Coronavirus Tracker Update 6/13/20
Looks like we've bumped the coronavirus back to the top of the page. What has everyone freaked out is the high number of cases - the SETRAC dashboard shows 1,102 cases on June 10th, higher than any previous day since the pandemic started.
After some digging I located these stories from KBMT in Beaumont and the T exas Tribune: 537 of the cases reported on June 10 were because Jefferson County Health Department changed the way they report cases at three prison units - which resulted in several days worth of cases being reported on that day. This change was significant enough to also produce a record high number of cases for the state of Texas as well. The Houston MSA suburban counties still have relatively low numbers of new cases and most of the area increase is from Harris County, which is running about 300+ new cases per day, up about 100 cases from two weeks ago.

The dire circumstances in Houston have gotten a lot of media attention, but it actually has improved since last week. The TMC dashboard for this week (below) has improved from red to yellow showing 5 weeks to ICU occupancy. Last week (below that) it was red with ICU occupancy at 2 weeks.
Despite the warnings, overall hospital usage remains relatively flat - the green line has been consistent and we have roughly 10K additional bed capacity that can be used without accessing surge capacity. Patient loads also continue to increase but the bulk is in the general population of beds, rather than ICU beds.
I thought this chart was helpful in understanding the effect of events on cases. This chart is from Methodist, so it's not complete but it is covering hospitalizations, which is a much more accurate measure than cases. According to UCSD, symptoms can appear as early as 2 days and as late as 14 days from exposure, with an average of 5-6 days. Memorial Day was May 25, protests were May 28 & May 30, and the George Floyd march was on June 2. Here new hospitalizations declined all the way through the Phase II easing when they started to increase in the wake of both the holiday and protests. Even in this case, however, the ICU patient load has remained stable.
Lastly, as always, the lack of testing remains a problem. Texas DSHS data indicates that the Houston area is averaging 3,800 tests per day. With 504 deaths, a 0.4% CFR and 35% asymptomatic (per the CDC) suggests there are about 193,000 infected people in the Houston area. Ignoring false positives for the moment, the test has about a 30% false negative rate - and we're testing about 10% positive right now. I'm sure you get where this is going. It would take about 850 days at our current testing rates.

The chart below suggests that private testing capacity is much higher and I don't know why this is not reflected in the testing capacity. But at any rate our testing capacity is expected to increase dramatically in the next few weeks. Which will both help to get a handle on the extent of infection but also show that our cases will continue to increase.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP AFTER SHORT DIP DURING PROTESTS. It's still got a long way to go, but consumer confidence is up on a stead trend since April.

MARKET UPDATES. Sales are even to slightly ahead of last year for June. $200K - $399K remain ahead in 2020 over last year.
Pending new home sales in MLS remain strong with over 3,200 pending transactions.
Terminations were 50% higher in April 2020 than April 2019, but were almost balanced by May and actually lag 2019 in June so far.
Prices still lag behind 2019 but appear to at least firmed up the gap for early results in June.
I've seen a lot of speculation on the pandemic being good for the home rental market. These are monthly rentals in 2019 and 2020 - all rentals, not just purpose built. It would appear the rental market has rebounded more quickly than the home sales market.
Some viewpoints worth reading:

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Stay well.

Scott Davis
Location Strategy, LLC