Seems like folks are thinking a lot about housing these days, as I've been fielding more than the usual inquiries on the subject of late. Just this morning a young mortgage broker solicited my opinion on the basketball court, of all places.
Assuming that a number of our readers may also be pondering the state of housing, I thought I'd offer up charts of the 4 specific housing-related data points included in our proprietary macro index.
Note how the data trended ahead of past recessions (red shaded areas) versus today: click any chart to enlarge...
Mortgage Purchase Applications:
National Association of Home Builders Index (above 50 denotes net builder optimism):
Bottom line: For our purposes here at PWA, nothing about housing presently screams recession.
As for the general state of the sector; while the tight labor market, materials and land costs are the most referenced concerns among builders, they remain quite optimistic on their prospects going forward. The data for now support their optimism...