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Tag Archives: TOP ARTICLES

No, Homes Did Not Sell Like Hotcakes: “Pending Home Sales” Plunged 34% in April, a Preview of “Closed Sales” in May

The housing market faces ferocious headwinds. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Pending sales of existing homes of all types in April – contracts on houses, condos, etc., that were signed in April but that haven’t closed yet – collapsed by 33.8% from April last year, after having plunged 16.3% year-over-year in March, with the index plunging to 69, according to the National Association of Realtors today. An index value of 100 represents the pending sales level of January 2001. Pending...

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Week 10 of the U.S. Labor Market Collapse: Still Getting Worse at Gut-Wrenching Pace, But Signs of Bottom Appear

Gig workers weigh. PUA and “Initial Claims” surge. But millions of other workers got their jobs back. Here are the “Insured Unemployment Rates” for each state, topping out at 30%. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Has the collapse of the US labor market finally bottomed out? It would have to stop getting worse first. After it stops getting worse, it might begin to recover. And there are signs that the labor market might be approaching that bottom, but the overall numbers are still...

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4th-Largest US Rental Car Company, Advantage, Files for Bankruptcy: 3rd Time in Decade, Hertz & Private Equity Written All Over It

The “bare bones” petition is a sign that “something was about to happen.” Pressure piles on the used-vehicle wholesale market. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The second major rental car company popped in less than a week – but this one is owned by a private equity firm, Catalyst Capital Group in Canada. Advantage Holdco Inc., the holding company of Advantage Rent-a-Car, the fourth largest rental car company in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday late evening. The...

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College Enrollment in the Spring Fell for 9th Year in a Row, and Now Comes Covid

Already troubled asset classes, such as student housing and student housing CMBS, face turmoil. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The pandemic threw higher education into chaos in the middle of the spring semester. How this will pan out for students, colleges, the whole army of people that works in higher education, the asset class of student housing, student housing mortgages packaged into commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS), text-book publishers, and the rest of the...

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Despite Record-Low Mortgage Rates, New House Prices Drop to Lowest April since 2015, Sales to Lowest April since 2017

More than plenty of supply: 6.3 Months’ unsold inventory of speculative houses. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Sales of new single-family houses in April dropped 6.2% from a year ago, after having dropped 11.6% in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 houses, down nearly 20% from the peak in January: This decline in sales has occurred despite record low mortgage rates in April, with the average 30-year fixed rate dropping to 3.23% in the week ended April 30, the...

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US Air Passenger Traffic over Memorial Day Weekend Down 87%, Amid Signs of Slow Recovery

Airlines don’t expect a quick recovery back to “normal” either. Based on their decisions about aircraft in their fleets, they expect this to drag out for years. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. This was the first big travel weekend of the Pandemic Era – meaning a holiday weekend when normally Americans like to go somewhere. So let’s see how it went for airlines. The worst for the economy may be over, meaning that the economy, which is in terrible shape, may not get worse from here on...

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Hertz Bankruptcy Threatens to Make Mess of Used-Vehicle Prices with Burst of Pent-Up Supply

Here come the “bankruptcy-remote special-purpose subsidiaries” and $14.5 billion in rental-vehicle-backed securities. The stock market – other than Carl Icahn – smelled a rat for years. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Hertz Corporation and its US and Canadian subsidiaries Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Firefly, Hertz Car Sales, and Donlen – but not its subsidiaries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand – on Friday May 22 threatens to make a royal mess of...

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Catastrophic Plunge in Jobs & Labor Force in Los Angeles, San Francisco/Silicon Valley Smacks into Housing Bubbles

Holy cow, Los Angeles. The economy is gradually opening up. But the exodus has started hard and heavy. And the influx has stopped. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. A little anecdotal thingy before we get into the horrifying data: I was on a call with a guy from Google – they want my WOLF STREET media mogul empire to spend money advertising on Google. He was working from home, and since he no longer has to go to Google’s office in Redwood City, he moved home to his parents in St. Louis,...

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Median Home Price Does Classic Head-Fake as Home Sales Plunge and Condo Sales Collapse

Turmoil in the housing market and its impact on the “median price.” By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Across the US, despite record low mortgage rates, sales of “existing homes” – closed transactions of previously owned single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and co-ops – plunged 17.8% in April from March, after having already plunged 8.5% in March from February, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million homes, last seen in September 2011 (also 4.33 million). The last time...

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Week 9 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market: Still Getting Worse at a Gut-Wrenching Pace

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for gig workers doubles initial claims under state programs. Here are the “Insured Unemployment Rates” for each of the 50 states & DC. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The moment the unemployment crisis stops getting worse and bottoms out would signal the beginning of a recovery of the job market. But instead, it’s still getting worse at a gut-wrenching pace. In the week ended May 16, state unemployment offices processed 2.438 million...

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