Monday, March 19, 2012

Real-Estate Releases

The Lehmann Letter (SM)

Look for three real-estate releases this week, listed below with the links to last month’s releases:

Housing Starts -

Tuesday, March 20, 8:30 EDT from the Census Bureau

Sales of existing homes -

Wednesday, March 21, 10:00am EDT from the National Association of Realtors -

Sales of new homes –

Friday, March 23, 10:00am EDT from the Census Bureau -

This letter has consistently observed that the expansion won’t be robust until real estate wakes up. Problem is: Residential real estate is a balance-sheet item, an asset. It’s not a perishable, like strawberries. Inventory remains – to depress the market. It isn’t thrown out to clear the way for new growth. Housing prices must start to rise to encourage many buyers. And other potential buyers are still repairing their balance sheets: Building liquidity and boosting net worth. Mortgage lenders, who are much tougher than they were during the earlier boom, want to see that.

That’s why residential real estate and building have lagged as other indicators –such as auto sales – have moved sharply north lately. It will take many months of steady improvement before we’re anywhere near normal again.

(To be fully informed visit

© 2012 Michael B. Lehmann

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