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75 bps Fed rate hike likely amid a “world of paradox”

In a historic move, the market anticipates that the Federal Funds Rate, the key policy tool of the Federal Reserve will breach the neutral rate of interest…

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In a historic move, the market anticipates that the Federal Funds Rate, the key policy tool of the Federal Reserve will breach the neutral rate of interest with the conclusion of the Fed’s 2-day FOMC meeting later today.

In one of the most eventful years in recent monetary history, the US Fed has already raised rates by 150 basis points (bps) through 2022 and has charted a path for approximately another 200 bps during the remainder of the year.

With Y-o-Y retail inflation surging to a four-decade high of 9.1%, the Fed is widely expected to raise the benchmark overnight interest rate by 75 bps, raising the policy corridor to a target range of 2.25% to 2.50%.

A three-quarters point hike would mark one of the fastest moves in Fed history, from the zero-bound to the neutral rate.

Undoubtedly, we are living in turbulent times. It was barely four months ago, that Fed rates – the central tool of global economic policy were at rock bottom levels. The Fed was still purchasing vast volumes of bonds each month to inject life into the economy amid the covid slowdown.

The neutral rate is that level of interest rate where the economy is neither stimulated nor contracted.  According to Reuters, this is commonly believed to be around 2.4%. It is important to remember that the neutral rate is a bit of a mystery wrapped in guesswork. One can not precisely state where the interest rate inflection point lies that could balance the economy perfectly between expansion to contraction. This is a theoretical rate which can not be observed directly and is estimated using data from previous years.

Surprise, Surprise, it’s 1%?

In its previous meeting, the Federal Reserve surprised markets to the upside by raising rates by 75 bps, the highest increase since 1994.

Given galloping inflation, some market participants expect that the FOMC could continue to accelerate rate hikes, while the monetary policy rhetoric could turn even more hawkish.

As reported in the CME FedWatch Tool, there is a sizable 23.7% likelihood of a 1% hike, which has not been seen since Paul Volcker was Fed Chairman in the 1980s. The latest data also shows that there is a 76.3% probability of a 75 bps increase to the 225 – 250bps range.

Naveen Kulkarni, Chief Investment Officer, Axis Securities, stated that at this stage, markets have largely priced in a 75 bps hike and that an upside surprise may affect the markets negatively, and be seen as “extremely hawkish.”

Runaway Inflation

High consumer inflation in the United States has been at least a decade in the making. Post the 2008 crisis, the Fed reduced rates to 0%, in a bid to stimulate growth. This implies that the price of money is virtually zero, a most unnatural state.

Money pays interest for a good reason. Well, for two reasons. Firstly, when you lend money, the lender is accepting a risk that the borrower may not repay the amount. The lender rightly expects to be compensated for this possibility.

Secondly, the lender is foregoing consumption today, in return for a higher level of consumption tomorrow. Higher is the operative term and implies that the lender should be compensated for the lost opportunity cost today.

However, contrary to this logic, the Federal Reserve, the most powerful economic body in the world, along with other developed country central banks decided to keep rates subdued, i.e., preserved an unnatural state in order to kick-start growth.

Once such unconventional measures have been adopted, the biggest challenge is perhaps to know when to reverse such a stance. Traditional economic theory tells us that interest rate cuts are short-run measures. Although economists can debate what constitutes the short-run, it is unlikely to have been as long as the Fed kept rates subdued.

Coupled with QE, unhealthy levels of low-cost debt built-up in the system, and their primary impact was to inflate asset prices and distort investment rather than drive real growth.

Beginning in late 2016, when the Federal Reserve tried to correct the interest rate path in the economy, monetary authorities were forced to abandon policy normalization towards the end of 2018. The upper limit of the target range remained flat at 2.50% through half of 2019, before the Fed began a gradual descent in 25 bps decrements.

However, come early 2020, fueled by the covid panic, interest rates plunged from 1.75% in February back to the zero-bound, where they had been for nearly a decade before the attempted normalization.

It is important to note that the Federal Reserve found itself in a precarious position at just 2.50%, with debt-fueled household budgets and mounting interest payments, leading to the economy being extremely sensitive to the mildest increases.

With the onset of Covid, monetary and fiscal intentions fused to an unprecedented degree, with the widespread roll-out of targeted fiscal policies, UBI-style programs and payroll protections.

