“The US housing market is on fire.”
In a note to clients on Wednesday morning, David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, is crystal clear regarding his thoughts on the US housing market.
“The US housing market is on fire and it is always nice when the macro data are in sync with market performance,” Rosenberg writes.
Rosenberg added: “The homebuilding data was solid again in July with the level of housing starts coming in stronger than anticipated. Upward revisions to previous months make the history look better and firm building permit issuance is pointing to continue momentum.”
On Tuesday, the latest report on housing starts showed the pace of new home construction hit a 7-year high in July. And on Monday, the latest reading on homebuilder sentiment from the National Association of Homebuilders rose to a 9-year high.
In his note, Rosenberg highlights that a few factors are really working in favour of the housing market: rents are soaring and inventory is “tight as a drum.”
Currently, the months of housing supply currently sitting at around 5, and as we saw on Wednesday, rent is really the only major area of the economy where inflation is perking up.
Shelter costs rose 0.4% in July against a 0.2% increase for all consumer prices, and so as rents continue to soar, Rosenberg thinks we could be seeing a floor set under the homeownership rate, which has been falling for the last decade.
And as for the “macro data are in sync with market performance” that Rosenberg mentioned at the top of his note, the S&P 500 homebuilding sector is up 18% this year while home furnishing stocks are up 28%.
Rosenberg called these sectors “among the best kept secrets of 2015.”
As of Wednesday, the S&P 500 was flat for the year.