Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home Sales and the Bifurcated Economy

The Lehmann Letter (SM)

This morning's report from the National Association of Realtors illustrates a point that this letter has attempted to make for some time:

The Realtors reported 4.5 million existing-homes sold in March, down from February's revised 4.6 million.

The news release goes on to say: ““The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases…”

That's true and describes the situation, until you take a look at the chart and put matters in historical perspective.

Existing Home Sales
(Click on chart to enlarge)

(Recessions shaded)

Home sales, unlike much of the rest of the economy, are in a rut. They may have improved from recession's depths, but that is not saying much. Plain and simple: There is no growth trend.

We are in a bifurcated economy. Everything except housing shows improvement. And that's a problem because a robust economy depends upon housing’s recovery.

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© 2012 Michael B. Lehmann

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