"Does anybody want to call this as the bottom because of the Fed cut?" "Robert Toll asked analysts at the Credit Suisse 2007 Homebuilder Conference. "I don't think you can call it yet."and more on the Fed cut:
He said homebuilders closely watch the sales and traffic at their housing developments and would be the first to spot an upturn. Toll, CEO of the nation's largest luxury homebuilder, said until the Horsham, Pa.-based company's internal reports show a definite uptick on business, he can't say housing has seen its worst.
"When that Sunday report gets a bump up, we can call a bottom," Toll said. "Not yet."
But Toll, famously optimistic about a housing rebound that has yet to materialize, poked fun at himself, telling his audience that "anything I say should be viewed with suspicion. Use your mind. Don't believe me."
But Toll said the Fed's move to cut both the federal funds and discount rates by half a percentage point Tuesday won't bring the subprime and Alt-A, or limited documentation, loans back to equilibrium. He said it would take a return to more conservative underwriting standards to right the ship -- and it would take time.
"I don't think the Fed's move is going to bring back subprime, going to bring back Alt-A," he said. The mortgage lending system "got away from underwriting," he said.
"I would have done a quarter instead of a half because it signals we're in deep doodoo"