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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Gundlach Disses Housing, as De Blasio Vows to Build More

News summary by MFWire's editors

While speaking at the 19th annual Sohn Investment Conference in New York yesterday, Jeffrey Gundlach was more than happy to share his not-so-rosy views on the housing market.

Brendan Conway reported for Barron's that DoubleLine's chief executive thinks the zest for single-family housing as an investment idea is "overbelieved and overblown."

Conditions aren't quite so ripe for home buying again, Gundlach argued at the event and, frankly, no one has money to buy houses (unless, of course, you are Gundlach or someone like him).

"Where are the new buyers?" he asked, adding that rents are rising, making it harder for people to save money for a down payment on a house. And this is probably true especially in New York, where a mere studio in the West Village will likely cost you upwards of $3,000-$4,000 per month.

So what to do? Gundlach suggested shorting the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF to express this view.

And just as he was sounding off at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was across the river in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, talking about his plans to build a lot more affordable housing in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The mayor said he plans to commit a whopping $8.2 billion of public money to build more houses for middle- and low-income wage families in the area.

Now, the two gentlemen probably weren't comparing notes, as they were speaking around the same time at two different places. And they're not exactly contradicting one another, as they both see a lack of affordable housing in the city, and elsewhere (key word being: affordable), but how exactly the situation will play out remains to be seen. Maybe short the Homebuilders ETF, like Gundlach said, until the houses de Blasio promises actually start sprouting up. 

Edited by: Anastasia Donde


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