Buying Typical US Home Now Requires Income of Over $100,000, Up 46% YoY (19 Straight Months Of Negative REAL Wage Growth Isn’t Helping)

Redfin had an interesting post where they showed that the “typical” US home now requires income of over $100,000.

Of course, it is easy to blame the figure on rapidly rising mortgage rates and Federal Reserve tightening.

But the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey used to say) is that US REAL wage growth has been NEGATIVE for 19 straight months. This alone makes housing unaffordable for the middle class and low wage workers.

Good day!

Again, why are Biden and Trudeau wearing Mao jackets in Bali? And why is Biden looking like a robot?? Biden does look like he is saying “Take me to my leader, Pei.”

US Home-Sale Cancellations Soar in July (16% Of Properties That Went Into Contract) As Buyers Pull Back

The number of US home-purchase deals that fell through jumped in July as buyers continued to back away from the market amid rising mortgage rates. 

Roughly 63,000 home-purchase agreements were cancelled in July, equal to about 16% of properties that went into contract that month, according to an analysis by Redfin Corp. That was up from 15% of deals that fell apart in June. A year earlier, when the housing market was running hot, it was about 12.5%.

The pandemic housing frenzy has cooled off amid the Federal Reserve’s efforts to control inflation by increasing interest rates. Mortgage costs have also jumped, sidelining many potential buyers who can no longer afford properties after a sudden run-up in borrowing costs. 

The Great Divide … In Affordability! REAL Rents Rising At 6.16% YoY As REAL Hourly Earnings Declining At -3.47% YoY (Growing Homelessness And Rise In Home Sale Cancelled Transactions)

We are across the great divide! In terms of house prices and affordability.

We are all aware that inflation is soaring, since the Covid outbreak in 2020 and the massive overaction by The Federal Reserve and Federal government in terms of stimulus spending and economic lockdowns.

Things were “normal” before Covid in that REAL housing rent (white line) and REAL average hourly earnings YoY (yellow line) moved together. But after Covid shutdowns and Federal stimulus “relief” (orange line), we see that inflation (blue line) took off along with the growth in housing rent. The problem, of course, is that REAL average hourly earnings YoY has been declining. I call this “The Great Divide in housing affordability”.

The question, of course, is whether The Federal Reserve will continue their “war on inflation” with a 75 basis point rate increase.

Inflation is at its fastest pace in 40 years, and is expected to increase even higher in tomorrow’s inflation report.

Gasoline prices have been dropping recently, but remain above $4.50 per gallon (regular gas price was $2.40 per gallon on Biden’s inauguration day. And no, it wasn’t the Biden Administration selling nearly 1 million barrels of crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to the Chinese government-owned Sinopec that Biden’s son Hunter is an investor (so, The Big Guy aka Joe Biden gets a 10% piece of the action). It is a slowing global economy that is helping to lower gasoline prices.

Between soaring gasoline prices and soaring home rents, it is little wonder that there is a serious homeless problem in places like New York and California.

With rising mortgage rates, we are seeing a surge in pending home sales cancellations.

Atlanta Fed’s Raphael Bostic thinks that the US economy is so strong that it can easily handle a 75 basis point increase at the next FOMC meeting. Fortunately, he is not a voting member.

I wonder if Joe Biden sings “Carry On My Wayward Son” to Hunter?

Fear The Talking Fed! Mortgage Payments Rise 43.4% YoY As Fed Jawbones Monetary Tightening (But Still Has Not Shrunk Balance Sheet Yet)

Mortgage rates have increased dramatically under “Middle Class Joe” as The Federal Reserve attempts to choke-off inflation caused by … The Fed coupled with Biden’s energy policies (hope you are enjoying those high gasoline and diesel prices!) and the Federal government’s staggering spending spree under Pelosi, Schumer and McConnell.

