The Q2 results from Wells Fargo and JP Morgan have again raised the issue of declining mortgage refinancings (if rates stay elevated), along with spurring more general worries about the housing market.
Here’s the Wall Street Journal on Friday: Read more
US homebuilder confidence was mired near historic lows in August as double-dip fears grew, the FT says. Sentiment was unchanged this month at 15 on a scale of 100, according to the National Association of Home Builders, in line with market expectations but still far below the post-crisis high of 20 seen in May 2010. The NAHB noted that 41 per cent of respondents to the survey said they had lost contracts because buyers were unable to sell their current homes. Housing starts in July likely fell 4.6 per cent to a 600,000 annual rate, down from June’s five-month high, according to a Bloomberg poll ahead of Tuesday’s release.
Markit’s Otis Casey wrote this CDS report
With the holidays around the corner, many are looking forward to making trips home to spend time with family and friends. For those in the financial markets another reason prompted thoughts of home today–the announcement by the US Commerce Department that housing starts rose by 8.9%. As the downturn in the housing market is what touched off the global credit crisis, news of its revival would make a welcome holiday present. However, low consumer confidence due to high unemployment coupled with a lack of appreciation in property values is keeping a housing recovery from really taking root despite the administration’s efforts. Read more