Tag Archives: housing

QUICK HOUSING UPDATE

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.
Shalom,
The Mann

THE HOUSING MARKET – STEPS 5, 6 AND 7

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.
Shalom,
The Mann

STEP 4 IN THE HOUSING MARKET HAS OCCURRED

DECEMBER 7, 2022 – On June 14th, I posted that Step 2 in the housing market cycle had occurred. Then on October 3rd, I noted we had entered Step 3. I also predicted we would get to Step 4 well before anyone expected.
Today, we are officially in Step 4. Home prices have declined nationwide. The acceleration is underway. Below is the factual data from the American Enterprise Institute. I will revisit this topic sometime in 2023 when I start to see indications of a bottom. In the interim, sit back and enjoy the bloodbath. A cleansing is always needed and we are getting one.
Shalom and Happy Holidays,
The Mann
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It’s official: The sudden reversal in home prices that began this spring has hit every one of America’s major metros with declines from their recent all-time peaks. What’s remarkable is the gigantic range of the pullbacks from region to region, and how the biggest losers are due to keep falling fast, while the metros that so far have taken the most modest hits should face only relatively small retreats from their pinnacles by the close of 2023.
That’s the evidence from a report just issued by the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center. Each month, the AEI measures the total change in home prices in 58 markets from their previous summits. The new chart shows that 45 of those cities crested to cap a synchronized spiral between April and June, though a handful peaked later, including Miami and North Port in July, and Greenville, Charleston and Cincinnati in September. For the first time in October, every one of the 58 markets registered a fall from their high points, ranging from -12.9% in San Jose to -0.5% in Memphis. ((Forbes))

“WE HAVE AN OVERSUPPLY OF HOUSING” – THE MANN

UPDATED – OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I have added some data regarding the number of vacant housing units in America at the bottom of this post.

OCTOBER 24, 2022 – There, I said it. Made it 100% clear for everyone to understand. I might be the lone voice saying this for the past 5-10+ years. So be it.
Population growth in this country has been slowing for the entire 21st Century. It will continue to slow. NAR, Homebuilders, and the Fake News Media can tell you that we have a housing shortage. That is what they must tell you so they can keep making their money – at the expense of John Q. Public.
Some facts….
There are over 1.7 million housing units under construction. That is almost a 50-year high (yes, 50 years ago we had a much smaller population). More importantly, in the housing crisis 15 years ago, we peaked at only 1.4 million housing units. We have more housing being built today with a much slower growing population.
In the 1970’s, when Baby Boomers were at the age to buy homes in mass, that population segment grew at a 4.5% annual pace. Millennials of the same population segment today are growing at only a 1.2% annual rate! That is almost a 75% reduction in the demand for housing! Adjusting for a 56% increase in population since 1972, this is still a 58% reduction in the demand for housing!!!
I would guess if we didn’t build a single housing unit for 5+ years we would still have vacant houses and apartments all over this country. Instead of building new shoddy manufactured houses, let’s focus on rehabbing the well-built housing of decades ago. Most of this product is in existing built-up areas with infrastructure in place. Take advantage of that.
One day when people start to admit we have had an oversupply of housing for over a decade, please remember The Mann told them so:)
Shalom,
The Mann

ADDED OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I was wondering how many vacant units we have in America. So, some quick research found the following. Sources obviously can vary in their figures.

We have 142 million housing units in America. The number of apartment units is estimated to be 21.3 million. We can assume the remainder are houses – 121.7 million.

National apartment vacancy is reported to be 6%. This indicates 1.3 million vacant units. As of 2020, the home vacancy rate was 9.7%. This indicates 11.8 million vacant units. The sum is 13.1 million vacant housing units in America.

As I noted in the original part of the post above, we could go several years without building a single house or apartment complex and we would still have many millions of vacant units.

One last tidbit of information to consider. I once worked with an economist that assumed every year 1% of existing real estate (housing, office, retail, industrial, etc.) became obsolete and/or was demolished. At 142 million housing units, that would mean 1.4 million units are taken off the market each year. That helps provide some constant need for new housing. Again, this is an assumption. It seems like an awful lot of houses and apartments being abandoned or demolished every year. But, …

That is all I have for now.

