Housing Market

Bad news on the American economy keeps popping up everywhere we look. If it’s not the housing market, the subprime mess, the spiraling deficit, the widening trade deficit... it is the sheer number of job losses the U.S. is now starting to experience. But why do stocks keep…

For the first time since the Great Depression, U.S. home prices are expected to fall this year. While at present, home prices are down about three percent from last year, the decline for the year could come in any where from two percent to four percent. Here are…

The U.S. housing market continues to be soft and, given the subprime and credit concerns, it could even get worse. The July housing market numbers reflected continued softness. And if everything plays out, I expect to see more evidence of softness in housing starts and building permits going…

Two years ago, I started writing about how a slowdown in the housing market would start and spread to other parts of the U.S. economy. Most of what we've been told by Wall Street and the Fed itself was that the housing slump would not affect other parts…

The blood bath in the subprime market continues: Lehman Brothers, the largest U.S. underwriter of U.S. bonds backed by mortgages, announced that it would shut down its subprime lending division and lay off 1,300 employees. Accredited Home Lenders will shut down more 50% of its mortgage operations, laying…

Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE/TOL), the largest U.S. builder of new luxury homes, reported yesterday that its third quarter profit had fallen by 85%. The total loss for the biggest U.S. homebuilders in the last quarter surpassed $2.0 billion. I was very interested to hear what CEO Robert Toll…

Consumer confidence for June remained above the key 100 level at 103.9, but it was below the 106 reading expected by economists and the 108.5 reading in May. The June reading was also the lowest in nearly a year. It is not a concern now, but watch the…

Business was looking good for D. R. Horton, the second-largest U.S. home builder. After all, 2003, 2004, and 2005 were all banner years for this big builder. But while the company was expecting a slowdown following the U.S. property boom, which ended in 2005, D. R. Horton didn't…

While I may be the only financial commentator studying the similarities between the economy of the late 1920s and the present, the striking parallel I find between the two time periods is something I find a personal duty to share with my loyal readers. Back in 1927, the…

I've been predicting the carnage in the U.S. housing market would eventually result in consumer spending tightening, putting pressure on consumer stocks. And that's exactly what's starting to happen with the big U.S. retailers. Home Depot and Sears, two giant American realtors, have both come out over the…

The housing market is in a slump, but if interest rates move lower we could see a rebound in prices, albeit probably not to the same degree as recent years when the U.S. housing market reported superlative growth with strong housing starts and home sales. Prices in prime…

Is money worth anything any more? The price of New York real estate, despite what's happening in the property market in the remainder of the U.S., continues to move higher and higher. The luxury end of the housing market... up, up and away. In the good old days,…

By now, "Profit Confidential" readers surely have heard an earful about the sorry state of the real estate and mortgage market in the U.S. But here in Canada, we approach things a little differently. On average, Canadians are reluctant speculators. This is perhaps why the low-interest-rate environment in…

Back in late 2006, I wrote a couple of articles critiquing the U.S. National Association of Realtors. At the time, the NAR had run a series of full-page ads in national newspapers proclaiming "right now may actually be one of the best times to buy a home." The…

New Century Financial Corp., the largest U.S. based lender to subprime borrowers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. The company, which last year earned $60 billion in home loans to poor-credit borrowers, will lay off 3,200 employees. No longer will people with not-so-great credit find it easy…

The February housing market data was mixed. Readers here know how I have been negative on the housing market, despite those who say the sector is ripe for a rebound. I say, "no," at least not in the foreseeable future. The softness in the housing market continues as…

Sometimes, to understand what's happening somewhere, you need to be there in person to really see things with your own two eyes. And that's what I've been doing in Miami over the last few days. Construction cranes are everywhere from Miami to Boca Raton. Call it Tower Mania...…

Over the past few weeks, I've written about subprime lenders and how their demise will hurt the U.S. housing market, the economy and the stock market. For the benefit of my readers that don't know the full extent of what subprime lenders are and how they can affect…

One of the largest financial companies in the world has put its investment plans for the U.S. on hold. The message from HSBC Holdings PLC is loud and clear: It will not buy or invest money in U.S. companies until HSBC fixes problems with its current American subsidiaries.…