Jeff Gundlach, Doubleline CEO & CIO, looks honestly at current housing data, and why he’s chosen to short the home builder sector ETF SPDR S&P Homebuilders (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XHB).

Jeff Gundlach

Jeff Gundlach’s Housing, GDP outlook


statistics, wee kind of surprised by how people are cop settic about home builders, you kind of look at the data, and it’s gotten soft. it’s gotten ugly. in recent months really soft. one of the culprits for causing that would be the rate rise of last summer. last summer people were saying this isn’t enough of a rate rise to matter. kind of hard to hold that point of view now. you look at mortgage applications, housing starts, you look at new home sales in particular. they’re no better than they were at the so-called trough of the recession. it would seem that the stocks that are up an awful lot and discounting and returning to what people think are normalcy, i think people will be disappointed. i’ve chosen to short — that’s short xhb. that’s right. i’m sure that some can go granular and get into a certain tier, i think if you were looking at lower end home builders, there would probably by some granularity, but i was trying to bring across a macro view. so if that’s your outlook for housing, for a guy who looks at r rates, and the ten-year since at 260, how low is it going? we talked last year, we talked about — and topped out? the very low 3s. interestingly it was the last day of the year, was the peak, and it’s been falling a bit since then. without having too much economic weakness or without too much difficulty in the world, we would probably see the ten year making it down to a type of zone. we got pretty close to that a couple times. we were at 257, 256 last week, so it’s getting close. my viewpoint is to get through that level, you probably would need a psychological shift and some sort of macro event to make investors really want a flight to safety. the investment value down in the low 2s is pretty dubious. so you really need it to be an alternative away from other risky things. so maybe a really hard slowdown in china could cause a change in attitudes and deflationary fears. maybe hotter situation in ukraine could cause those types of fears. maybe just the gdp that came out at basically nothing in the first quarter. you don’t think it was seasonal? of course. of course there was some seasonality to it, but it was weaker than people thought. it just seems to be another year of high expectations dashed somewhere around, you know, the end of the first quarter. here it happened again. i don’t think that the 3% gdp forecast that was so prevalent in investor psychology at year end has a very good chance of coming through. the first quarter was nothing. we were leading into the segment, some people now see 4. i guess if you still with your 3-4 forecast, you better start predicting some 4s. if you got one, i don’t think that changes much. a 4 after a zero averages 2. that’s where we’ve been it seem like for years.