Monday, March 26, 2007
Well, it’s been a quiet start to the week, to say the least. Equities are doing little, bonds are drifting lower (including JGBs, taking Macro Man’s new short into early profitability), and the dollar’s a bit higher, largely on short covering. Macro Man is frankly struggling to get terribly enthused so far, though perhaps the new home sales data in the US will provide a bit more excitement.
As housing remains an issue of paramount interest to many, Macro Man would encourage readers to have a go at the weekend quiz. To date, the prospect of a non-existent T shirt and Macro Man’s eternal respect has enticed only one respondent to have a go, and even he only managed to mention two cities.
Elsewhere in housing:
* Macro Man believes that the UK housing market is a lot like the US, except without a publicist. Apparently, last year was the first time since the 1950’s that the home ownership ratio fell in the UK.
* At the same time, a 102 year Sussex pensioner was granted a 25 year interest only mortgage for a buy-to-let property. Hmm, no problems here, no sirree
* There’s an interesting discussion on housing over at Econbrowser, with charts suggesting that mortgage defaults are linked to local unemployment rates much more closely than they are recent house price gains. This jives with Macro Man’s own view that housing alone is unlikely to ring the death knell of the US consumer; that will come from an income shock from job losses deriving from non-housing related circumstances.
Answers to the quiz will be revealed later in the week...