US Home Price Growth “Slows” To 18.81% YoY With Phoenix AZ At 32.2% (Simply Unaffordable!)

Happenings two months ago. The Case-Shiller home price index is out for … November 2021.

The Case-Shiller National home price index “slowed” to 18.81% YoY in November as The Fed continues its monetary stimulypto. Notice that The Fed is easing even when there is limited inventory available. Result? Hideous home price inflation.

Which metro area is growing the fastest, making housing even more unaffordable for renters? Phoenix AZ is growing at a 32.2% YoY clip while Washington DC is the slowest growing metro area at 11.1% YoY. The second faster growing metro area in Tampa FLA.

Phoenix AZ is growing at the fastest rate in the nation as The Fed still has its monetary stimulus at FULL SPEED AHEAD.

Let’s see if Fed Chair Powell decides to raise rates and let the Fed’s balance sheet run-off.

The Market Has Never Plunged 10% This Fast To Start A Year (But We’ve Had Biden As President For A Year!)

The stock market has never started a year falling as quickly as it is now. 

The S&P 500 has dropped 11% — heading into correction territory — in the first 16 trading days of 2022 in its worst-ever start to a year, according to Bloomberg data that goes back over nine decades. 

The downturn comes as traders brace for the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy and a surge in U.S. Treasury yields weighs on the outlook for stocks. A host of technical signals also suggest that more volatility may be coming up ahead. 

S&P 500's 11% drop in first 16 days is worst of all years
  

“The Fed pulled the punchbowl, liquidity has evaporated, and the S&P and NDX broke below their 200dma for the first time since the Covid outbreak,” said Rich Ross, technical strategist at Evercore ISI. 

A bear market down to the 3,800 level is likely for the S&P 500, Ross said, given “the dramatic erosion of the technical backdrop, in conjunction with the highest inflation, tightest policy, and most uncertain political and geopolitical condition in years” — not to mention its historic rally since 2020.

The Shiller CAPE ratio is extremely high …. not surprising how much air The Fed pumped into the market tires.

But look at Europe too!

Bubble Burst? NASDAQ, WTI Crude Futures And Bitcoin All DOWN On Opening (Europe Stoxx Down 4%)

Is this the bubble burst many were expecting once The Federal Reserve starting raising rates?

Well, if today’s market opening is an indication, the answer is yes. The NASDAQ Composite Index is down 1.36% and West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures prices are down 2%.

The S&P 500 index is down over 10% since January 3rd.

Drawdown is taking place.

But if you think the US equities are deflating, look at European equities. The Euro Stoxx 50 index is down 4.04%.

Is this a Don Ho “Tiny Bubble” burst? Or a slow deflation of asset prices as The Fed removes its stimulus?

Bad 7 Days For Cryptos And NASDAQ As Fed Quantitative Tightening Looms (Is Jerry Gergich Running The US Economy?)

It has been a tough 7 days for Bitcoin, Ethereum and the NASDAQ composite index as The Fed is anticipated to raise their target rate AND engage in quantitative tightening.

While the NASDAQ composite index has been deflating over past 7 days, Bitcoin and Ethereum plunged in recent days. What is going on??

The Russell 2000 value (white) and growth (green) indices are both deflating.

With regards to anticipated Fed rate increases, Fed Funds Futures are signaling almost 4 rate hikes in 2022 and 4 by the February 2023 meeting.

Then we have the massive increase in The Fed’s balance sheet after COVID struck in early 2020. Now, with the S&P 500 skyrocketing (until 7 days ago), why is The Fed buying sooooo much Agency MBS??

With the supply chain broken thanks to Congress/Biden/The Fed pouring trillions into an economic system that was working … we now have an economic system that is broken. Clogged ports, meat-packing labor shortages, etc. It’s as if Park’s and Recreation’s Jerry Gergich is running the economy as opposed to Ron Swanson.

Fear! Crypto Crash Erases More Than $1 Trillion in Market Value (As Dow Tanks 430 Points)

For Bitcoin, there’s only been one constant recently: decline after decline after decline. And the superlatives have piled up really quickly.

With the Federal Reserve intending to withdraw stimulus from the market, riskier assets the world over have suffered. Bitcoin, the largest digital asset, lost as much as 8.7% Friday and dropped below $38,000 to its lowest level in six months. Since its peak in November, it has lost 40% of its value. Other digital currencies have suffered just as much, if not more, with Ether and meme coins mired in similar drawdowns. 

Bitcoin’s decline since that November high has wiped out more than $570 billion in market value, and roughly $1.17 trillion has been lost from the aggregate crypto market. While there have been much larger percentage drawdowns for both Bitcoin and the aggregate market, this marks the second-largest ever decline in dollar terms for both, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

“It gives an idea of the scale of value destruction that percentage declines can mask,” wrote Bespoke analysts in a note. “Crypto is, of course, vulnerable to these sorts of selloffs given its naturally higher volatility historically, but given how large market caps have gotten, the volatility is worth thinking about both in raw dollar terms as well as in percentage terms.”

Bitcoin plunge wipes out billions in a jiffy
 Bloomberg

With the Fed’s intentions rocking both cryptocurrencies and stocks, a dominant theme has emerged in the digital-asset space: cryptos have twisted and turned in nearly exactly the same way as equities have. 

