This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Employment, Housing Limp Along Together

NEW YORK TheStreet) -- Home sales were down in 30 of the top 42 U.S. counties in November, and December's numbers may be no better.

A research note released Thursday from DataQuick, a real estate industry analysis company, shows that lackluster employment continues to be a problem for homebuyers and real estate agents. With a surprising rise in jobless claims this week (to 379,000), this could mean a sustained decline in housing sales well into the new year.

"This month's jobs report was better than recent history, but is still far below where it needs to be to truly benefit the housing landscape," says Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics for DataQuick. "With U.S. population growth at roughly 0.9%, or 2.8 million people per year, employment needs to grow by more than 235,000 a month to keep up with population growth. Last month, jobs only increased by 203,000."

Meanwhile, DataQuick says national home sales over the past eight months have been "near zero or decreasing" in half of the residential real estate market, and that's not all about the jobless numbers -- rising home values are also keeping homebuyers away from "for sale" signs.

Even in markets where sales are higher, home prices are rising above the long-term average, DataQuick reports.

"Along with reduced sales numbers contributing to home price appreciation, additional explanations exist for the rapid increase in home prices across the market," Crawford says. "One explanation is that home prices have been correcting from an excessive downturn below fundamental values that occurred during the great recession and that have continued as housing market participants search for a floor in home prices."

Inflated home values may be leading to bigger trouble down the road for the real estate market, Crawford says.

"An even more likely explanation is that some of the excessive, above-trend, home price growth is speculative and characteristic of the formation of a new home price bubble," he adds.

There is some good news in the DataQuick numbers: Foreclosures are down. Of 42 counties reporting figures, 29 have seen a decline that takes so-called toxic homes off the market.

But as long as the job picture remains murky, and as speculators creep into the housing market, don't expect a big rise in residential property sales in the first few months of 2014.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs