Tuesday, June 2, 2009

American Houses and Foreign Economies

One might think that this report from the National Association of Realtors portends good things soon for the housing market:

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.7 percent to 90.3 from a reading of 84.6 in March, and is 3.2 percent above April 2008 when it was 87.5.

Then one reads the NYT editorial Foreclosures: No End in Sight, which begins:

A continuing steep drop in home prices combined with rising unemployment is powering a new wave of foreclosures. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence, so far, that the Obama administration’s anti-foreclosure plan will be able to stop it,

and one is confused.

CR at Calculated Risk reports on both the above today and concludes:

In previous housing busts, foreclosures continued to rise until prices finally bottomed. And prices will fall - and foreclosures rise - for some time. There is no end in sight.

I'll go with CR as usual. In general, all finance-related parts of the American economy are suspect.

As the U. S. deals with the short-term and intermediate-term ramifications of the catastrophe in its formerly even more bloated finance sector, and as the Dow has made the mistake of adding another financial company to its index, the developing world is shaking off the effects of this disaster and getting back to business. There appears to be a general consensus that domestic growth in such places as China, India and Brazil is where the action is going to be.

This is one consensus with which yours truly has no argument.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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