Saturday, December 24, 2005

BLS OER, Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

Wishing everyone a solemn Alban Arthan as we honor the souls of the trees we sacrifice then deify in our living rooms. Hang the revered kerm-oak, drink the blessed wassail. "Yule" feel so much better. The Norse had the right idea taking 12 days for Jole. Oh and all the recent religion adherents that have since renamed these Christmas, Christmas Trees, holly, sacramental wine and the 12 days of Christmas as if changing the name makes a difference; Merry Christmas.

Wishing everyone Prop 13 protection.

Wishing everyone a secret decoder ring to translate Fedspeak into reality.

Wishing I understood inflation formulas. OER (owners equivalent rent) questions are tricky. I am going to try but I probably have this wrong so don't trust it. The BLS in computing the CPI realized that using actual housing costs was going to give false inflation indications. This because housing content was changing. The sad part is that they decided for seriously poor political reasons to err in the opposite direction. Just like the morally indefensible way they do not count all taxes. Anyway, they calculate what the fair market rent would be for any particular house which turns out to be the mother of all lagging indicators. I've posted extensively on this elsewhere. Market rents are reflecting purchase costs in some instances (mine) 18 years ago. Just going over my year end tax avoidance notes this one place cost me out of pocket a whopping $1100 in 2005 before deductions. I don't charge $90/month but neither do I charge as if I bought last year and was paying a $1300/month mortgage while trying to recover the original transaction costs. Like I said, talk about your lagging indicators. This is why everyone on the ground sees so very much inflation and the BLS doesn't see it in the data. They are acting as if the were the 1960s with one car and a 1200 sq ft house with 2.5 kids who walk to their fine neighborhood school and mom stays at home. What this does mean, and everyone already hates me for this, is that OER will rise and continue to rise "stubbornly" for a great many years even as housing prices tank. Everyone loves it here when I say the bubble popped Oct 6th '05 and cheer my labelling the next few months "The Silent Spring" but I'm a shill for the forces of darkness when I predict rising rents for the exact same reasons. There's a lot of inflation and that will show up in rents. There's very high costs for an increasing portion of the rental owners that perforce will affect median rental charges. The equlibrium of falling house prices and rising rents are what partly drive my prediction of 5% per year declines in prices as rents rise to reestablish some congruence in OER and purchase pricing.

Anyway, We got the Druids covered and I need to add Joyous Saturnalia so the pagans are taken care of as well so all that remains is;

Happy Holy-days!

1 comment:

SmellyPogoStick said...

First & Murst!