UPDATE FEBRUARY 6, 2023 – Most importantly, Happy 50th Birthday to my Step-Daughter. You know you are old when your kid turns 50! Ouch.
I saw a statistic today that about 9% of households move each year. This is down from 20% per year in the 1960s. So, we have over a 50% decline in moving and over a 75% decline in population growth from the 1980s. Wouldn’t those stats tell us that the supply of houses for sale should be much lower today than in the past? I would guess that over 95% of existing and new home sales are people relocating. A small percentage might be second homes, kids leaving home and buying their first home (doubtful as most 18-year-olds don’t have the money to do such), etc.
I continue to be the lone voice that says we have an oversupply of housing. Not an undersupply. And definitely not an undersupply of 5-7 million homes as I have heard thrown around.
UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2, 2023 – The housing indicator that peaked in late 2021 and declined 38% while forecasting well ahead of time the market top has reversed directions. This indicator bottomed in October 2022 along with the stock market. It has now gone up 36% from its low. It remains 17% below its peak in late 2021. This is expected as it is unlikely the housing market will go to new highs anytime soon. However, the important factor is this indicator is forecasting a fairly strong rebound in the housing market this year. I haven’t seen anyone predict such to occur. As a side note, lumber futures are up 50% from their lows last year.
JANUARY 21, 2023 – The 30-year mortgage rate hit 6.15% this week. After some ups and downs over the past few months (as I had forecast to occur), the downturn has started again. We aren’t far from my original prediction of sub-6% rates.
Some other stats….Home sales are the lowest since 2010. I guess a low supply is fine when people aren’t buying homes:) Sales have declined for 11 straight months – the longest streak since 1999. Excluding the pandemic, home permits are the lowest since 2016.
That’s all for now.
JANUARY 2, 2023 – Happy New Year! I hope the year is good for all.
As we start 2023, the housing market is solidly in Step 4. That is when all of the cars on the rollercoaster are speeding downward together. Prices are declining and accelerating the pace of their decline.
Step 5 will be when the decline starts to slow down. e.g. annual price declines might go -8.0%, -10.0%, -11.0%, -11.5%. I expect some-to-many markets will start to see this in the 2nd Quarter.
Step 6 is when the lead cars on the rollercoaster reach bottom and start to turn up. Just the opposite of last Spring when the rollercoaster reached the top and the lead cars started downward. At this point, you have some markets still accelerating in their annual price decline and others level at their price decline level, and some where the price decline starts to head back upward towards 0%. I can see this happening in the 3rd Quarter with a slight chance it might even start towards the end of the 2nd Quarter. Readings go -9.0, -10.0, -10.0, -9.0.
The question right now is can Step 7 occur by yearend. I think there is a chance it can. In this Step the rollercoaster will be heading back upward towards say Ground Level (i.e. 0% price change in past year). There will still be many markets with negative price changes. Others will be back to near level and some will actually have positive price change readings. I would say right now no one is expecting any markets to have price appreciation this year. I think there is a chance for such to occur in the 4th Quarter in a few markets. About the same odds as last Spring when I thought full blown price declines could occur by Yearend 2022.
As always, we shall see how things play out. I will try to remember to update my forecast mid-year.
Always glad to hear your thoughts.
JUNE 14, 2022 – It is rare that you see and know a peak is occurring as you speak. Three months or a year down the road it is easy to look back and see when a top occurred. But, while it is going on….that is difficult. Being in the forest makes it tough to see the trees.
There are 4 steps for the housing market (any market for that matter) to go from growth to decline.
Step 1 – Acceleration in appreciation begins to slow down. This occurred 6+ months ago.
Step 2 – This is occurring now. Annual home appreciation in June will be lower than it was in May. We will look back at May-June 2022 and see the rollover in annual appreciation. Essentially, acceleration has turned negative. Better to call it deceleration.
Step 3 – This is the opposite of Step 1. The steep upward slope of accelerating price appreciation now becomes a steep downward slope of slowing price appreciation. This will occur the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.
Step 4 – The final step occurs when the accelerating slow down (think of slamming on the breaks) takes the market from price appreciation into price decline. This seems a far way off. But, I think we might be in for a surprise and see declining home prices quicker than we expect. We shall see.
As an aside, Bitcoin (slightly below $20k) and Ethereum (around $1k) are nearing major lows. The next move should take both to record highs (4x-5x moves from these levels).