The Grapes Of Wrath! Misery Index (Inflation + Unemployment) Remains Elevated Post COVID, Renter Misery Index Skyrockets (REAL Wage Growth Remains NEGATIVE)

The misery index is traditionally inflation rate plus U-3 unemployment rate. The RENTER misery index is the Zillow Rent Index YoY + U-3 unemployment rate to demonstrate the hardship of renters because of soaring home prices.

Notice that because of rising home prices, the Renter misery index has overwhelmed the improvement in unemployment.

As I typically do, I will now include The Fed’s balance sheet (as a proxy for Fed stimulus and supporting Federal government expenditures). Yes, you can see that The Fed and Federal government are responsible for our modern day “Grapes of Wrath.”

If we look at the TRADITIONAL misery index, we see that misery remains above 10 (it was below 6 prior to the COVID outbreak in early 2020).

Remember that the REAL average hourly earning growth of Americans is NEGATIVE. Gains in wage growth more than offset by inflation.

I won’t even mention how inflation is crushing retirees since Social Security and pension plans rarely adequately compensate retirees for inflation.

Now for the really bad news. 81-year old senior, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has announced that she is running for Congress yet again from leftist-stronghold San Francisco. Although she has an expensive home in Georgetown and a beautiful vineyard in Napa Valley. Pelosi’s vineyard only sells grapes to other wine makers. Not bad for a career civil servant!

I really wanted Pelosi to produce a wine called “The Grapes of Wrath” in honor of her insider trading and massive wasteful spending of taxpayer money that has helped generate inflation, rampant government debt growth and hurting retirees and hourly workers.

Renter Misery Index At 17.42% With Traditional Misery Index At 10.80% (Biden Says $5 TRILLION “Build Back Better Boondoggle” Will Relieve Inflation Over 10 Years)

Renters in the US are getting clobbered by inflation.

The US Zillow Rent Index All Homes YoY + CPI YoY is one measure of renter misery.

The classic misery index (CPI YoY + U-3 unemployment rate) is 10.80%.

Then there is inflation in food prices, gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, etc.

While Biden is releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) in order to mitigate the problem that he created by terminating the energy pipelines and oil/natural gas drilling permits in the name of “Going Green!” But on the announcement of tapping the SPR, crude oil futures actually rose.

But never fear! Biden claims that his $5 TRILLION Build Back Better Boondoggle (BBBB) will ease inflation … over 10 years. And he claims that “17 Nobel Prize winners in economics have said that my plan will “ease inflationary pressures.”” I sincerely doubt that any of them actually read the 2,500 page BBBB. Rather, they likely just read the White House talking points and said “Hey, that sounds good!” Mo money, less problems?

Here is Joe Biden breaking the legs of America’s renters. Or is that multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi?

Invitation Homes Boosts Rents 11% As Housing Shortage (And Fed Stimulus) Persist

(Bloomberg) — The largest owner of U.S. rental houses isn’t seeing any let-up in demand, or in its ability to increase rents. 

Invitation Homes Inc., which owns more than 80,000 single-family rentals, raised prices by nearly 11% in the third quarter, according to a statement. The company boosted rents by 8% on renewals and 18% when leasing homes to new tenants. Rates are rising fastest in the Southwest, where rents increased 30% on new leases in Las Vegas, and 29% in Phoenix

“It’s a little bit crazy,” Chief Executive Officer Dallas Tanner said on a conference call with investors Thursday. “There just isn’t enough quality housing available right now.”

Rising rents have been a staple of the economy since early Covid lockdowns lifted in the middle of last year. Surging purchase prices have pushed homeownership out of reach for first-time buyers

Invitation’s properties, which tend be more centrally located than those owned by other institutional landlords, have been especially popular. And tenants tended to stay put: The company had a record-low turnover rate in the quarter, which reduced the expenses associated with preparing a house for leasing.

Invitation’s shares rose slightly to $40.77 at 12:49 p.m. New York time after the company raised its expectations for full- year revenue and net operating income. The stock is up 37% for the year.

As Milton Friedman once said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” In this case, The Federal government and Federal Reserve were put in charge of the Covid epidemic and we have shortages of almost everything. Including housing.

I don’t have Invitations rent growth chart, but here is Zillow’s YoY rent chart against The Fed’s balance sheet.

The good news? The 11% increase is almost half of the 20% YoY Case-Shiller National home price index.

Here is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen making housing supply disappear.

More Housing Inventory is Coming! 850,000 Borrowers Will Exit Forbearance Between August and October (Will The Fed And Biden/HUD/Congress Take Action?)

The ball is in the court of The Fed, the Biden administration (HUD) and Congress. Will they take action?

There will be more housing inventory hitting the market soon. As home prices are up and most are no longer in negative equity situations, some will decide to sell into this hot market. Obviously not paying your mortgage for 12, 14, 16, or even 18 months is a nice bonus that party is coming to an end.

Zillow’s research found that most are not going to bring their mortgage current. Assume someone took a forbearance and their monthly mortgage cost was $2,000 per month, some may be behind by up to $36,000 when the forbearance period ends. Okay, well what if you can’t make it current? You can defer the payments to the end of the mortgage but you still owe that and many got used to not even paying the regular monthly payment. So a sizable portion will be selling

Here is Black Knight’s Scheduled Forebearance Plan expirations.

Could this be the end of the 16.6% YoY growth rate in home prices? Or will Congress and/or The Biden Administration extend the forbearance? Or will The Fed expand their balance sheet even further??

Will the Biden Administration come to the rescue?