INFLATION AND THE ONGOING RECESSION

OCTOBER 16, 2022 – First, a moment of silence for Marie Antoinette who was beheaded on this day in history. Would it be appropriate, or not, to honor her by having a piece of cake….but, I already digress:)
I have never tried to forecast inflation. I have probably made a forecast on most everything. Just not the CPI.
But, as it is just numbers. And I LOVE numbers. I figure what the heck.
After doing my analysis by hand (as always…I am not into spreadsheets and so on….the old-fashion way works best for me), my forecast is for annual CPI to end 2022 below 8%. For a range, I say 7.6% to 7.8%.
I am looking at below 7% (say 6.7%) at the end of the first quarter in 2023. And below 6% (say 5.9%) at the end of the second quarter in 2023. After doing my research, I have to say it is insane to try to forecast inflation more than a quarter out.
I guaranty that I have not looked at anyone else’s forecasts. I don’t know if anyone forecasts inflation rates 3-9 months out. So, pure coincidence if you have seen anything that is around my numbers above.
Also, those numbers will do nothing to keep the Fed from raising rates by 75bp two more times. Please remember, as I have posted here forever, the MARKET will tell you how much rates are going up. The Fed has FOLLOWED the market 100% of the time. The Fed never makes the decision. The market tells the Fed what to do and when.
Hold on….did you feel that….I bet you did….my outdoor thermometer just went from 72.6 degrees to 72.4 degrees. Wow, the climate changed!
Ooops, I did it again (hats off to you Britney)…I digressed again.
My last note is regarding our ONGOING recession. ((Someone please tell Jamie Dimon, who said we might enter a recession next year, that we have been in a recession ALL YEAR!)) With the stock market hitting new lows recently, the current economic downturn is now forecast to extend thru the 1st Quarter of 2023. Additional lows in the stock market will continue to push that date out.
Oh, one other last note. The US Dollar either has, or will within the next few weeks to a month, put in a MAJOR top. I don’t know how a weaker dollar plays into your world. But, something for you to consider.
And that gets me all caught up on all my forecasts. The inflation one won’t be near as easy as the housing one was in June. Some forecasts are easy. Some are difficult.
We shall see how the above turns out.
Shalom,
The Mann

UPDATE TO MY SUBDIVISION POST STARTED IN JULY

OCTOBER 3, 2022 – As I noted back in July, appraisers of residential subdivisions needed to start forecasting a SIGNIFICANT slowdown in lot and home sales. Now they should add to that a forecast of declining lot and home prices.
For those who have been around to see numerous downturns in the past 35+ years (yes, I am officially old!), the one thing we can be certain of is that all of those builder take-down contracts and letters-of-intent are worth less than the paper they are written on.
I haven’t reviewed a subdivision appraisal in a few months (I guess that is saying something about the market). But, as late as June or July appraisers were still relying on builder takedown contracts. Hopefully, that has totally ceased. Some pertinent info follows.
The Fed’s hurry-up offense is having an equally dramatic effect on the U.S. housing market. In response, home builders are walking away from land deals. In the second quarter, KB Homes abandoned 8,800 previously controlled lots while Lennar walked on 10,000 home sites. More than a fifth of home builders are taking the same action. (Quill Intelligence)
Home buyer cancellations neared 18% in July with Texas being tops at 27%. (John Burns Consulting)
In Western markets, cancellations hit 38% in the week ended September 15th. They’ve been above 30% for 14 straight weeks. Prior to April, the cancellation rate held in a relatively tight 7-12% range for 23 straight months. (Zelman & Associates)
Only one homebuilder has announced layoffs so far. Stanley Black & Decker announced 1,000 jobs in finance are being cut. Job cuts occur about 4 quarters after housing permits peak. 2023 will be ugly for homebuilder employees.
Remember, very slow future absorption and declining lot and house prices. I will post when I see the first appraiser to have the testicular fortitude to do this in an appraisal:)
Shalom,
The Mann

