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Source:  http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/record-surge-in-mortgage-rates-mortgage-rate-affordability-incomes/

A reversal of mortgage rate fortunes: Mortgage rates have another historical one day move as affordability begins hitting constraints.

On Friday the mortgage markets had another historical move reaching a multi-year high when it comes to the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate.  The move was gloriously inspired by an employment report that witnessed a record surge in part-time workers.  This all seems to fall into the longer term challenges of extreme quantitative easing given that Japan with many years on us in the QE game has an enormous part-time workforce.  Yet this dramatic reversal in mortgage rates is going to impact the market.  To what degree?  That will be seen but we are already seeing a decline in mortgage applications and of course refinancing activity is slowing down dramatically.  A big change is going to come in the psychological department.  Many were starting to venture into the market with ARMs but with rates rising, these affordability products are now much more risky.  Also, the amount someone can buy has just been squeezed (around 30 percent) with the recent move in the mortgage markets.

Mortgage affordability

It is extremely clear that one big reason why housing values have picked up is the low rate environment.  The big abrupt move in the mortgage market will begin showing its effects in the second half of the year if rates remain this high (or higher).  Take a look at what someone can afford at various rates:

mortgage afford

Source:  ZeroHedge

Execution rates are now in the 4.75 to 4.85 percent range.  So take a look at the chart above.  Based on someone being able to purchase with a $2,000 payment, $450,000 was doable at 3.4 percent (just in May) versus $375,000 to $380,000 this month.  In other words $70,000 to $75,000 would need to be shaved off in price to keep the affordability in the same playing field.  While investors in California purchase a big number of homes (30 percent or so) that means 70 percent are being purchased by income constrained home buyers that depend on the whims of the mortgage market.

This minor rate move will need to shave off 15 percent in home prices to maintain similar affordability levels.  Higher rates will also inspire many of those investors to look elsewhere for higher yields.  Mortgage rates since 2011 only did one thing:

mortgage rate change

This reversal is unprecedented so we will see in the next few months what impact this will have in the overall housing market.  Also, in places like California, many thought that lower rates were here forever similar to Japan.  In this regard the recent market moves differ.  Many bought and kept refinancing to lower rates so the risk was largely ignored.  But now new buyers do not have the flexibility of previous sellers.  The refinancing party has quickly shut down.

Home ownership

Of course since the housing market began a long correction, home ownership has continued to decline:

homeownership rate

A big part has to do with record low supply and over the last few years investors gobbling up a vast portion of available inventory.  If we include home owners not making payments on their mortgage, the real home ownership rate is down to 62 percent and that is a multi-decade low.

We are now going to find out how resilient the underlying economy truly is to justify the current run in real estate values without the full fledge paternalistic instincts of the Fed.

Where are the construction jobs?

One of the interesting items from the recent jobs report is the record number of Americans working part-time gigs.  In the data, part-time jobs were up 360,000 over the month while the full-time job figures dropped by 240,000.  Of course, jobs are jobs and the market rallied.  Will this large number of part-time workers suddenly be interested in purchasing a home in the near future?  Even home builders seem reluctant to hire construction workers:

Resi construction jobs

Where is the growth to reflect the last few years of rallying home values?  The tripod of this rally was based on:

-1.  Low interest rates

-2.  Investor demand

-3.  Constrained supply

For number 1, we now see a big jump in interest rates.  For number 2, we are already witnessing many larger investors pulling back interest from the market while mom and pop buyers enter the game late as usual.  For number 3, supply has started to increase in the last few months so the tripod of the rally seems a bit off balance.  We’ll now see how important household incomes are and the impact of higher rates in the market.  Does any of this news really inspire anyone to rush out and buy especially given the manic nature of the current sales market?  I think most people would rather have a higher interest rate and a lower home price.

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6 Responses to “A reversal of mortgage rate fortunes: Mortgage rates have another historical one day move as affordability begins hitting constraints.”

  • Gen Y Sacramento

    “Does any of this news really inspire anyone to rush out and buy especially given the manic nature of the current sales market? I think most people would rather have a higher interest rate and a lower home price.

