Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not Exactly a Vacation-Break

NotMakingThisUp will not be published this week and possibly next, owing to the fact that we are meeting a deadline for a book.

Based in good part on the series published in these virtual pages last year, Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha is set to be published by McGraw-Hill on October 4th.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that anyone familiar with book deadlines would understand that the proximity of that date is less suitable for good writing than it is for, oh, drug overdosing and other misery-ending procedures.

In any event, we leave readers with the following quiz: what U.S. metropolitan center at the heart of the subprime mortgage collapse showed a 14% increase in the number of home sales, and a 37% increase in the number of pending home sales?

Jeff Matthews

I Am Not Making This Up

© 2008 Not Making This Up LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


Clay said...

Stockton, California

The Daily Pander said...

Naples, FL

Jeff Matthews said...

Naples it is. But unit sales are picking up in Stockton, too. The bottom, at least in units, may be in.


Stealthmouse said...

Same in San Diego. BUT, I think it's just the never-ending optimism before the next leg down.

mxq said...


BelowTheCrowd said...

Which is probably good for the economy because it's the volumes, not the prices, that really drive economic activity.

(This downturn may be a bit different due to the MEW factor.)

However, from a buyer's and seller's perspective, this isn't necessarily the end. In the last downturn it took a couple of years after the volume bottomed out for prices to find a bottom, at least here in Socal. As I keep reminding my friends, bottoms tend to be long slow affairs and there's no reason to rush in unless it makes sense from both a financial and a lifestyle perspective. (ie, you can afford it and it's a place you'd like to live in for 5-7 years.)


Cahya said...

Naples I think.

Jetty Wrench said...

Does anyone know where he gets this data?

jpod said...

if those are sequential numbers there may be a seasonal effect??

either way the rate of decline has likely slowed.

also, i believe naples and stockton were some of the earliest markets to be hit and have experienced the largest pull back in prices. IF these markets have bottomed it wouldn't necessarily be the bottom nationally, only a sign that the bottom may be coming.

i find it curious that after so reluctantly calling the top (you protested several times that such forecasts did not fit the purpose of your blog) of the housing market, you have at least twice now pointed out that the 'bottom may be near'. (remember back when a 30% bounce in the ABX was a sign of the bottom?)

We know two things: one, the bottom will come and two, you will be right eventually if you keep calling the bottom. It sure beats saying the 'end is near'...

i like reading about the data points you are tracking, but i am just somehow not left with the feeling that it was the most useful blog that i read this week.

congratulations on the book, it will be a good read if its based on your postings here.

Jeff Matthews said...

Just Google "Naples home sales June" and you'll find that the numbers are year over year, not sequential.

As for "reluctantly calling the top," I'm not sure where you get the "reluctant" part.

Here's what we wrote, three years ago this week:

I guess--like the old-time money managers in 1999-2000 who either closed up shop or got with the New Economy--I'd better either jump on the real estate bandwagon or stop barking at the tires.

Nope. I'll put a stake in the ground right here, and say what so many others have been saying for so long that they've shut up already: the housing cycle is over. The high-water mark has been reached, today, August 5, 2005, when the 2 year yield hit 4.10%.

Those of you who expect the trees to keep growing to the sky, speak up and we'll tally the results.

Let's make it fun, clean, with no name-calling and some good arguments--just like the real estate bulls have been doing thus far.

And we'll see where things stand six months from now!

8/05/2005 4:06 PM

Jordan said...

Jeff - when do we learn more about the book? I thoroughly enjoyed the "Omaha" series.