3.09.2006

RANT: Is the housing market trying to tell us something?

via WSJ - New-home sales fell in January and the number of unsold homes on the market rose to nearly a 10-year high, signaling continued cooling in the housing market... Many economists were surprised by the January decline, having anticipated that unseasonably warm weather last month would boost sales, much as it had stimulated big jumps in housing starts, retail sales and construction. Instead, sales in the Northeast, South and Midwest all dropped more than 10% from December, overshadowing an 11.3% rise in the West. Rising interest rates and lower levels of mortgage applications in recent weeks have further darkened the outlook.

Still, January's sales rate was 3.3% higher than a year ago, and yesterday's report was viewed as the latest evidence that the housing market is undergoing a gradual slowdown rather than a sharp freefall. The new-home sales report weighed on the stocks of major home builders. On a day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced, the share prices of Toll Brothers Inc., Ryland Group Inc., KB Home, Centex Corp. and Beazer Homes USA Inc. all lost ground.

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Something vs Nothing > Signal vs Noise

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