it take to convince US policymakers that demographics have an influence on demand?” Suppose, for example, they loudly and consistently announced that the US was now in full recovery mode, and would be certain to achieve economic growth of 3% or more? And that then, growth […]
US housing markets have been a disaster for many homeowners. Overall, they have lost $6tn since the collapse began in 2006. Nationally, prices are still down 32% versus their peak, according to the Case Shiller Index. Temporarily, however, the market is continuing to stabilise. Banks have slowed the rate of foreclosure, and are wary of […]
Since 2007, every spring sees a rush of forecasters to claim that – finally – the US housing market has hit bottom. Sadly, for those trapped in foreclosure, and for those in the chemical industry who depend on housing sales, there is little real evidence today for such optimism. Housing also provides a good example […]
US house prices fell 4.2% in Q1, and have entered ‘double-dip’ territory, having fallen below March 2009 levels, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Index. They are now back to mid-2002 levels. Further falls are more or less inevitable. S&P suggest the ‘shadow inventory’ of homes is now 52 months at current sales rates, up from […]
Most economists still expect a major recovery in US housing markets. This would be very welcome for chemical companies, as housing represented a $35bn market as recently as 2006, when 2.2m new homes were built. But the above chart suggests they may be over-optimistic. It comes from Yale’s Prof Robert Shiller, who co-founded the authoritative […]
Major changes are underway in Western housing markets. They are generational in nature, meaning that we are starting to see a New Normal develop in terms of future demand patterns for chemicals and polymers. The past 30 years have seen Western leaders committed to the concept of a ‘property-owning democracy’. Both US President Reagan and […]
The American Chemistry Council has recently updated its invaluable work on US polymer chain inventories. Last December this led the blog to conclude that we would see “a strong H1“, as inventories were low, whilst demand was likely to rise supported by seasonal and stimulus factors. But the ACC’s latest analysis (above) leads to a […]
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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 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.