Eq: Total Market


In what could be could news for those worried about the Fed hiking us into a recession, one of the Fed’s top leaders has just come out with a very dovish tone. St. Louis Fed chief Bullard says the Fed needs to slow its pace of rate hikes to preserve its credibility. “Inflation expectations in the U.S. remain somewhat low, suggesting that further normalization may not be necessary to keep inflation near target”. He suggests that the best policy going forward may be to freeze hikes.

FINSUM: One of the things that has worried us about the Fed is that they seem to be viewing rate hikes as some sort of automatic pre-determined path towards normalization rather than basing it on actual inflation numbers.

(New York)

There have been some serious warnings about real estate from reputable sources lately, but not much data to support them. To this point, most fears have been centered around how rising rates might hurt the market, but none of that had emerged in the data, until now. A new US housing report has just showed that sales of existing US homes fell 2.5% in April. Low inventory and higher prices seem to be putting a dampening effect on buyers, says the Wall Street Journal.

FINSUM: This is a worrying stat for us, and its importance is elevated by the fact that the figure comes from April, which is part of the all-important spring home-buying season. The next few months of data will be very important.

(Los Angeles)

US real estate has been humming along quite nicely for several years. The market has been so steady as to be considered in a goldilocks period. Rates were low, lending standards slowly slipped, and the market kept rolling with high demand. However, that period may finally now have come to an end as mortgage rates are rising quickly. Mortgage rates just hit a seven year high, which could mean demand for housing softens as borrowers are unwilling to pay higher rates. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage now sits at 4.61%. Rates bottomed in 2012 at an average rate of 3.31%.

FINSUM: We think this is definitely going to have an effect on mortgage demand, especially on mortgages in urban areas, where amounts tend to be larger.

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