by John Galt
February 18, 2015 21:00 ET
While the Bubblevisions continue their unrelenting used car tactics to convince grandma and grandpa that the $0.70 per share biotech stock is where their retirements should be, the selective propaganda from the various entities which provide financial news have agreed with the US government to use contrived data by displaying “annualized rates” or “percentage change month over month” rather than telling the tale of reality:
Housing has not recovered and it is not even close to recovering.
4 charts courtesy of the Federal Reserve with data from the Commerce Department sums up the reality that the mainstream media refuses to cover.
1. Housing Starts – Single Family Homes
The grand total including multi-family homes, aka, commercial projects with seasonal adjustments on a percentage change or annualized basis is all the bloviators wish to promote. Sadly, this graph below tells the truth on a non-seasonally adjusted bases, Americans are not back into the housing markets unless one takes a time machine back to 1966:
2. Building Permits – Single Family Homes
The monthly data reflects a trend which is disturbing for the economy if this holds true, as this is a six month preliminary economic indicator of the health of the American economy:
The trend has yet to return to non-recessionary 1970’s, 1980’s, or 1990’s levels. Much less that of the 1960’s when the population was 1/2 of what it is now.
3. Homes Sold – Single Family
So despite some bounces in permits and starts above the 1960’s mean, single family units sold is still a black and white televised disaster after the 2007 crash:
No matter what the National Association of Realtors and other cheerleaders in the media proclaim, the truth is that there is no surge in the typical first time home buyers of the 21 to 34 age group. Sadly, until the employment situation improves, I can not see an uptrend in the data developing any time soon; and this means new job quality, not just quantity.
4. Household Creation
The most damning statistic of them all which runs totally counter to the sunshine, lollipops, and flying unicorn promotions on what passes for financial news these days:
The downtrend since the 2007 crash is pronounced, ongoing, and a disaster for the construction and real estate industry as this is a harbinger of the same overbuilding and suspect loan procedures which amplified the “Great Recession” and is now being repeated across the country despite the risk of another foreclosure crisis.
Thus the choice remains the same as it was in 2008:
Continue believing the mainstream media that all is well and those fins in the water are not great white sharks or face reality by digging into the actual data which the media refuses to cover.
All you have to lose with the former choice is your retirement savings.