Thus far, The Federal Reserve has leveled-out out their Treasury Note and Bond purchases, increased their Agency Mortgage-backed Securities (AgMBS) holdings, but strangely have reduced their holding of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) in the face of rising inflation.

And while The Fed Funds Target rate is a lowly 1%, it is projected to rise to 2.890% by the February 1, 2023 FOMC meeting. That should send mortgage rates up.

As if mortgage rates haven’t skyrocketed already, thanks to The Fed’s jawboning about having to raise rates and extinguish inflation.

With sizzling mortgage rates (cooling a bit as the global economy slows), home mortgage payments have risen +43.4% YoY.

Now we have President Biden trying to scare us about the Monkey Pox, yet leaves the southern border wide open. One would think that Biden would shut the borders (as if the surge in Fentanyl, sex trafficking and other diseases aren’t reason enough. But I do predict another massive spending bill from Biden/Congress to combat Monkey Pox and the resurgence of Covid variants.

Meanwhile The Fed jawbones fighting inflation with monetary tightening in the future, even if they jawboning causes mortgage rates to soar and mortgage payments to spiral.

The Great Reset … In Housing? Typical Buyer’s Monthly Payment Up 39.4%—The Biggest Annual Gain on Record (Mortgage Rates SOARING With Anticipated Fed Monetary Tightening)

We now have the proverbial double whammy happening … soaring home prices AND soaring mortgage rates.

The theory is, of course, that The Federal Reserve will slowly remove its staggering monetary stimulus leftover from 1) the financial crisis of 2008 and 2) the Covid recession of 2020. As you can see, the sheer volume of monetary stimulus remains outstanding and it is the EXPECTATIONS of The Fed tightening that is caused the 30-year mortgage rate to rise.

So, The Federal Reserve is participating in The Great Reset by helping send mortgage rates to the moon. But with soaring mortgage rates and still red-hot home price growth, a typical buyer’s monthly payment is up 39% —the biggest annual gain on record.

While I used the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index YoY, Redfin shows more contemporaneous home price data with April 24 median home sales price at 16.8%.

Thanks to The Fed, we are seeing homebuyer mortgage payments are up 39.4% YoY.

As inflation continues to damage America’s middle-class and low- wage workers, we may see regulations going into effect from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau protecting consumers from … themselves.

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.

The Fed’s Gilded Age: A Tale of Today’s Housing Market (REAL Home Prices Rising At 14.6% YoY As REAL Hourly Earnings Fall (-0.41% YoY)

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.

Homebuyer Demand Outstrips Supply As Mortgage Rates Creep Up (Demand Has Grown 15X Faster Than Supply Since 2019 And The Entrance Of The Fed And Federal Stimulus) to Redfin, forty-four percent more homes are pending sale than at this time in 2019, but only 3% more homes recently hit the market—down from 12% growth over 2019 just 7 weeks prior. As a result of the severe imbalance between the number of homes for sale and the number of buyers, the pace of the market is picking up at a time when it typically slows. A third of homes are finding buyers within a week of hitting the market, up from 30.8% at the end of the summer. This week, we’re comparing today’s market with the pre-pandemic fall market of 2019 to highlight how hot the market remains, even as most measures are settling into typical seasonal patterns.

“Comparing today’s sales and new listings numbers to the 2019 levels helps to reveal the stark shortage of supply we are facing,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “The boost of housing supply that came on the market during the summer has already faded away, even as demand tapers off as we expected it to in the fall. Relative to the last ‘typical’ fall of 2019, demand remains steady and strong thanks to the increased urgency many buyers have as mortgage rates inch up. Rising rates also make buyers more price sensitive, so homes that are priced right are increasingly likely to receive offers right away.”

Shortage of supply, indeed. It is a mystery to me why the supply of homes for sale is not matching the demand.

But what happened after 2019? COVID and the entrance of massive Federal Reserve and Federal government stimulus. With limited supply hitting the market, home prices soared with the government stimulus.

We are likely to see rising prices until Federal Stimulypto stops or at least slows.