As The Fed raises rates in their attempt to wrangle inflation, we are seeing an about-face in the US housing market.
The pandemic-related Fed monetary stimulypto begat a housing boom that is careening to a halt as the fastest-rising mortgage rates in at least half a century upend affordability for homebuyers, catching many sellers wrong-footed with prices that are too high. It’s an astonishing turnaround. Just a few months ago, house hunters felt pushed to make offers within days, waive inspections and bid way above asking. Now they can sleep on it and maybe even shop for a better deal.
It doesn’t mean real estate is heading for a crash on the order of 2008. But when a market reaches these heights, even a drop toward normalcy will feel steep. And of course, a recession could make everything worse.
Dallas, Phoenix AZ and Las Vegas NV are leading in the price-slashing derby.
The US economy is slowing as inflation ravages consumers. US Regular Gasoline prices, for example, are up 104% under President Biden which helps to slow the economy.
US personal consumption expenditures fell to +0.2% MoM in May as “inflation” or real personal consumption expenditures PRICES rose +6.3% YoY as The Fed’s balance sheet (aka, Master Blaster!) remains.
As I mentioned above, US regular gasoline prices are UP 103% under President Biden, diesel prices (the cost of shipping goods to markets like … food is up 119% under Biden while CRB foodstuffs is up 55% under China Joe.
Now we have mortgage rates in the US falling for the first time in four weeks. The average for a 30-year loan was 5.7%, down from 5.81% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.
This year’s Fourth of July celebration is going to cost 18% more than last year’s celebration.
Lastly, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow real time tracker for Q2 is showing … -1% GDP “growth.”
Remember peeps, The Fed still have its staggering monetary stimulypto in place.
The Fed is signaling its withdrawal of stimulus, causing mortgage rates to soar.
Given the slowdown of the US and global economy, we shall see if The Fed keeps to its tightening plans. As of today, the market is expecting The Fed to raise its target rate from 1% to 3.819% by February 2023. That is a 291% increase in The Fed’s target rate.ng
The CPI news on Friday was so awful that it changed the bond market’s view of Fed trajectory, and the weakest sector broke. In bond jargon, MBS went “no-bid.”No buyers for MBS. Then a few posted prices beyond borrower demand, not wanting to buy except at penalty prices. (Courtesy of Cherry Creek Mortgage)
Despite what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said, Friday’s inflation report demonstrated that inflation is no longer transitory. And with that realization, there was a dearth of bidders for Agency Mortgage-backed Securities (Agency MBS) on Friday.
As a result, agency MBS 2.5% dropped to under $90 as markets expect The Fed to keep raising rates to combat inflation.
Duration of the FNCL 2.5% agency MBS has been extending with growing inflation. Duration was under 1 on August 2, 2021 but is now 7 times greater at almost 7.
Note to Yellen: inflation seems be permanent, not transitory. Or at least inflation will remain high for the foreseeable future, crushing the life out of Agency MBS.
The reason why home prices are still raging at 17.3% YoY? The Fed’s monetary stimulypto is STILL in place! The Fed’s balance sheet (green line) is still staggering, and The Fed Funds target rate (white line) is a measly 1%.
Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is talking about a pause in Fed tightening. Which they haven’t paused yet.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell is really “slowhand,” not Eric Clapton. Bostic is now a member of The Fed’s “Slowhand” strategy.
As The Federal Reserve tries to fight inflation (it can’t thanks to Federal energy policies and bottlenecks), it is causing a disconnect between mortgage current coupon rate and the MBS index coupon. The disconnect is so bad that it is back to 1985 levels.
The Fed can certainly try to cool inflation, but Biden is intent on raising energy prices (leading to food price increases, and everything else) to shift us to electric cars. So, Biden is unlikely to back off.
So, The Fed is left trying to fight a war against inflation that only Biden can fight.
Meanwhile, the US mortgage market is getting pulverized
Yes, homebuyers are jumping into a generally slowing housing market to “beat the heat.” That is, beat The Fed’s monetary tightening.
Mortgage applications increased 2.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 6, 2022.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent compared with the previous week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week and was 72 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
Simply unaffordable! US housing, that is. As The Federal Reserve tries to fight inflation caused by Biden’s Medusa-like policies, mortgage rates are soaring and we are seeing an INCREASE in mortgage purchase applications ahead of Fed tightening. Panic in (Fed) Needle Park!
Mortgage applications increased 2.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 29, 2022. The Refinance Index increased 0.2 percent from the previous week and was 71 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent compared with the previous week and was11 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) share has risen to 9.3% along with mortgage rates.
Between Biden’s energy policies, Congressional Covid relief and seemingly perpetual monetary stimulus from The Fed, we have 20% growth in home prices despite mortgage rates soaring.
And as The Fed is expected to tighten, mortgage rates hit 5.50%.