Thursday, March 26, 2009

Magoo, you've done it again.

I am honestly not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Several days ago I mentioned the rather disingenuous reporting of housing figures in the news. They've done it again. On one hand it is nice to hear good news. Maybe we need it more than accurate news. Maybe it is better to feel good than to think straight.

WSJ: Sales of new homes rose in February for the first time in seven months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, another sign that the housing market is thawing

Bloomberg: Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in February from a record low as plummeting prices and cheaper mortgage rates lured some buyers. Sales increased 4.7 percent to an annual pace of 337,000 . . .

Marketwatch: The U.S. housing sector continues to see signs of improvement. The latest government data showed new home sales climbed in February for the first time in seven months, sending shares of home-building companies soaring.


Not only did the New Home Sales data NOT improve, but it was terrible. Not only was the 4.7% gain statistically insignificant as the Census Bureau report gives it a +/- 18.3% margin of error. Year over year change?, down 41%. Sales down nearly by half, woohoo!

I'm not saying you can go up before you stop going down. But this is just noise!

John Barnyak