Housing markets will not recover any time soon

Yesterday, investors once again demonstrated how jittery they are as the Dow-Jones Industrial Average plunged 2.49 percent, the euro plummeted, options trading was unusually volatile, commodities fell, reaction to the Fed’s FOMC comments became sharply negative and Treasury yields dropped.

Quoted in the Wall Street Journal,  Keith Bliss, senior vice president with Cuttone & Co., had this to say about the day’s events:

All of a sudden, bad news is pouring out from seemingly every corner of the world.  People are saying, let’s take our long positions off the board and let the rest of the world digest what’s happening here. Continue reading

Plans to buy, renovate home bounce back in year

In May of 2009, only 3.0 percent of the 717 New York State residents polled by the Siena (College) Research Institute of Loudonville said they planned to buy a home.  Last month, that number rose to 4.7 percent.

Those results compare with 3.7 percent in May 2008 and 5.3 percent in May 2007, close to the height of the housing boom.  (Lehman Brothers imploded on Sept. 15, 2008.)

With respect to undertaking a major renovation, the numbers starting in 2007 were 20.6 percent, 16.9 percent, 13.8 percent and, this year, 17.8 percent.

The numbers do not completely correlate with the study’s index of consumer confidence, Continue reading

For the first time in my life, I was mistaken

Seriously, folks, I uncharacteristically overreacted in my post last Friday about Wall Street’s breathtaking plunge the previous day.  Is my face red.

Although I was correct in predicting that the market would close lower on Friday, I was rash in expecting that the events of Thursday would kill the Big Apple’s housing recovery until fall.

I make this acknowledgment after surveying several lawyers, lenders and brokers, despite some notable short-term effects. Continue reading

Thursday’s roller-coaster ride was no amusement

Thursday was one of those days that will go down in stock market history.

I was working at my desk and, as I frequently do, had a TV tuned to MSNBC yesterday afternoon.  So I witnessed the horrifying plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by nearly 1,000 points and then it’s partial recovery in second and minutes.

Although I’m no economist, I don’t see why it would be foolhardy of me to make one prediction for when the New York Stock Exchange closes today:

The Dow will be lower than at the opening. Continue reading