As The Fed takes away the massive monetary punch bowl, mortgage rates have risen to the highest since November 2008. And with the withdrawal of monetary stimulus (raising Fed Target Rate), mortgage purchase applications have declined.
Here is a photo of The Federal Reserve fighting the housing and mortgage market.
We are seeing a slowing of the US economy. For example, the JOLTs (job openings) numbers are out for June and they are down -5.5% from May. And from April to May, JOLTs declined -3.2% MoM. That is a clear slowing trend.
And on the housing front, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase on a month-over-month basis by 0.6% from June 2022 to July 2022 and on a year-over-year basis by 4.3% from June 2022 to June 2023. But rose +18.3% YoY in June. Also a clear cooling trend.
And its “Escape From Blue States” (perhaps a new Kurt Russell movie), with home prices rising fastest in red states (primarily The South). And contiguous migration from California to Nevada and Arizona.
The Fed Funds Futures market is pricing in rate hikes until the March 2023 FOMC meetings. After all, Prince Imhotep (aka, Minneapolis Fed’s Neel Kashkari) is screaming for more rate hikes to fight inflation … caused by 1) loose monetary policies since late 2008 and 2) insane Federal government spending.
Let’s see if “Mr. Freeze” (aka, Jerome Powell) relents on Fed rate increases before the March 2023 FOMC meeting.
Well, this is one way to get inflation under control … crash the economy. And inflation fears growing, we are seeing mortgage rates declining and mortgage applications increasing.
Mortgage applications decreased 5.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 1, 2022. This week’s results include a holiday adjustment to account for early closings the Friday before Independence Day.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 17 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week and was 78 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
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
President Biden met with Federal Reserve Chairman Powell to discuss how to control the inflation that is crushing the middle class and low-wage workers.
Here is a good example of why Biden is worried. There is a mid-term election on the horizon and people are angry and scared. Housing, generally the largest asset owned (or rented) by a household is simply unaffordable thanks, in part, to the over-stimulation of the economy by 1) The Federal Reserve in terms of money printing and 2) the Federal government in terms of fiscal stimulus in response to the Covid outbreak in March 2020.
In nominal terms, the gap between US home prices (Case-Shiller National Home Price Index YoY – US Average Hourly Earnings YoY) is near the all-time high.
Yes, home price growth exploded upwards when The Fed rapidly expanded their balance sheet in response to the Covid outbreak … and only now are considering shrinking the balance sheet.
In terms of house prices, CoreLogic has a nice chart depicted the odds of home prices dropping over the coming year. I circled Columbus Ohio because that is where I am moving (knock on wood).
And then we have the 30-year mortgage rate rising with The Fed’s expected tightening of monetary policy. That will certainly make housing even less affordable, unless house price growth cools dramatically.
The U.S. Treasury market is showing signs of stress that may have implications for whether the curve keeps steepening.
Over the past month the curve has retraced from an inversion to a steepening driven by a surge in yields on benchmark 10-year bonds. That has led to interesting outlier indications, as traders weigh the outlook for Federal Reserve interest rate increases and inflation.
The US Treasury yield curve has settled-in at 20.383 bps (effectively zero) as The Fed continues its war on inflation.
On the SOFR front, we see SOFR Coupons being slow to benefits from Fed rate hikes. So, SOFR Coupons are behaving like Stouffer’s lasagna, frozen and tasteless.
On the other hand, mortgage rates continue to soar on EXPECTATIONS of Fed rate hikes.
Phoenix AZ leads the top ten at 30.4% with Washington DC lagging at 9.9%.
So, its official. The Federal Reserve is best exemplified by former Yankee/Mets first baseman “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry. When players presented Mets’ manager Casey Stengel with a birthday cake but neglected to give piece of cake to Throneberry, Stengel replied to Throneberry when asked why no cake, “Because I was afraid your were going to drop it.”
Just like The Federal Reserve, the honorary Marv Throneberry of the the global economy.
Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 19.1% in January 2022 compared with January 2021. On a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 1.4% in January 2022 compared with December 2021 (revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results).
But Corelogic is still forecasting only 3.8% YoY growth in 2022.
Home prices are hot, hot, hot in all states except North Dakota and New York. The fastest growing states are lower taxes, higher growth states.
Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego are booming. But Chicago and Washington DC are growing at near 9% YoY.
Case-Shiller’s December report show home prices growing at 18.84% YoY thanks to Fed stimulypto and historic low inventory of homes available for sale.
Welcome to The Fed’s Gilded Age … for housing! The gilded age refers to the thin-veneer of gold covering up problems in the late 1800s.
Today’s gilded age is largely fueled by The Federal Reserve’s uber-easy monetary policies combined with absurd Federal government policies. The result? Thanks to inflation, REAL home prices are growing at 14.6% YoY while REAL hourly earnings are declining (-0.41% YoY).