In all the noise surrounding Bernanke’s rehash of statements made countless times before, today’s only relevant data point – June housing starts and permits – was largely ignored. And one can see why: printing at 836K, the starts number was the lowest since August 2012, the second largest sequential drop (down from 928K in May) since 2011 and the biggest miss to expectations of 957K since January 2007!
And worse, permits which printed down from 985K to only 911K on expectations of a 1 million headline number, just posted their largest miss… in history.
As for the reason? Simple: as we have been warning, Wall Street’s infatuation with housing as a flippable investment asset, praying that a greater fool has cheaper access to credit and will thus buy up all the diestressed property, just evaporated manifesting itself in a 27% drop, or 86K units, in multifamily housing, which plunged back to September 2012 levels or 236,000. And while single-family units never actually benefited from the “housing recovery”, as the REO-to-Rent scheme never involved actual houses, the decline in single-family housing continued for the 4th month in a row, dropping to only 591K, or the lowest since November 2012.
So much for myth of a housing recovery, which as we claimed all along, was merely the latest cheap-credit fuelled housing bubble, only this time one in which only the Primary Dealers, hedge funds and occasional offshore oligarch seeking to park his ill-gotten, tax-evaded cash, is participating.
Oh wait, we forget: it was the “weather’s fault.”