Is The Housing Bubble The Next To Burst?

With stock prices cratering and bond yields soaring, it’s a fair question to ask if the housing bubble is about to burst, too. After all, home prices have skyrocketed in recent years thanks to artificially low-interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve, which has kept mortgage rates well below historic levels ever since the 2008 global financial crisis, even well under 4% for most of the past three years. But with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now at more than 5% and climbing, is the home price boom still sustainable?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of a single-family home has jumped by over $100,000, or more than 39%, to $382,000 in March from $274,000 in 2019. The median principal and interest payment has increased by nearly 50%, to $1,502 from $1,054 three years ago, while the percentage of monthly income the typical mortgage payment eats up has risen to more than 20% from less than 16% in 2019. Likewise, the group’s affordability index, which measures whether a typical family earns enough to qualify for a mortgage, has dropped to 124.0 from nearly 160. While the NAR says the median family income has increased more than 10% to $89,321 from $80,808 during that time, the amount of income needed to qualify for a mortgage to buy a median-priced home has jumped by more than 40%, to more than $72,000.

Now, these NAR figures are as of March, when the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.24%. Since then, that figure has risen by more than 100 basis points, to more than 5.25%.
So, is this a bubble ripe for the popping? Continue reading "Is The Housing Bubble The Next To Burst?"

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

As loyal readers of this column may have noticed by now, I've been pretty supportive of the Trump Administration. However, I do part ways with it when it comes to financial regulation and the dismantling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Some of the reforms enacted by the Obama Administration after the global financial crisis, namely the Dodd-Frank Act, may have overdone it a bit in terms of increased bank regulation. And certainly, the CFPB under its former director, Richard Cordray, grossly overreached in how it regulates and punishes lenders, often unfairly. Still, that doesn't mean we need to go back to the days before the financial crisis and plant the seeds for another one in the future.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, despite her recklessly pandering and unworkable ideas like wealth taxes and Medicare for All has been right on reining in the banks. While Dodd-Frank did impose some needed restrictions on what banks do, it clearly hasn't done enough in some areas – like curbing criminal behavior – and the rollbacks enacted by the Trump Administration go in the wrong direction. Besides, the banks have managed to make plenty of money under these restrictions.

Right now, two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America have well over $2 trillion in assets, while two others, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, are just below that mark. Wells Fargo would have gone over that level except for the fact that it is restrained from growing its assets by an unprecedented Federal Reserve order due to its many scandals over the past several years. Those are pretty dangerous levels if you ask me – certainly Too Big to Fail dangerous.

But one of the worst ideas the Trump Administration is pushing now is returning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private sector. Essentially, it would re-establish the status quo ante the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It"

FX Volatility To Pick Up With Growth

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex


Despite the Federal Open Market Committee voting last week to maintain all of the Federal Reserve’s current rates, some market experts — including this one — are projecting that a rate hike is coming soon, and the Foreign Exchange market could see significant volatility because of it.

Indeed, as we suspected back on July 1, the Federal Reserve, in its release about the policy meeting held July 26-27, signaled that headwinds from Brexit are waning and pointed to diminishing near-term risks. But what does that mean, in practical terms? It means that the Fed is back in business: delivering mildly hawkish rhetoric, while preparing for the next rate hike. Continue reading "FX Volatility To Pick Up With Growth"

Real Estate, Are you Buying?

Sales of new homes increased 7.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That comes after sales plunged 14.1 percent in July to a 390,000 annual rate. The National Association of Realtors also reported last week that the sales of previously occupied homes rose in August to a seasonally adjusted 5.5 million annual pace. That's a healthy level and the highest in more than six years. With a positive outlook in the housing market we wanted to ask.....

What are your real estate plans?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Please take a moment to vote and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Every Success,
The INO.com team

U.S. home prices rise by most in nearly 7 years

U.S. home prices rose in February compared with a year ago by the most in nearly seven years, as a growing number of buyers bid on a limited supply of homes.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 9.3 percent in the 12 months ending in February. That's up from an 8.1 percent gain in January.

What are today's top 50 stocks? This free list will share the big market movers on a daily basis to help you find trading opportunities.

View this list for free now. Continue reading "U.S. home prices rise by most in nearly 7 years"