In this morning’s Breakfast With Dave newsletter, analyst David Rosenberg talks housing. More specifically, vacant housing.
The amount of vacant homes in America has hit an all time high again and will contribute to pressure on those who rent their homes.
Breakfast With Dave: The 1% rebound in the pending home sales index was more than just a tad disappointing after that 16.4% plunge in November. That points to a flat reading in existing home sales in January (after that massive 16.7%, to 4.45 million annualized units, in November). In addition, we just got the Q4 data from the Census Bureau which showed that the total number of vacant housing units, instead of declining, rose to a near-time high of 18.876 million — up 33k from Q3 and up 291k from Q2. The key ‘vacant for sale’ component also increased to 2.087 million from 1.985 million in Q3 and 1.904 million in Q2.
The shadow inventory (vacant units but held off the market “for other reasons”) — rose 3.497 million units from 3.403 million. Fully 13.4% of the housing stock is currently vacant and that degree of excess capacity is very likely going to exert ongoing downward pressure on residential rents and precipitate another downleg to housing prices.
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