Combined with supply chain disruptions, first due to country-wide lockdowns and other public health measures, and followed by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, inflation soared and is yet to show any meaningful signs of easing.

In fact, inflation has only accelerated while the Federal Reserve has been attempting to at least reach the neutral rate as a first milestone.

The challenge for the Fed today is that much of the cost-of-living pressures are driven by supply-side forces. Interest rate hikes are largely demand management tools, and in many ways, the current inflationary scenario may be beyond the toolkit of central banks.

The war in Europe, gas prices in the eurozone, broken and inefficient logistics, Black Sea disruptions, extraordinary delays from China due to the zero-covid policy, and a shortage of microchips are some of the key factors dragging down global supply chains.

In fact, Stiglitz and Baker argue that “by making investment more expensive, they (the Fed) may even impede an effective response to supply-side problems,” which may exacerbate supply-side conditions.

Reflecting on the complexity of the situation, Noah Smith, previously an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and a popular Bloomberg columnist, infamously tweeted way back in 2017, “Conclusion: NO ONE KNOWS HOW INFLATION WORKS. Macroeconomists need to go back to the drawing board on inflation. Square one.”

The data paradox and recessionary fears

The challenge for the FOMC committee is to avoid a repeat of the 2018 reversal and to avert a possible recession.

The data that the Fed is relying on is both dovish (encouraging growth stimulus) and hawkish (encouraging inflation management), further complicating the situation.

Signals that the economy is robust or overheating:

  • CPI has surged to a four-decade high and has disregarded expectations of a peak, thus far.
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) is widely considered to be a leading indicator of the PPI and recorded a rise of 11.3% on annual basis for the month of June.
  • US Consumer Spending was the strongest among 14 countries, according to McKinsey’s Consumer Pulse Survey published in July 2022.
  • The labour market has remained tight, with the unemployment rate being sub-4% month after month
  • In its most recent report this week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a drawdown of over 4 million barrels, nearly four times the projected volumes, adding to bullish sentiments.
  • The ongoing Ukraine-Russia war could drive higher inflation, particularly energy and food goods, pinching the average household.

Signals that the economy is cooling or heading into a recession:

  • US Consumer confidence declined for a third straight month, as per Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index to 95.7 from 98.4 in June 2022.
  • The sister Expectations Index fell from 65.8 in the last study to 65.3, suggesting negative sentiments on short-term income creation, business opportunities and labour market conditions.
  • The International Monetary Fund in its latest estimates cut global growth forecasts to 3.2% and 2.9% in 2022 and 2023, a decline of 0.4% and 0.7% since April, respectively
  • Jobless claims were reported to increase to an 8-month high of 251,000, suggesting that the inflation curve may indeed be flattening.
  • Equities have performed very poorly in the high-interest rate environment, with the S&P 500 having declined 17.7% year-to-date, at the time of writing.
  • Walmart, the largest retailer in the US and a bellwether stock is often seen as a gauge of consumer sentiment. The company’s latest release forecasted that adjusted profits per share could fall by 13% this year, indicating that consumer appetite may be waning. It is important to note that this would be fueled at least in part by rising prices.
  • Although commodity prices remain historically elevated, they have eased post the Ukraine-Russia war as global growth projections have been revised downwards, and supply chains have improved in certain regions. For instance, copper prices have eased by 23.9% in the past 3 months.
  • Mortgage demand fell 6% last week as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association, registering the lowest level since 2000.
  • With the US yield curve inverting, the markets are preferring to purchase long-term debt rather than near-term debt, signaling a deterioration in near-term expectations. This is often a precursor to a recession.

Fed decision and rate path

The Fed is likely to raise rates by another 75 bps today. Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust, stated that as long as inflation shows “no sign of abating, you are going to have a united front.” However, if inflation does peak, this may lead to diverging opinions between FOMC members.

As the cost of living eases or recessionary conditions worsen, the FOMC members will have to determine the best way forward between keeping rates high to manage supply-side heavy inflation but risk a recession and a downturn in job growth.

However, markets are not convinced that the Fed can continue to tighten as intended. Financial cracks are already beginning to emerge, such as the bear market in US stocks, deep trade imbalances and poor consumer sentiment.  

Given the data, policymakers could get pulled in both directions. Greg Daco, the chief economist at EY-Parthenon, noted that the U.S. is in “a world of paradox.”

