…and those expectations are continued weakness.

The focus on oil and fuel efficiency of cars seems to be taking over the BBQ conversation from housing these days.

> the relationship between consumption and m.p.g. is curvilinear, and there is a greater savings at lower m.p.g.’s. Over 10,000 miles, the 28 m.p.g. car uses 198 fewer gallons than the 18 m.p.g., more than double the savings of the 50 m.p.g. car compared with the 34 m.p.g. one.

>With this new measure, the researchers suggest, consumers would more easily see the value of swapping an inefficient car for one that is even just modestly more efficient.

Speaking of curvilinear relationships, check out this recent ad in Craigslist. A friend of mine is having great difficultly finding an apartment. Apparently this landlord has the answer.

Today is just full of fun announcements…

Isn’t it summer Being outside, enjoying the sunshine? Optimism? Consumer Confidence plunged to a 16-year low in May.

As expected, the S&P/Case Shiller Index showed continued decline in April, the beginning of the “spring market” when sales activity is most robust. In fact, it showed a record decline for its 20 year history. I think there was hope brewing that the housing market is approaching bottom. It’s hard to see that with a 15.3% annualized decline and a 17.8% decline from peak.

Of course, OFHEO released their numbers today as well and guess what? OFHEO shows the housing market is declining 4.5% annually (over the same period that Case Shiller measures). That’s because CSI includes the entire price spectrum and OFHEO excludes non-conforming mortgage sales. It is interesting how much the data gets skewed by the high end market. Based on the difference between these two indexes, the high end is tanking (no pun intended).

Tomorrow, the FOMC announcement is on tap. The futures markets are betting on no change in rates. I would think further rate cuts will hurt the economy by empowering inflation. Rate cuts in the past year have not helped housing in any measurable, even curvilinear way.

At least not enough to get pumped up about (sorry).

One Comment

  1. Edd Gillespie June 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    The problem I have with using either CSI or OFHEO is that I can’t nail it to anything in my market let alone a specific property. CSI doesn’t do anything where I am and OFHEO says its info is confidential.

    The moral of that story must be to move to NYC?

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