Archive for July 26, 2010

New Home Sales GREAT in June? Oh, Please…

I was casually listening to a business channel on television while I peeled peaches for the freezer this morning, and breaking news was read that “Housing sales for June skyrocketed 24%! Great housing news! The stock market is positively reacting to this (and other) great news!” and lots of other “yay, ECONOMY” stuff. Now I know where cheerleaders go after college.

It didn’t sound quite right to me. It wouldn’t be surprising that June sales would be up; they should be! After all, you don’t want to disrupt your kids’ school schedule by changing to a new school during the school year. These people were reacting like a Walmart shopper (like me!) with a winning lottery ticket, however. I thought that perhaps I detected the faint odor of a deceased rodent. They were just too excited.

After washing off the peach juice, I conducted a (very) cursory examination and came across this at Calculated Risk:

The 330 thousand in June is the worst June on record. With all the gyrations, it is difficult to see what is happening month to month, but overall this was a very weak report.

If you like pretty graphs that show you a nice picture over time, here’s one from Market Ticker Forum.

This is a really ugly housing sales picture, folks, even though media economy cheerleaders would have you believe otherwise. Those “sales” are not all actual sales, either. I’ve put in offers and had them turned down, and I’ve done contracts and then the financing fell through, although I hate to think that the figures could possibly get worse.

Heh. I just checked the Market Ticker (front page) and Denninger has a post about it!


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Microlenders in Miami

The Miami Herald has a story about microlenders operating in Miami that are extending small loans to small-time entrepreneurs that otherwise would not have the money needed to start or improve their businesses. These small businesses are (very) small restaurants, hot dog carts, truck drivers, small grocerias, etc., often female owned. They are low income and have no credit.

I’ve read about these microlenders in the past and have been impressed about how a tiny loan such as that needed for a sewing machine can move a family out of grinding poverty.

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