    Actually, as you suggest, the opposite. My wife and i are placing our wallet back in our pockets and starting to discuss alternatives to our housing dreams with the recent changes. It seems that the fed and banks have successfully rigged the market into a mania and after 2008, we are not so short sighted to forget that over 1/3 over your wage being spent only on housing is starting to not only get tight, but just plain sucks. Will the sellers take on some of these dynamics…no…instead you will have a myriad of realtors, sellers, local papers cheering that now is the time to buy. Of course, they all make money off it. Where it really hit me is hearing a realtor say the phrase that i thought i wouldn’t hear again for years … “buy now before diminishing returns makes it so you can’t afford a home tomorrow”. My wife and I are well into the 6 figures for income, so why on earth would I take that statement as a sign to buy…maybe its a suckers market again like in 2006… and yes, there is one born every second.

    Now like the question is posed above, will buyers actually shy off the gun to shift that burden to the seller? Depends on the overall feeling about housing. The slogans and risky loan types are all starting to creep back. We have encountered many smart individuals out there that see all the issues and are shy like us to just take the biggest purchase of their lives and just throw it to the wind saying it will all work out …Real Estate only trends upwards. The unfortunate issue is there is always that one person that will say .. “hell, i’m jumping in before this gets any worse”. They either had more money to their name or way lower standards, but either way it happens.

    Time will tell the real story, but these 2 house hunters are happier going to open houses, working out the payments and walking away if it doesn’t make sense. If more people would get out there, look, and get “disgusted” with the dynamics, then maybe more negative sentiment would push to the sellers. Perfect example…took my folks to some open houses so they could get a taste of what we are seeing. Their eyes were opened as we discussed how far off from a reasonable deal these homes were … especially with the rate. They couldn’t believe the condition, the price . The Realtor was even agreeing to all their statements of dislike but saying that it would go at that price (this was back @3.5% rate too, i should take them again). Bottom line is that from this potential buyers eyes, i refuse to buy from here moving forward even if the values increase more… my rent is locked in so far below the line that i’m better off where i’m at and investing elsewhere for some yield.

    Good luck buyers and sellers. Try to look for an equity purchase from the 90s or earlier. You will find that people are more reasonable in that realm. I hate the 2010 flips and the 2005-6 recovery sellers. Always weak situation for the buyer as they just try to pawn off the home for quick cash to get out of their situation. Almost EVERY SINGLE ONE…

  • Yes, the home builders don’t seem to be buying into this housing “rally” as their new start numbers are still very low. July is the peak buying month and it’s down hill from here on out. Couple that with rising rates and the housing rally may be into a big stall mode.

  • Great observations once again

    Time will tell how this all will play out

    JVP

  • Everyone talking about the current Real Estate situation is talking about “affordability” is some Universal Constant that never changes.

    What if it’s not? What if the new SoCal reality is that “Middle Class” means a 2BR condo in NoHo instead of a 4BR house in Pasadena?

  • Interest rate rose Friday and have risen because there is a growing consensus that the Fed is going to “taper” QE.

    Friday’s job report pushed even more people to think so as the initial reaction was that the report was really good and an indicator that the economy really is recovering.

    Yet as you point out the jobs created were ALL part time!

    Will the Fed accept part time growth as evidence that the economy is on the mend.

    I’ve pulled some stats on the job report here and provide copious commentary and even a pod cast:

    http://smaulgld.com/part-time-usa-how-part-time-employment-is-impacting-the-economy/

  • This is interesting. But I think the FEd will jump in-can’t have affordable housing for the masses, the bankers need to suck every drop of blood from us peasants.

