Today's report on consumer confidence, or the striking lack of it, is yet another sign that housing is going to be in a very sticky state for a while. It's hard to say whether housing is weighing on confidence or lack of confidence is weighing on housing; the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Next week is a big week for housing because we get the all-important readings on existing and new home sales for May. The pending home sales index, based on contracts signed, not closings, fell dramatically in April, and that has the housing prognosticators building another arc for the flood of bad news yet to come. Home builder sentiment fell in June, largely based on competition from distressed properties and high material costs, but you can bet the builders know we're in for some tough sales numbers in their market as well.
I know I've said this before, but here I go again: All real estate is local, but confidence is national. Potential summer buyers, who are historically few and far between, will be watching the national numbers, as they try to time the bottom of the market, which is of course impossible to do.