Thursday, September 10, 2009

There are economists I like...

..and economists who I don't like. Anyone want to guess which category the above falls into?

I enjoy reading the various economists and market watchers publicly available work. It is a hobby of mine, I am more interested in their thought process than their actual predictions. I have only seen Schniepp quoted in the paper and his recently introduced newsletter and he is clearly always very bullishly biased instead of data driven. He is so bullish he calls CNBC bearish (it's true!)!

I prefer my economists to at least be able to find the minus sign on their calculator. Today they had a conference regarding their Ventura County predictions. Normally, I would feel bad I didn't get to go to the conference to hear the findings. But in this case I have the feeling I didn't miss much.

I much prefer David Rosenberg, Calculated Risk, Chris Thornberg, Paul Kasriel, and Bill Watkins.


Rob Dawg said...

[Feb '08]
Barring massive layoffs, terrorist attacks or some other kind of unforeseen shock to the local economy, "I think we'll weather the storm," Schniepp said.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how they define 'massive lay offs' 11% is not massive?

Effective Demand said...

The local fishwrapper didn't have a writeup last night, they are either saving their copy for the Sunday edition or didn't bother going.

JohnF said...

I disagree with his report in the sense that the time to buy was probably in the December 2008 - January 2009 time frame. Per square foot prices bottomed in the Westlake - Thousand Oaks area in March 2009 which would coincide with purchase decisions made 60 to 90 days earlier.

I am seeing average annualized appreciation rates (on a per square foot basis) of 12% in this area utilizing July Dataquick info as compared to the March lows.

It doesn't really make any difference to me since I couldn't afford a decent SFR in this area even at the "bottom" prices of last spring.

Richie said...

JohnF, you can't base appreciation on an analysis between March and July. You need to look year over year. Summer typically has higher prices and more volume than other seasons.

Effective Demand said...


Median is a measure heavily skewed by mix shift.

The supply of REOs was largest late last year and that means the heaviest closing of cheaper REOs as a percentage of the market was December/January for many areas, you can see the mix shift here

While there is absolutely been more strength on the low end since February, the non-refundable tax credit started and rates were dropping along with traditional seasonality, I don't think it was the time to buy at all.

It is like cash 4 clunkers, many of those buyers got worse deals than if they sold their cars privately and waited until the rush was over and the dealers were dealing instead of holding out for retail.

Basically, I have a hard time seeing a market where 1 in 10 aren't paying their mortgage and rates being artificially held at 5% bottoming anytime soon. The Fed just hit the emergency brake but unless they plan replacing capitalism with a printing press they will have to let up sometime soon. But maybe I am naive.

Effective Demand said...

No writeup in the VCS on the Ventura County forecast event last week. They went last year.

JohnF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnF said...

IMHO per square foot does a pretty good job of adjusting for the mix so I think prices are going up. Things that I have been tracking that were at or under $500k are now moving at $525k.

I also seriously doubt 1 in 10 in the TO/Westlake area. That has always been the problem for my area - not enough foreclosures, very low inventory, and very strong demand.