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$("#navclose").show(); $("#navopen").hide(); } function init() { var carouselcheck = $("carousel:visible").length; if(carouselcheck > 0){ var carouselisopen = true; }else{ var carouselisopen = false; } var $browseloader = $('#browsehider'); var $browsebuttons = $('#browsebybtns'); var $makebutton = $('#makebtn'); var $typebutton = $('#typebtn'); var $allcatsbutton = $('#allcatsbtn'); var $allcats = $('allcats-btn'); var $carouselopenbutton = $('#navopen'); var $carouselclosebutton = $("#navclose"); var $panel = $("#panel"); var $carousel = $("#carousel"); var $networkbutton = $("#network-btn"); var $networkmenu = $("#network-menu"); var $contactbutton = $("#contact-btn"); var $contactmenu = $("#contact-menu"); function panelclose(){ $panel.slideUp(150, function(){ $panel.empty(); return false; }); } function hideCarousel(){ $carousel.slideUp(150); $carouselclosebutton.hide(); $carouselopenbutton.show(); } function showCarousel(){ panelclose(); var carouselisopen = true; $carousel.slideDown(150); $carouselclosebutton.show(); $carouselopenbutton.hide(); } $browseloader.hide(); $('#browsebybox h3').show(); $browsebuttons.show(); $allcats.show(); // Tabbed Modules var $tabNav = $("#tabNavigation a"); var tabContainers = $('#tabmenu1 > div'); tabContainers.hide().filter(':first').show(); $tabNav.click(function(){ tabContainers.hide(); tabContainers.filter(this.hash).show(); $tabNav.removeClass('selected'); $(this).addClass('selected'); return false; }).filter(':first').click(); var $tabNav2 = $("#tabNavigation2 a"); var tabContainers2 = $('div#tabmenu2 > div'); tabContainers2.hide().filter(':first').show(); $tabNav2.click(function (){ tabContainers2.hide(); tabContainers2.filter(this.hash).show(); $tabNav2.removeClass('selected'); $(this).addClass('selected'); return false; }).filter(':first').click(); var tabContainers3 = $('div#twitter > div'); tabContainers3.hide().filter(':eq(1), #twitter-search').show(); $('#twitter-nav a').click(function(){ tabContainers3.hide().filter('#twitter-search').show(); tabContainers3.filter(this.hash).show(); $('#twitter-nav li').removeClass('selected'); $(this).parent().addClass('selected'); return false; }).filter(':eq(1').click(); //features / nav panel $carouselclosebutton.click(function(){ hideCarousel(); var carouselisopen = false; return false; }); $carouselopenbutton.click(function(){ showCarousel(); var carouselisopen = true; return false; }); $makebutton.click(function(){ $browseloader.show(); hideCarousel(); var makecheck = $("#automakers").length; if (makecheck > 0){ panelclose(); if(carouselisopen){ showCarousel(); } $browseloader.hide(); } else { $panel.slideUp(150).load('/blank-makers/ #automakers', function(){ $(this).slideDown(150); $('#panel ol').makeacolumnlists({cols:4,colWidth:0,equalHeight:false,startN:1}); $browseloader.hide(); }); } return false; }); $typebutton.click(function(){ $browseloader.show(); hideCarousel(); var typecheck = $("#vehicletypes").length; if (typecheck > 0) { panelclose(); $browseloader.hide(); } else { $panel.slideUp(150).load('/blank-vehicletypes/ #vehicletypes', function() { $(this).slideDown(150); $('#panel ol').makeacolumnlists({cols:4,colWidth:0,equalHeight:false,startN:1}); $browseloader.hide(); }); } return false; }); $allcatsbutton.click(function() { $browseloader.show(); hideCarousel(); var catscheck = $("#all-cats").size(); if (catscheck > 0) { panelclose(); $browseloader.hide(); } else { $panel.slideUp(150).load('/blank-allcategories/ #all-cats', function() { $(this).slideDown(150); $('#panel ol').makeacolumnlists({cols:4,colWidth:0,equalHeight:false,startN:1}); $browseloader.hide(); }); } return false; }); //minor promo ticker $('#promo-minor-links a:gt(0)').css("display","none"); var max = $("#promo-minor-links a").size()-1; var cur = 0; $("#f").click(function () { $("#promo-minor-links a:visible").fadeOut("fast", function() { cur = $("#promo-minor-links a").index(this); if (cur < max) { $(this).next().fadeIn("fast");} else {$('#promo-minor-links a').eq(0).fadeIn("fast");} }); return false; }); $("#b").click(function () { $("#promo-minor-links a:visible").fadeOut("fast", function() { cur = $("#promo-minor-links a").index(this); if (cur > 0) { $(this).prev().fadeIn("fast"); } else { $('#promo-minor-links a').eq(max).fadeIn("fast"); } }); return false; }); //featured gallery pretties var onMouseOutOpacity = 0.67; $('#featuredgalleries li').css('opacity', onMouseOutOpacity).hover( function () { $(this).not('.selected').fadeTo('fast', 1.0); }, function () { $(this).not('.selected').fadeTo('fast', onMouseOutOpacity); }); } $(document).ready(init);