In this regard, tomorrow’s release of US GDP would be a crucial indicator to follow, having seen a contraction in Q1.

If inflation were to peak in the near term, or the yield curve remains inverted, the Fed will likely be forced to cut rates quickly. Given that debt is much higher than in 2018 due to the pandemic era stimulus, and inflation is at record highs, the decision to substantially unwind policy normalization may prove much more challenging for committee members to embark upon.

The post 75 bps Fed rate hike likely amid a “world of paradox” appeared first on Invezz.

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Economics

Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster Trade

Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster Trade
PR Newswire
DUBAI, UAE, Aug. 11, 2022

The launch is expected to bolster trade and increase the country’s revenues
DUBAI, UAE, Aug. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Web…

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Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster Trade

PR Newswire

The launch is expected to bolster trade and increase the country's revenues

DUBAI, UAE, Aug. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Webb Fontaine and the Niger Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with its partners, marked the launch of the Niger National Single Window platform through a ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Niger. The Single Window platform will bolster foreign trade and increase Niger's revenues, while improving the overall speed and efficiency of trade. 

The event took place in the presence of Yayé Djibo, representing the office of the President of the Republic of Niger, Colonel Diori Hamani from the General Directorate of Customs and Ousmane Mahaman, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Niger (CCIN).

Created by decree n°2021-210/PRN/MF/MC/PSP on March 26, 2021, powered by Webb Fontaine's technology, NNSW provides a contactless, cashless, and paperless trade ecosystem reducing the time and cost of doing business for Niger traders and empowering them to compete globally.

The NNSW platform is capable of incorporating multiple processes related to the smooth operation of trade and Customs involving governmental and private organizations. The platform enables Niger traders to electronically connect with multiple governmental and non-governmental agencies involved in international trade to obtain the necessary licences, permits, certificates, and other trade documents required for international trade.

The development of the NNSW platform started in 2021 and is now operational with its first pre-clearance module.

"We are honoured to be the official technology partner of Niger, working in close collaboration with the Government to implement the Single Window for Trade. Webb Fontaine's latest technologies will help transform Niger's trade environment, modernising and streamlining all trade processes, while increasing trust amongst stakeholders".
Samy Zayani, Chief Commercial Officer, Webb Fontaine

The Niger trade community can now carry out clearance processes online, in an efficient and effective manner. The platform offers a single point of entry for all import, export, and transit operations in Niger.

"Webb Fontaine's goal and mission is to assist and train the trade community in using the new NNSW platform, and will soon open an internet centre to further power the adoption of the new platform".
Ali Karim Alio, Managing Director of Webb Fontaine Niger

"The Niger National Single Window is a much-awaited upgrade that will strengthen Niger's position as a trading partner and also bolster its international trade. The dematerialisation of trade procedures has become even more important in the post-COVID world as the pandemic has highlighted that the supply and logistics chains can bear the brunt of a global crisis and create newer crisis in its wake. It is crucial for Niger to work in tandem with other economies and grow its trade, the development of NNSW platform marks an important milestone for. I am delighted that Niger is joining the global trade movement".
Ousmane Mahaman, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Niger

NNSW can be accessed here guce.gouv.ne/en/

Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1876513/CCIN_Presidium.jpg
Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1876514/CCIN_Internet_Room.jpg

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/webb-fontaine-announces-launch-of-niger-national-single-window-nnsw-to-bolster-trade-301604208.html

SOURCE Webb Fontaine

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Ivana Trump’s Money Lessons for Older Americans.

Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump, was recently found dead in her Manhattan residence. She was 73.

Known throughout her life as a dynamo socialite…

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Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump, was recently found dead in her Manhattan residence. She was 73.

Known throughout her life as a dynamo socialite and dealmaker in heels, her death from a blunt trauma from a fall down the stairs in her multi-story townhome, was a shock to residents who perceived her as vibrant and full of life. So, her passing got me thinking about Ivana Trump’s money lessons for older Americans.

Listen, it’s tough to age, but don’t let the process get you down. It’s too hard to get back up! Get it?

Seriously, a great challenge is an acceptance of growing older. Aging can be a tough pill to swallow. Especially for those who are known for the travails of their younger days. I have friends who explain as they age, they ‘disappear.’ I hate to hear this.

