Morning Report: Home prices rise 6.8% 8/7/18

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P futures 2856 6
Eurostoxx index 391.01 2.35
Oil (WTI) 69.62 0.61
10 Year Government Bond Yield 2.96%
30 Year fixed rate mortgage 4.58%

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat.

There were 6.7 million open jobs in June, according to BLS. The all-important quits rate was unchanged at 2.3%. The quits rate is a leading indicator for wage growth and is a stat the Fed follows closely. The quits rate was highest in the South and Midwest, and lowest in the Northeast. If you look at industry groups, one group stands out with a quits rate that is going nowhere. Financial Services.

Home Prices rose 0.7% MOM in June, according to CoreLogic. They are up 6.8% YOY and forecast to rise another 5% over the coming year. Rising mortgage rates and home prices are affecting sales in the high cost markets. They also surveyed renters and found that affordability is the biggest reason why they aren’t interested in buying a home. For older renters, affordability isn’t the biggest issue – probably convenience is – although a jump in bankruptcy filings in the senior citizen demo is on the rise. We are seeing large pockets of overvaluation on the coasts, but the interior of the country is undervalued.

Freddie Mac is trying a new program to enhance rental affordability: providing low-interest loans to developers who promise to cap rental inflation. This is certainly a less intrusive way to deal with the affordable housing problem. The West Coast is finding that affordable housing mandates are pushing developers to scrap projects entirely and local governments are being pushed to override zoning restrictions. Freddie’s program is a way to incentivize the private sector into doing something: “Maybe there’s a way we can help change incentives,” said David Brickman, an executive vice president at Freddie Mac and head of its multifamily division. “We can provide an economic basis for private, profit-oriented developers to pursue a strategy where they didn’t raise rents by quite as much. You’re taking some of the opportunity to hit a home run off the table but arguably making it more likely you can hit a single or a double.”

Washington is hoping to address the affordable housing crisis by allowing tax credits for low-income renters who spend more than 30% of their income on rent. Cory Booker’s plan also looks to ease some of the regulatory burden in building new housing as well as introduce a new savings plan for renters.

What is it with tech companies who have a competitive edge wanting to diversify into hyper-competitive low-margin businesses? The latest is Zillow, which has decided it is time to get into the mortgage business. Wall Street panned the move, sending the stock down 20%. Part of the decline was due to lousy earnings, but still….

16 Responses

  1. Love it when the left flies their freak flag high


    • Tommy Robinson, Anarchyball, the guy from the Ron Paul Institute just got suspended. They are purging libertarian sites now.

      Alex Jones gone from LinkedIn, his email accounts are gone. Completely coordinated.

      Wonder who gave the marching orders.


      • Dunno, but this will backfire if it moves to broadly. Alex Jones is one guy, but if it spreads super-broadly the only possible outcome is it is going to backfire spectacularly, both financially and at election time.

        This kind of stuff only works if it’s not super-obvious and nobody knows it’s happening. Which is kind of hard to pull off.

        Or if you are in a dictatorship, which I know they want to be and maybe they think they are–with themselves on top at the end of the day–but they aren’t.


        • For years some conservatives have tried to get traction for alternate search engines and wiki sites on the Internet (Conservapedia being the most well known one). They have largely failed because the main stream sites (Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google) professed to be viewpoint neutral and hosted everyone.

          If these changes stick, they’ve just done the biggest service possible to those who want to build an alternate infrastructure.

          And they’ve also just made a lot more people receptive to antitrust arguments against them.


        • Wikileaks is claiming this white paper out of Mark Warner is the catalyst for all of this

          Click to access PlatformPolicyPaper.pdf


  2. “I have never seen liberals more annoying than they are now.” Bret Easton Ellis


  3. Strangest way to put a company in play I have ever seen before…

    The TSLA Board should reject the bid saying that Elon isn’t high enough


  4. Good read:

    “Jeremy Corbyn, 1970s Revanchist, Is Suddenly the Face of the New New Left
    By Andrew Sullivan”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting take on a President accusing the press of being traitors:

    Liked by 1 person


    The lack of irony is impressive. Ultimately, it’s: “We don’t lie! Trump lies!”

    Their almost Trump-like confidence in their unerring objectivity and accuracy should be concerning to the objective view, IMO.

    Was amazed at some of the commentary, going from Trump talking about fake news to commentators restating the argument as: “Trump just said you shouldn’t believe your own eyes. That you shouldn’t believe the truth. You should only believe him. That’s what he just said!”

    Which is not what he said, and points to exactly why people should take the press with at least as large a grain of salt as they take Trump.


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