Len Kiefer

Helping people understand the economy, housing and mortgage markets

Real House Price Trends

Let us take a look at house price trends in the United States and across states and metro areas. Earlier this week I tweeted out a few charts on housing market trends. In most of the middle part of the country over the past 44 years there has been little growth in real (inflation-adjusted) house prices. In coastal states, a very different story. pic.twitter.com/PLbiNftha3 — Leonard Kiefer (@lenkiefer) July 10, 2019 In this post we’ll analyze real house prices since 1975, and per usual use R to wrangle data and make plots.

EPOP becomes Fedspeak

If I cannot send Adam Ozimek (at Modeled Behavior ) a Diet Pepsi, then the next best thing might be a chart about epop. epop is the term economists use to describe the employment-to-population ratio, a useful summary statistic about the labor market. Perhaps the summary statistic. Adam (and others) has been talking about epop as a key labor market statistic for years. It seems the Federal Reserve is catching on to the usage of the term epop (though many economists over there have been looking at the statistic for a long while too).

Charting the housing expansion with R

Last week I posted a long thread comparing trends in various housing market indicators over on Twitter: Assuming we aren't in recession right now, the current expansion will tie the 1990s expansion for longest in U.S. history. Let's take a look at how housing markets have behaved in this expansion relative to earlier ones a thread... pic.twitter.com/ovaiq3lsA8 — Leonard Kiefer (@lenkiefer) June 12, 2019 I followed it up with an article on LinkedIn with some more commentary The U.

Presentation: The dynamics of house prices and foreclosure rates across space and time

Updated May 28, 2019 I’m giving a seminar about my new working paper “What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas”“. The slides for the talk are posted below. I made the slides with R and the xaringan package. You can easily print the html to pdf with Chrome. The pdf version is below and available at this link. Long seminar slides .html or [.pdf](../../../../img/charts_may_22_2019/what happens in vegas preso long.

What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas

I’ve got a new working paper with Hua Kiefer (FDIC) and Diana Wei (OCC) that studies the dynamics of house prices and foreclosure rates across space and time. We estimate a model using a panel of state/quarters where nearby states influence one another. Link to paper (pdf): What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas Note Updated May 17, 2019 I’m giving a talk on this paper at the American Real Estate and Urban Economics National Conference later this month.

Population Growth and House Prices 2010 to 2018

Recently the U.S. Census Bureau released updated population estimates through 2018 for the United States, states, counties, and metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). Press release I tweeted out the following chart comparing house prices and state population dynamics. demographics are an important driver of #housing market trends. here's a comparison of growth in state population and nominal house prices since the year 2000 left to right: more people bottom to top: higher home prices pic.

Is the U.S. housing recovery over? Housing fluctuations across time and frequencies

The current economic expansion is set to enter its tenth year this summer. Assuming we make it to June, this will become the longest U.S. economic expansion in recorded history stretching back to the 19th century. But how is the housing market doing? After a decade of recovery housing market activity still has room for improvement, but trends in 2018 were negative. Home sales, housing construction and house price growth all declined in 2018.

Housing construction and population growth

Earlier this month I attended the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) annual policy conference in Washington D.C. LINK. One of the keynote speeches was by Alan Greenspan. During his remarks, Greenspan mentioned that while economic forecasting was hard demographic projections were the surest thing in an uncertain business. Demographics of course are not easy, but it’s much easier to guess what the population of 30 years olds will be in 5 years than it is the predict the unemployment rate or GDP in 5 years.

Mortgage rates and housing construction

The U.S. housing market stalled out a bit in 2018 and we aren’t building enough homes to match demand. See my recent speech for details on what’s going on. Abbreviated version: in 2018 mortgage interest rates slowed housing activity, but demographic forces support housing demand and should provide a lift in years to come. Together with a recent moderation in mortgage rates there’s reason to be optimistic about housing market activity in 2019.

Vulnerable Economy Plots

Last week I gave a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio at the UC/PNC Economic Outlook program. My speech was titled “Forecasting in a Vulnerable Economy”. You can find slides and detailed notes over on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/forecasting-vulnerable-economy-leonard-kiefer/. In this post I want to share R code for the first three plots on the Vulnerable Economy. We’ll get the data via the St Louis Fed’s FRED. We’re going to grab the Fed Funds rate FEDFUNDS, the Unemployment Rate UNRATE the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the long-run natural rate of unemployment NROU and the spread between the 10-year and 2-year U.