Personally, I’m living my best self and wouldn’t change a thing. However, Ageism is a real societal challenge. Based on numerous surveys, white papers, and reports from health organizations, those who are 60 and older are subject to negative stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace. Also, to younger generations, they do disappear in a manner of speaking.

But I have news for you. I think that’s about to change for you ‘seasoned’ folks.

During the pandemic, the Labor Force Participation Rate collapsed and has yet to recover. For those who need a reminder, the LFPR represents the people age 16 and older employed or seeking employment. Older Americans decided to accelerate retirement. Younger cohorts decided to go out on their own or sit back – satiated by government stimulus.

I think many older Americans will seek to unravel their retirement decision and return to the workforce. Also, I believe they’ll be welcomed with open arms by employers eager for a generation that is timely, responsible, and willing to work!

Let’s kick Ageism where it hurts. Right in the work ethic!

One money lesson I’ve learned from Ivana Trump about older Americans is that the entire world is wrinkling.

According to Peter Zeihan in his latest book – The End of The World is just the Beginning, population, and spending shrinkages are realities the entire globe must embrace. Demographics outline that mass-consumption-driven economies have already peaked.

By 2030, the world will be populated with twice as many retirees. Therefore, we all better internalize the fact that we’re getting older and financially and emotionally prepare accordingly. Long-term, poor demographics are deflationary.

In my opinion, Ivana Trump refused to accept aging. Thus, I consider Ivana Trump’s money lessons for older Americans applicable to all of us. 

Regardless of her immense wealth, she must have encountered anguish when it comes to getting older. Sure having money doesn’t hurt. Suffering in luxury isn’t bad. However, aging doesn’t care about a net worth statement.

Denial of aging is real and one of Ivana Trump’s best money lessons for older Americans.

Who needs comprehensive studies to understand that denial of getting older is a reality? I see it in myself as I dramatically changed my diet and amped up my physical workouts years ago to fight or slow the inevitable.

Frankly, my graying hairline stresses me out. 

I engage with people regularly who aren’t ready to deal with how someday they may move slower, forget things often and work through periodic illness or injury. Older clients and their adult children have a tough time facing that mom and dad are grayer, smaller, and frailer than they used to be.

Per a July 2022 analysis from the Center for Retirement Research, older Americans and retirees poorly assess the risks they face in retirement. Health and longevity risks (the risk of living longer than expected and exhausting financial resources) are underestimated.

Per the study: Perceived longevity risk and health risk rank lower because retirees are pessimistic about their survival probabilities and often underestimate their health costs in late life.

I cannot tell you how many clients inform me how sure they are about dying early. How do they know? So, I always ask the following question –

“What if you don’t?”

Ivana Trump’s friends were concerned about her home’s beautiful but dangerous staircase. They were worried about her falling. She had an elevator and rarely used it. The stairs at her home were steep, the carpet was worn. Although she had trouble walking, she regularly took the stairs. She had the money to remove or replace the carpet; the elevator would have been perfect, but she rarely used it.

Why?

In her halcyon days, Ivana was New York royalty. Young, vibrant. She could accomplish anything. How can someone like that stare into the mirror and face vincibility? How can you? Can I? Acceptance is the first step to a rich life as we age, to feel comfortable in different but richer skins.

That acceptance opens the door to preparation – eating right, exercising regularly, and preparing for the risks of aging through comprehensive planning and open communication with family and friends.

If I deny aging, then I’ll force everyone around me to deny it too. Or, at the least, family members and friends will discuss issues concerning me behind my back. Who wants that? Older Americans must be open to listening.

This leads to my next financial lesson for older Americans from Ivana Trump.

Communication. Another one of the money lessons Ivana Trump has for older Americans.

I wonder how many times Ivana was advised (perhaps delicately) by Ivanka and the other kids to update her place for aging, move to a one-story, or take the damn elevator. Whatever it is, would Ivana listen or just carry on like it was the 1980s? In her mind, it may have been decades ago, but her aging body lived in the here and now.

There’s a nuance and empathy to communicating with older loved ones.

Remember, they were young like you once. Listen to your special older Americans. Never be condescending. A good idea may be to bring in an objective third party such as your financial advisor to assist with the discussions. I’ve witnessed adult children infantilize their parents, and that never works. Imagine approaching Ivana with that tone! Not good!

