Has the US Housing Market Bottomed?

House for SaleUS Housing prices reached their peak in July 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of values in 20 US cities. A month before that Mark Kiesel sold his house.

Mark Kiesel is a managing director with Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO). An American fund manager with over $1.3 trillion under management and the largest bond investor in the world. So when PIMCO executives speak the markets usually pay attention.

Back in 2006 Kiesel had concluded that a combination of factors including excess home construction and lax lending standards set the stage for a crash. “It’s not just houses that will be for sale. You’re going to see financial assets for sale over time, and ultimately corporate bonds.”

Next weekend Kiesel moves into a house he has just purchased. On 5 May 2012 he wrote in Global Credit Perspectives published on the PIMCO website entitled "Back In" he says “I’m not sure U.S. housing prices have bottomed -- only time will tell -- but there are many more positives today than there were six years ago when I sold my house.”

A brief summary of Kiesels article can be found on Bloomberg  Pimco Housing Bear Kiesel Says Its Time To Start Buying.

Click here to read the full PIMCO Global Credit Perspectives article "Back In"

Improvement in sentiment in the US housing sector is likely to stimulate the economy through:

  • increased economic activity - building permits were up 33% year on year to March 2012
  • improvement in consumer confidence which will likely lead to greater spending, and
  • improvements to bank balance sheets, which will likely mean they will be more willing to lend.

Improvements in the US economy is likely to benefit its trading partners, and so should eventually flow through to improvements in our economy.

Is your portfolio positioned to benefit if Mr Kiesel is right again? If not call us on 578 3863 to discuss options.

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