Bitcoin/Ethereum/Dow Slide As Gold Rebounds (Fun Times As $3.3 Trillion Options Expire)

Yes, it is fun times in markets this Friday as $3.3 trillion in options expire.

As of 9:52am EST, we see Bitcoin (white) and Ethereum (blue) falling along with the Dow (pink), while gold (gold) fell then rebounded.

European stock markets are down 2% today.

Global sovereign bond prices are up across the board internationally as yields decline.

Crude oil is down today while natural gas is soaring. In particular, look at UK natural gas prices!

Brrr.

US Existing Home Sales: Still No Inventory, Median Price UP 14.85% YoY (Freddie’s 30Y Mortgage Rate Rise To 3.56%)

The banner headline is … US existing home sales declined 4.6% MoM in December. But that isn’t the interesting news. The interesting news is the mystery of the missing housing inventory. While various pundits told us that inventory would be returning … it isn’t. And the median price of existing home sales is up 14.85% YoY with insane Fed stimulus still in play.

That was December. What will January bring with rising mortgage rates? Freddie Mac’s 30-year commitment rate rose to 3.56% today.

When will housing inventory for sale start to increase? Probably about the same time The Fed ACTUALLY starts raising interest rates and paring back on the monetary stimulus.

US Treasury Yield Curve Keeps Inching Up, Just Wait For Fed To Raise Rates (Trouble With The Curve And Federal Financing Of Debt)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is having trouble with the curve (yield curve, that is). It keeps inching up, meaning that Treasury’s cost of debt financing is inching up too.

As Treasury yields keep rising, so does the problem of financing the massive Federal debt load. Here is a chart showing the interest outlays in the Federal budget against the cost of Federal funding at the 10-year and 2-year tenors.

Now, The Fed is predicted to raise their target rate 4 times in 2022 (according to Fed Funds Futures data) and it looks like a whopping 100 basis points (or 1%). Holding the rest of the yield curve constant, this will considerably flatten the 10Y-3M Treasury curve. Resulting in a more expensive refinancing of the Federal Debt load.

If we look at The Fed’s System Open Market Holdings (SOMH), we can see that The Fed’s holdings are primarily Treasuries with non-Treasuries (primarily agency mortgage-backed securities) not maturing (or running off) until 2050.

The majority of The Fed’s COVID expansion was picked-up by The Fed (light blue line).

How about the Treasury Inflation-protected Securities curve? Negative yields across the tenor range.

With Congress trying to spend trillions more (since Build Back Broke failed, Democrats are producing MORE spending legislation with the voting act included, of course), Treasury is going to have progressively more trouble with the (Treasury) curve.

The Fed Boogie! Homes Above $800,000 Drive Bidding Wars in U.S. Housing Market As Fed’s Stimulypto Persists

Massive Federal stimulus (both fiscal and monetary) have led to bidding wars among the wealthiest Americans. Despite clamoring for The Fed to increase rates and speed-up the shrinking of The Fed’s balance sheet, nothing has happened … yet.

(Bloomberg) — Home buyers willing to spend almost a $1 million are competing the most for a piece of the red-hot U.S. housing market.

Homes priced between $800,000 and $1 million saw the highest rate of bidding wars at 64.6%, followed by 62% for homes between $1 million to $1.5 million and 61.7% for homes above $1.5 million, according to December data from Redfin Corp.

“Buyers should anticipate that they may not win a house until their sixth or seventh bid,” Candace Evans, a Redfin team manager in New York, said in a statement. “If you’re the type of person who falls in love with a house, this is not your market.”

Salt Lake City had the highest bidding-war rate of 37 U.S. metropolitan areas analyzed, with 74% of offers facing competition in December, the firm said. Tucson had a 73.1% bidding-war rate and followed by 71.1% for San Diego.

Prospective buyers are competing for homes as relatively cheap mortgage rates and a proliferation of remote-working opportunities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic boost demand for homes in smaller cities. The number of available homes in several of the hottest markets continue to shrink. 

Nearly 60% of home offers written by Redfin agents across the U.S. faced competing bids in December, the firm said. It was the lowest rate in 12 months but an increase from 54% in December 2020 as pandemic-driven demand for housing remains strong.

Vacation homes, which are often pricey and have increased in popularity due to Covid-19, may have contributed to bidding wars in the high-end market, Redfin said. Townhouses had a bidding-war rate of 62% followed by 61.3% for single-family homes, the firm said.

Now its a race against the clock as potential home buyers try to beat Powell and the Gang as they raise mortgages rates.

Yes, Federal stimulus has made the top 1% increase their share of total net worth that includes $800,000+ homes.

Try to calm down and listen to Torquay by The Leftovers. Or listen to Danse Fed.

US Multifamily Housing Starts Jump 13.7% In December, 1-unit Starts Fall -2.25% As All Eyes On Fed

Now we have people like JPMC’s Jaime Dimon speculating about 7 rates increases in 2022 and other bankers speculating about a faster than expected withdrawal of the The Fed’s monetary stimulus in the form of asset purchases, we have to anticipate what the result will be in markets.

Like what will happen to housing starts if and when the stimulus is removed.

Today, we saw 1-unit housing starts fall 2.25% from November to December, but multifamily (5+ unit) starts rise 13.7%.

Of course, home price growth of near 20% YoY combined with declining REAL hourly earnings points to more multifamily housing and less single-family detached housing.

Here is the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say. 5+ unit permits are up 19.9% in December while 1-unit permits are up 1.99%.