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.