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Monday, November 28, 2005

Slowing US Housing Market

Is the boom in the US housing market finally slowing? With the measured pace from the Fed going on and on it is logical that it will bite at some stage:

Sales of existing U.S. homes slowed in October and the inventory of unsold houses rose to the highest level in nearly 20 years, a trade group said on Monday in a report confirming the end of the nation's housing boom. Sales of previously owned homes fell 2.7 percent from September's upwardly revised 7.29 million unit annual pace, and the drop would have been even larger if not for a surge in home-buying linked to Hurricane Katrina, the National Association of Realtors said. "The housing sector has likely passed its peak ... and the boom is winding down to an expansion," NAR chief economist David Lereah said. "Many of our hot housing markets are transitioning from a sellers' market to a buyers' market."

My gues is that the chief economist with the National Association of Realtors would know something about that of which he speaks, which only makes even more fascinating this, already in its own right fascinating debate among Morgan Stanley economists on the meaning of the looming inversion of the interest rate yield curve. Either a recession is coming in 2007, or the Bernanke lead fed is going to start easing again in mid 2006, or both, or something like that.