STEP 3 IN THE HOUSING MARKET HAS OCCURRED

OCTOBER 3, 2022 – My June 14th post about Step 2 occurring said it would be easy to look back in 3 months and see that the housing market had peaked. Sure enough, 3 months later everyone can now see a top is in place and a correction has been well underway.
Step 3 is an acceleration in the slowdown of price appreciation. A summary of indicators follows.
The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Home Price Appreciation (HPA) Index peaked at 17.0% in March and declined to 11.3% in August. AEI projects it will decline to 4%-6% by December.
The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller House Price Index fell 0.4% on a month-over-month basis in July for the first time in 10 years. On a year-over-year basis, the increase in home prices decelerated by the most in the index’s history, said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI.
Lastly, the FHFA House Price Index dropped 0.6% in July vs. June.
These are early signs that Step 4 will be upon us sooner than later. That is when the annual change goes from appreciation to depreciation. With mortgage rates soaring towards 7% the decline in home prices is more certain than ever.
What will baffle people is the continued low supply of available housing combined with prices declining. As I have long said, you don’t have to buy, but often you do have to sell. With a lack of buyers, sellers will continue to lower prices. In September, the number of households likely to buy a house in the next 6 months fell to its lowest level since 2010.
Shalom,
The Mann

STEP 2 IN THE HOUSING REVERSAL HAS OCCURRED

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).
Shalom and Happy Heterosexual Pride Month!
The Mann

HOUSING MARKET SHOWING SIGNS OF TOPPING

APRIL 14, 2022 – The housing market has been incredibly strong since the pandemic started two years ago. Prices are increasing at a record pace. The supply of houses for sale is at an all-time low. Of course, what goes up, must come down. But, when…Tops in financial markets take awhile to form. Bottoms are usually a spike panic low – a V-shape.
We are starting to hear of markets where list prices are being lowered in mass. With mortgage rates up from around 3% last Fall to 5% this week, the number of potential buyers has dropped by many millions.
It will take awhile for the momentum to slow, stop, and then reverse. But, the signs of this occurring are in place and starting to mount.
One leading indicator I follow peaked in the 1st quarter of 2006. This was a full 2.5 years before the Lehman Brothers event the public recalls as being the start of the last recession. Of course, the recession started in 2005 and 2006 and Lehman Brothers (and others that went under) was the end result of the decline that had already occurred. In fact, this indicator bottomed in the 1st Quarter of 2009 and turned up from there.
This same indicator peaked in early December 2021. It has declined 29% since then. That doesn’t mean home prices will decline this much. (For perspective, the leading indicator declined about 85% and house prices declined about 30%.) It just suggests a peak in the housing market is on the horizon. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index topped out at the end of the 2nd Quarter in 2006. Just a few months after the leading indicator suggested it would. I think the current momentum is too strong to have prices turn down this year. In fact, it will be tough to have prices turn down next year. But, it is now a decent chance of occurring.
Economists will confirm that as the housing market goes, so goes the overall economy. If the housing market slows done and rolls over, expect the same for the national economy.

Shalom,

The Mann

New AEI dataset: Housing Market Indicators in the 60 largest US metropolitan areas

April 9, 2019 – In my opinion, the AEI provides the most neutral analysis of the housing market.  They likely have the most data.  Unlike NAR, there is no bias.  Below is their major announcement today.  I hope you find their reports useful.

Just to be transparent – I am not a member of AEI (not even sure if such exists).  I do not contribute to them.  I have attended some of their meetings on housing.

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New AEI dataset analyzes the 60 largest US metropolitan areas

Housing markets are inherently local, making them notoriously difficult to analyze due to the lack of reliable data at the local level. A new dataset from the AEI Housing Center, the first in a series of quarterly reports, aims to fill this void by analyzing housing market data for the 60 largest US metropolitan areas, as well as for the nation as a whole. The current dataset looks at housing data from 2018:Q4.

AEI Housing Center Codirector Edward Pinto and Senior Research Analyst Tobias Peter explain “Our goal is to provide the public, media, and decision makers with accurate and reliable metrics to assess the state of their local housing market in near-real time. A well-informed market place and its participants will aid in promoting sustainable homeownership.”

Among the national Housing Market Indicators for 2018:Q4:

  • Rate of house price appreciation (HPA): 3.9%
  • Mortgage risk index: 11.1%
  • Share of buyers of entry level homes: 55%
  • Average sale price for entry level homes: $197,000
  • Share of new construction sales (compared to all home sales): 11.2%

The Housing Market Indicators for the 60 largest US metropolitan areas, along with all associated data, are available on an interactive website here.

This was made possible by AEI’s new merged property and mortgage financing national dataset, which consists of over 34 million home purchase transactions.

The data are updated quarterly. The next release of Housing Market Indicators, which will analyze housing data for 2019:Q1, is scheduled for May.

Codirector, AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance
240-423-2848