But several people, including one of the founders of the famous home-price index, say the housing market is nowhere near out of the woods.
While acknowledging that the report was good news, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com, downplayed the importance of a single month's statistics. "I think it's a temporary respite," he said. "It reflects the recent decline in foreclosure sales, and prices will continue to fall over the next several months."
Jul 28, 2009 2:24 PM
The Nashville-area manufacturing sector is now downright hemmorhaging jobs. Year-over-year declines have increased from about 5 percent last summer to more than 13 percent. For the full set of numbers from MTSU's Business & Economic Research Center, click here.
Jul 28, 2009 7:07 AM
MTSU's Business & Economic Research Center has tabulated the region's residential building permits from June. The first-half tally is downright dismal: The $377 million worth of filings was the lowest since 1993 and just 30 percent of 2006's peak. Looking for an upside? Expect home inventories to continue to shrink in the coming months and help put a floor under prices, which have stubbornly stayed 8 percent below year-ago levels in recent months.
Jul 27, 2009 6:39 PM
But they still have no pricing power, say the folks at Smith Travel Research.
“Even though June demand was still down considerably from last year, the level of decline was the best so far in 2009. That trend has continued through the first half of July, and we’re hopeful that it will continue for the remainder of the summer. However, the percentage declines in average daily room rates continue to be at all time lows.”
Jul 24, 2009 2:08 PM
The good news: The National Small Business Association says the number of small-business owners who think the economy will grow in the next year has more than doubled since December. The bad news: The number jumped from 3 percent to 7 percent and many of the business who could use a financing boost likely can't get one.
There was, however, an increase in the number of small-business owners who used a traditional bank loan in the last 12 months. While a positive indicator that bank loans are an option for some small businesses, this increase also reflects the fact that more businesses are turning to outside sources of financing as the difficult economy has forced them to use up business savings and earnings—making access to affordable capital all the more important.SEE ALSO: A report from federal regulators that says almost 90 percent banks are tightening the loan underwriting standards.
Jul 22, 2009 2:08 PM
Year-over-year home prices rose in 10 states during May, but still fell 9.2 percent nationally.
“Although there has been some improvement in the national HPI, collateral risk will continue to be the main driver of the housing market for the remainder of 2009,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic. “Until home prices and the economy stabilize, mortgage performance will continue to worsen and home sales activity will remain flat nationally through 2010.”
Jul 21, 2009 8:46 AM
Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart told the Downtown Rotary today that economic growth is returning, but it won't be gangbusters anytime soon.
The recovery will be weak compared with historic recoveries from recession. The recovery will be weak because the economy must make structural adjustments before the healthiest possible rate of growth can be achieved.
Jul 20, 2009 3:22 PM
The New York Times today has a report on the dip in consumer sales for June. According to the Great Gray Lady, “the industry posted a 6.7 percent decline in sales for the month, in contrast to a 3.9 percent increase a year ago, according to the Goldman Sachs Retail Composite Index.” In a bit of an odd explanation (totally plausible, but hardly scientific) the paper states that rainy weather on the East Coast may have kept spenders from opening their wallets for a new summer wardrobe.
"Sales fell at mall stores open at least a year, a measure of retail health, including Abercrombie & Fitch (down 32 percent compared with the period a year ago), Zumiez (down 19.3 percent), Children’s Place and Limited Brands (both down 12 percent), Wet Seal (down 11.1 percent), American Eagle Outfitters (down 11 percent), Gap (down 10 percent), and Hot Topic (down 7.9 percent)."Department stores didn't fare better.
"Sales declined 14 percent at Dillard’s, 8.9 percent at Macy’s, 8.2 percent at J.C. Penney, 8 percent at Bon-Ton and Stein Mart, and 5.6 percent at Kohl’s. T.J. Maxx and Ross Stores performed much better, posting 4 percent and 1 percent sales increases respectively."The only stores which saw an upkick were affordable clothing spots Buckle and Aéropostale, which saw 9.6 and 12 percent sale increases, respectively. Interestingly, Wal-Mart has stopped reporting monthly figures.
Jul 9, 2009 9:40 AM
Among large metro areas, Nashville has one of the most stable housing markets in the country. That's the word from PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., which has just put out its latest quarterly Economic and Real Estate Trends Report. PMI's risk index, projecting the likelihood that housing prices will be lower in two years, gives the 13-county Nashville metropolitan statistical area a score of 16.6 out of 100, versus ratings of 99.9 each for the Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix MSAs, among others at the bleak end of the scale. Mighty Cleveland scored the lowest risk rating at 1.5 -- go figure -- with several Texas cities also posting robust scores. Charlotte came in just ahead of Nashville with a rating of 15. The national picture:
As many as 324 - approximately 85 percent - of the nation's 381 MSAs are now facing increased risk of lower home prices in 2011. Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona continue to have the highest risk scores - 36 of the most risky MSAs are located in these four states - but an increased risk of lower future prices is now spreading across all regions of the nation, due to the significant increases in unemployment and foreclosure rates.Complete data available here.
Jul 7, 2009 1:56 PM