Displaying items by tag: Mortgages
Luxury real estate is an interesting corner of the housing market for a number of reasons. It is not subject to the same sort of macro trends that affect the rest of the real estate market, such as mortgage rates directly influencing pricing and demand. Therefore, it is often overlooked as a barometer of the sector. However, if you pay attention, luxury real estate actually works as a solid leading indicator of the broader real estate market. While it is insulated, it is not immune from the same forces as its mass market brethren, and rates, stock prices, foreign buying and beyond all affect it. For instance, the chief economist at Redfin comments that “When people have more wealth because of stock gains, they have more money to spend on luxury homes … But if some luxury buyers think the stock market isn’t going to do as well, there may be an increase in investment in real estate because it’s seen as a safer place to put money”.
FINSUM: The problem with correlating the stock market and luxury housing is that both stocks rising and falling can boost luxury real estate, as rising shares mean more wealth to splash out on homes, while a weaker market can boost the sector because of safe haven characteristics.
More bad news is flowing out of the housing market. For the last several months, home sales, new builds, and demand has been falling. Prices are down in some major metropolitan areas. Now, new data shows that mortgage demand is contracting. US mortgage applications fell to their lowest level since 2014 in recent weeks. This comes on the back of mortgage rates rising to their highest since 2010.
FINSUM: There have been eight rate hikes since 2018 and home prices are at lofty levels. A downturn should come as no surprise.
Everyone know the housing market is facing some headwinds. Strong home price growth combined with higher rates is hurting demand. Accordingly, sales and new activity have been falling since the late spring. However, new data shows that home prices seem to have already entered a cyclical downturn that is only going to intensify. A combination of low affordability, slowing demand, and higher rates have conspired to bring down home prices, and it does not look like things will turn around quickly. The Fed is already warning about real estate being a “downside risk” for the economy.
FINSUM: The whole housing market seems to be slowly, but surely, stalling. Homebuilder stocks have been hammered, prices are falling, and rates are rising. It seems like we are in for a downturn.
Investors need to be careful, real estate looks likely to take a pounding in the coming months. While all the focus on the big jump in yields has been on how it has impacted bonds and stocks, one of the big risk areas is real estate. Unlike other parts of the economy and markets, real estate has been teetering for some time, with months of weak performance. REITs and real estate stocks have been selling off strongly over the last couple of days and the reason is clear—the last thing the already weak housing market needs is higher borrowing costs.
FINSUM: We think the move higher in rates and yields could spell a significant downturn for real estate. Prices are so high and demand is already starting to dry up, so higher yields may have a further dampening effect.
The last few months have been bleak for the US housing market. There has been a steady stream of negative data showing that the market is definitively slowing. Now a new one is emerging—bank lending is contracting quickly in the space. The fall off is so strong that banks are laying off workers in lending units. Both sources of demand for mortgages—refinancing and new home purchases—have dried up as interest rates and housing prices have risen. July showed the fifth straight month of declining home sales, coming in the time of the year when they should be strongest. Speaking about the state of home prices and mortgage demand, the chief economist at Fannie Mae says, “people are saying, ‘at these prices, and with rates rising, I’ll stay where I am’”.
FINSUM: We believe the US is in for a long winter of falling home prices. We think the market is at a turning point right now where sellers are trying to cling to high prices, but buyers have finally stopped giving in.