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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.
Investments

What’s STILL missing from the housing recovery?

Despite June’s topline good numbers, the answer is still JOBS

July 3, 2014
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The jobs report headline number – hereafter referred to as “smoke and mirrors” — that was heralded by the usual suspects in the financial press, misses a fatal crack in the foundation:

The reason the economy added 288,000 jobs in June is because part-time jobs grew by 799,000, while full-time jobs fell by 523,000.

Oops.

So if you’re wondering how the economy could have such great jobs numbers just months after having -2.9% GDP shrinkage, here you are.

Everyone agrees that housing is stalling out despite stabilizing prices and record low interest rates, and the reason is because what’s missing is a jobs recovery

The inestimable Anthony Sanders at his blog Confounded Interest dives deep into the mirage of job growth to show why the headlines this month won’t translate into a tailwind for housing.

Click the image to enlarge.

“Now you can see why the residential housing and mortgage market is so slow to recovery. Wages and employment-to-population have NOT recovered, meaning that there are not enough eligible borrowers. Throw in soaring house prices and we have a debt-to-income (DTI) problem,” Sanders writes.

 Go read the distinguished professor of real estate finance’s full take if you want to understand what’s really happening here.  

This is not looking for the bad in a good story. It's looking at the reality of the numbers, and not buying into MOPE.

(Yeah, I just recently learned that one.)

MOPE = Management of Perspective Economics. It's the foolish idea that if The Fed and the media create the image of growth and the belief that things are getting better, then the economy will actually grow and things will actually get better. 

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