As I write this on Wednesday, December 19th the stock market has closed down 351.98 points or nearly 1.5% to its lowest level of the year, according to CNBC. The broader S&P 500 Index also closed at a 2018 low. But as bad as this news is, perhaps even more concerning are two key indicators for the housing market – single-family housing starts and homebuilder sentiment – both of which showed disappointing results.
As you head home from work today, take a look around you at the other commuters on the road. All around you are Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Suburus and the like. These are all signs of the incredible success Japan has has penetrating the U.S. automobile market – taking significant market share away from the once dominant Big Three American auto makers, GM, Ford, and Dodge/Chrysler many years ago.
Can Japan do it again? Are builders D.R. Horton, Lennar, PulteGroup, K.B. Homes at risk of the same loss of market share? If Takeshi Homma (pictured here) is successful, he hopes to help Japanese companies take a big bite of the American homebuilding market.