We got data this morning on existing home sales and retail sales. Overall, the data was mixed. Existing home sales came in roughly in-line with expectations up 2.9% month over month and down 3.5% vs last year. Prices were flat month over month and down 15.4% year over year. Of greater concern is the increase in months of supply. Housing supply increased from 9.6 months to 10.2 months.
Data on the retail sales side was mixed as well. The ICSC retail sales data showed a welcome rise in weekly retail sales of 0.8%, though much of that could be due to good weather and the long holiday weekend. The Redbook reading was not as optimistic. The data showed a month to day decline of 0.4% and a weekly decline of 0.5%.
The main takeaway from today’s data has to be a stabilization in housing sales, but an alarming increase in inventories. There is simply no way we can begin to talk about a bottom in prices until inventories decline substantially.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.