Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The credit crunch has gotten through to consumers

Interesting tidbit from Across the Curve:

"No interest in homes

...though consumers painted a relatively sunny picture about the outlook, they don’t seem inclined to pull the trigger on big ticket items any time soon. Home buying intentions collapsed to just 2.1% of those surveyed, the largest one-month decline since August 1990. Given the tightening in credit conditions in this space it is little wonder to us that pool of prospective buyers is getting thin, not to mention that home prices have sagged by 20% according to the latest Case Shiller numbers out earlier today. Moreover, folks are still not seeing real estate as a great place to sock their investments. According to the University of Michigan survey, only 2% of respondents think home prices are going higher.

Even more disturbing was that new car purchase intentions dropped to just 1.5% of all respondents – an all-time low. This is an ominous sign for those auto sales numbers due out tomorrow – consensus is expecting an almost unchanged print to 13.5 million units while we see sales coming in about 1 million below that mark and we would not be surprised to see sales dip below 12 million in the months ahead."

Those are low numbers, but make sense when very few have down payments ready to put down on these kinds of big purchases. One of the major automakers will have to shut down if those sales numbers pan out. There is far too much production capacity out there.

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