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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rosenberg Daily - Housing news a bit better but not by much

If there was good news in the Q3 housing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, it was the rental vacancy rate, which dipped to 10.3% in Q3 from 10.6% in Q2 — the lowest level since 2009 Q1 and off the 2009 Q3 peak of 11.1%.

However, there is still a huge backlog of empty homes for sale in the U.S. — 1.934 million units in total (though it is somewhat encouraging that they are down 15% from the 2008 Q1 peak). But, this level is still almost double the pre- bubble average. Then tack on the over 3.5 million vacant units being held off the market for “unspecified reasons”, which is more than one million units above normal levels. [Bill - Then tack on the 7 million waiting to be foreclosed]

Meanwhile, the homeownership rate continues in its mean-reversion process — down four quarters in a row to 66.7% in Q3 from 66.9% in Q2. The cup-is-half- full crowd would point out that that we are now about halfway to the pre-bubble norm of 64-65%.

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