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).
Redfin predicts a more balanced housing market in 2022. Part of their rationale is that they predict mortgage rates will rise to 3.6%. This growth in the mortgage rate is predicted to slow home price growth to 3.2% from double digit growth currently.
While this scenario is plausible, it will require a change in direction of the 10-year Treasury yield which has been declining since 1981. 5.39% YoY inflation may encourage The Fed to raise rates.
Today’s REAL 30-year mortgage rate is -3.08% while the REAL 10-year Treasury yield is -4.67%. It will require a reduction in inflation AND an increase in the nominal rate to get to 3.6%.
With the Freddie Mac 30-year survey rate at 3.10, will a 50 basis point increase in mortgage rates send the market crashing? Not likely.
After all, the US economy is under the thumb of The Federal Reserve.