Dollar Is UP; Home Values UP AGAIN; Ignore Labor Markets; Fast Closes Please

    Here are a few random points today:

    The Dollar’s Value is Up (relative to other currencies)

    I wrote a blog last week explaining why the dollar will NOT collapse, despite the claims of Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, Peter Schiff, and others, that we face imminent dollar Armageddon. And – sure enough, the dollar has climbed in value since I posted that blog (that, interestingly, has gone somewhat viral). Dollar hawks like Brent Johnson have been making fun of the dollar doomsday crowd all morning on Twitter, amusingly.

    Home Values Climbed 0.9% in March – per Zillow!

    Zillow just released its Home Value Index data for March, and home values saw their largest month-over-month increase since June of 2022. The reason according to Zillow: LOW INVENTORY. Zillow of course analyzes actual appreciation as opposed to the very flawed median home price nonsense. This is the 2nd month in a row too that home values were up. It will be interesting to see how the housing “doomsdayers,” like Diana Olick, spin or ignore this.

    Please IGNORE Strong Labor Markets!

    Unemployment hit its all-time record low in 1953 at 2.5% – only to be immediately followed by a bad recession. This is a point Jeff Snider makes again and again to remind us that the Fed is simply WRONG to focus so much on strong labor markets as a justification for keeping rates higher. Unemployment LAGS recessions or rises AFTER recessions are here, as indicated by this FRED Chart (gray bars indicate recessions). Low unemployment is meaningless as a “forward indicator” of recessions.

    Fast Closes Are Very Much A Thing

    In both Texas and CA, agents are frequently using our 14 CALENDAR-DAY CLOSES to get offers accepted in competitive situations. We had a record number of contracts (for the year) pour in last week, and a surprisingly large number of them were 14-day closes!

    CPI/Inflation Numbers Coming This Week – Could Send Rates Higher

    Barry Habib reminded us again today that Consumer Price Index (inflation) data will come out Wednesday, and it could reflect higher than expected inflation. This is just because of the way the data compares year-over-year numbers, as Habib explains often. But – nevertheless, the bond market could react negatively and rates could well rise this week. It won’t last though, so no need to panic.

    “Markets are pricing an imminent and sharp drop in interest rates.”

    That was the primary point of Jeff Snider’s podcast today. Barry Habib thinks it will be lower inflation that brings rates down this summer, while Snider thinks it will be major economic calamities, as indicated by the markets, inverted yield curves, and myriad other data points. Snider also thinks inflation will be a non-issue this summer.

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