U.S. HOUSING KEEPS BUILDING MOMENTUM
The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes increased 2.1% during October to a 4.790M annual rate. The gain followed a downwardly revised 2.9% September decline to 4.690M, initially reported as 4.750M. Sales of existing single-family homes alone rose 1.9% to 4.220M, up 9.6% y/y. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 3.6 m/m to 0.570M, up 21.3% y/y.
The median price of an existing home ticked up 0.2% (+11.1% y/y) to $178,600 following three straight months of decline.
The supply of homes on the market fell to a six year low of 5.4 months. The months’ supply of single-family homes on the market slipped to 5.4 and for condos & coops it fell to 5.3 months. The total number of homes on the market continued its steady decline and fell 1.4% m/m, down 21.0% y/y. Inventories of single-family homes fell 20.9% y/y while inventories of multi-family homes fell 26.9%.
This is the real big thing. Housing starts, and prices, can only continue to recover.
Starts rose 3.6 percent to a 894,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, eased after surging the previous month.
Permits decreased 2.7 percent to an 866,000 annual rate from 890,000 in September. The drop in October permits reflected fewer applications for multifamily construction, while those for one-family units rose to the highest level since July 2008.
Construction of single-family houses eased 0.2 percent to a 594,000 rate from 595,000 the prior month. Work on multifamily homes, such as and apartment buildings, jumped 11.9 percent to an annual rate of 300,000.
From BMO Capital:
The surge in homebuilder confidence to the highest level in more than 6 years bodes well for continued positive U.S. housing market momentum. Below, we plot homebuilder confidence against housing starts, but you can easily swap out starts for sales or prices and get a similar (optimistic) picture.
FDI in China declines in Oct Foreign direct investment in China edged down by 0.24 percent from a year earlier to $8.31 billion in October, the Ministry of Commerce said.
The first 10 months saw FDI in China decline by 3.45 percent year-on-year to $91.74 billion.
FDI from the US went against the downward trend and expanded by 5.3 percent year-on-year to $2.7 billion from January to October while the first nine months saw US FDI in China drop by 0.63 percent year-on-year.
Moody’s stripped France of its triple-A rating, following in the footsteps of Standard & Poor’s and delivering a stinging critique of President Hollande’s attempts to turn the economy around
Moody’s Investors Service stripped France of its triple-A rating Monday, following in the footsteps of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, and delivering a stinging critique of President François Hollande’s attempts to turn the economy around amid the euro-zone crisis.
The ratings firm said the main reasons for its action, which leaves Fitch Ratings as the only ratings firm to keep France at triple-A, is the economy’s weakness and the risks to the government’s finances “posed by the country’s persistent structural economic challenges.” (…)
Moody’s cut France’s rating to Aa1 from Aaa and kept a negative outlook on the rating. (…)
French government bond prices weakened only slightly after Moody’s Investors Service’s one-notch ratings downgrade, the country’s second loss of its prized triple-A rating this year.