Not only is this 'housing recovery' being built without the use of Lumber (as we explained here), but Architects are no longer useful either. The last two months - as homebuilder stocks surge and house prices spike - has seen Architectural billings plunge by the most since November 2008. The current level of activity is at its lowest since June 2012 - hardly indicative of the rampaging rapacious demand for homes that we are spoon-fed day after day...
Sears saw its loss more than quadrupled in the first quarter—a big miss compared to what analysts had expected—as cooler weather hurt sales at its stores, suggesting the company's turnaround could take much longer than expected. Revenue, however, beat.
The operator of Sears and Kmart stores also said it is considering putting its service-agreement business up for sale to raise cash.
Shares fell more than 13 percent in after-hours trading.
America is over-malled.
1/3 are profitable, 1/3 are @ break even, and 1/3 are losing money.
Dunno, but do like some of the responses posters put up.
Market trading volume is down across the board by about a third, so FTR could just be following suit.
Many believe that the retail investors have been scared away, while others point to ETF's, mutuals, online brokers, etc. that are sapping volume (and commissions) from the brokerage houses.
FTR has consistently traded 10M shares (30-day average) daily since VZ acquisition almost three years ago.
Curious thing, trading volume dropped below 10M daily average recently, and is now sub-9M.
But something is sticking in my craw.
There is a disconnect between Toll's Q report and lumber prices???
Despite the incessant belief that this must be too-much-new-supply-driven (as opposed to a lack of demand for new home construction), Lumber futures (after hitting limit down once again today) have now officially entered bear-market territory. Front-month lumber prices are down 23% from their highs in mid-March and given the 2-month lead that correlates so well to the market, it seems things are a little ahead of themselves in 'housing recovery' land.
Another excellent article in SA today by Jim Pyke.
He developed a good view of FTR as published in his Aug 29, 2011 review:" More Customer Losses for FTR".
Why, just because you say so?
Especially if you are stuck in one of those $600K homes and your income becomes jeopardized.
Poverty is growing faster in the suburbs than anywhere else in the United States, soaring 64% over the past decade.
That was more than twice the growth rate of the urban poor population, according to the Brookings Institution, which released a book Monday titled Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. There are now almost 16.4 million suburban residents living below the poverty line, nearly 3 million more than in the cities.
The poverty line for a family of four was $23,021 in 2011, the latest Census figures available.
Low-income Americans have been moving to suburbs for many years, as wealthier Americans and companies relocated there. The poor were chasing the unskilled job opportunities that cropped up to cater to these people and businesses, said Elizabeth Kneebone, who co-authored the book.
"When people think of poverty in America, they tend to think of inner city neighborhoods or isolated rural communities," Kneebone said. "But today, suburbs are home to the largest and fastest growing poor population in the country."
During the 2000s, many poor people found work in the suburbs in construction, fueled by the housing boom in the first part of the decade, and in the services sector, working in restaurants and retail shops. Also, more impoverished immigrants increasingly moved directly to the suburbs over the past decade, joining predecessors who established communities outside of cities.
The Great Recession exacerbated the suburban poverty problem, as the construction industry cratered and many businesses closed, leaving low-wage workers without jobs. Also, the downturn forced formerly middle class families down the economic ladder into poverty.
The suburbs, however, are ill-equipped to deal with this burgeoning poor population, Kneebone said. There aren't as many social services agencies and they are often spread far and wide, making it difficult for those without cars to access. Most of the $82 billion spent by the federal government to combat poverty is directed to cities.
In the book, Kneebone and her co-author, Alan Berube, argue that the federal government needs to come up with new ways to tackle the problem of poverty in suburbia, which requires different tactics than its urban counterpart. In particular, assistance must address the fragmented nature of suburban populations and assistance organizations.
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN MARCH 2013
Sales of new single-family houses in March 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000, according to
estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 1.5 percent (±16.9%)* above the revised February rate of 411,000 and is 18.5 percent (±17.2%) above the March
2012 estimate of 352,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2013 was $247,000; the average sales price was $279,900. The
seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 153,000. This represents a supply of 4.4
months at the current sales rate.
A few sales go down this way, no doubt.
Provided of course a combined $200K in annual income for that $600K house.
So few are being sold in this price range, it numbers in the thousands nationwide.
The vast majority of new home sales activity is in your "cheapo" sub-$300K category.
And most of those are downsizing....and by the looks of things....multi-family.
Contrary to some speculation, FTR's demise never materialized.
Revenues stabilizing and another $100 million in costs to be removed from overhead points to a $5 share price next quarter.
FTR daily trading volume went up to 10 million shares daily after the VZ merger.
It has remained there for almost three years.
That is until now.
Just an observation.
Here come the downgrades....
The homebuilders are most concerned about single family starts, which fell by 2.1% to an annual rate of 610,000, just above the key 600,000 level. Factors holding back home construction are limited access to construction credit, tight qualification standards for mortgage borrowers, the rising costs of building materials, developable lots and finding suitable labor.
Beazer Homes ($21.47 vs. $20.17 on May 10): Has been downgraded to strong sell from sell as the stock a new 2013 high at $22.63 on May 15.
DR Horton ($26.80 vs. $26.82 on May 10): Has been downgraded to strong sell from sell as the stock a new 2013 high at $27.74 on May 15.
KB Home ($23.88 vs. $24.16 on May 10): Has been downgraded to sell from hold as the stock set a new 2013 high at $25.14 on May 15.
PulteGroup ($23.35 vs. $22.85 on May 10): Has been downgraded to strong sell from sell and set a new multi-year high at $24.47 on May 15.
Ryland Group ($48.92 vs. $47.76 on May 10): Has been downgraded to strong sell from sell and set a new multi-year high at $50.05 on May 14.
Standard & Pacific ($9.24 vs. $9.44 on May 10): Has been downgraded to strong sell from sell and set a new multi-year high at $9.97 on May 14.
Toll Brothers ($36.13 vs. $36.34 on May 10): Has been downgraded to sell from hold, but remains below its 2013 high at $38.36 set on Jan. 29. Toll Brothers reports quarterly results next Wednesday premarket and 7 cents a share is expected.
The construction sector is 19.9% overvalued.
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelans scrambled to stock up on toilet paper Thursday as fears of a bathroom emergency spread despite the socialist government's promise to import 50 million rolls.
After years of economic dysfunction, the country has gotten used to shortages of medicines and basic food items like milk and sugar but the scarcity of bathroom tissue has caused unusual alarm.
"Even at my age, I've never seen this," said 70-year-old Maria Rojas. She said she had been looking for toilet paper for two weeks when she finally found it at a supermarket in downtown Caracas.
Thousands of rolls flew off the store's shelves as consumers streamed in and loaded up shopping carts Thursday morning.
"I bought it because it's hard to find," said Maria Perez, walking out with several rolls of paper.
"Here there's a shortage of everything – butter, sugar, flour," she said. But the latest shortage is particularly worrisome "because there always used to be toilet paper."
Economists say oil-rich Venezuela's shortages of some consumer products stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.
A sharp pullback in apartment and condominium construction led to a big decline in overall home building in April, even as single-family home construction remained strong, according to government data released Thursday.
The Census Bureau reported that housing starts fell 17% in the month to an annual pace of 853,000. The decline was driven by a 38% drop in starts of buildings with five or more apartments or condo units in them.