Remember, even mild cognitive impairment can drive a communication wedge between you, and your aging loved one. However, don’t give up sparking conversation. I work with clients who consistently need to nuance their speech with their parents. They get their points across eventually. Impaired older relatives eventually take action, but the process is like chipping away at an iceberg with a butter knife.

Don’t give up!

Genworth, a leader in long-term care insurance and research, maintains an impactful Conversation Starters page with helpful tips about what to talk about and how to maintain a dialogue. Check it out.

Use your financial plan to motivate others.

How can you discuss long-term care issues with loved ones if you’re personally in denial about aging? A risk mitigation plan as part of a comprehensive financial strategy validates your commitment to preparation. Actions forge your conversations with credibility.

According to AARP’s most recent Home and Community Preference Survey, 77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes or age in place. The number has been consistent for over a decade. Aging in place requires planning – whether it’s to eventually downsize to a one-story home, renovate kitchen and baths or install easy access ramps for items of mobility such as wheelchairs. It would be worth practicing financial openness and sharing this information with aging parents. In other words, if you’re preparing for these expenses, they should be too.

Don’t forget long-term care insurance as one of Ivana Trump’s money lessons for older Americans.

Ivana didn’t need long-term care insurance. You probably need to consider it.

Unfortunately, nearly half of individuals who apply for traditional long-term care insurance after age 70 have their applications declined by an insurer, according to Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. However, loved ones in good health in their 50s and 60s can still consider long-term care insurance. The sweet spot for looking into long-term care coverage is generally between ages 55 and 65, per Jesse Slome.

Three out of every five financial plans I create reflect deficiencies in meeting long-term care expenses. Medical insurance like Medicare does not cover long-term care expenses – a common misperception. Nearly 60% of people surveyed in various studies falsely believe that Medicare covers long-term care expenses.

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey has been tracking long-term care costs across 440 regions across the United States since 2004.

Genworth’s results assume an annual 3% inflation rate. In today’s dollars, a home-health aide who assists with cleaning, cooking, and other responsibilities for those who seek to age in place or require temporary assistance with daily living activities can cost over $54,912 a year in the Houston area. We use a 4.25-4.5% inflation rate for financial planning purposes to reflect recent median annual costs for assisted living and nursing home care. Candidly, I fear that I’ll need to increase this inflation rate in 2023.

As I examine long-term care policies issued recently vs. those 10 years or later, it’s glaringly obvious that coverage isn’t as comprehensive, and costs are more prohibitive.

One option is to consider a reverse mortgage, specifically a home equity conversion mortgage. The horror stories about these products are overblown. The most astute planners and academics understand how incorporating the equity from a primary residence in a retirement income strategy can help with the burden of long-term care costs. Those who talk down these products are speaking out of lack of knowledge and falling easily for pervasive false narratives.

Reverse mortgages have several layers of costs (nothing like they were in the past), and it pays for consumers to shop around for the best deals. Also, to qualify for a reverse mortgage, the homeowner must be 62, the home must be a primary residence, and the debt limited to mortgage debt. There are several ways to receive payouts.

One of the smartest strategies is to establish a reverse mortgage line of credit at age 62, leave it untapped, and allow it to grow along with the home’s value. 

The line may be tapped for long-term care expenses if needed or to mitigate the sequence of poor return risk in portfolios. Simply, in years where portfolios are down, the reverse mortgage line is used for income while portfolios recover. Once assets recover, rebalancing proceeds or gains may be used to repay the reverse mortgage loan, restoring the line of credit.

RIA’s approach to helping older Americans age comfortably in place.

Our planning software allows our team to consider a reverse mortgage in the analysis. Those plans have a high probability of success. We explain that income is as necessary as water regarding retirement. For many retirees, converting the glacier of a home into the water of income using a reverse mortgage will be required for retirement survival and especially long-term care expenses.

Ivana Trump’s money lessons for older Americans are lessons for us all, regardless of age.

Planning to age gracefully and healthfully will lead to a prosperous retirement attitude.

As George Burns said: You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.

The longer I live, the more I realize how true that quote is.

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Economics

Is housing inventory growth really slowing down?

The problem with new listings declining now is what will happen if mortgage rates make a solid push lower.
The post Is housing inventory growth really…

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One of the most important housing market stories in recent weeks has been the decline in new listings, which has slowed the growth rate of total inventory. What does this mean? Some have said this is evidence of a soft landing for housing since we are in August and it doesn’t look like we are going to even get to the peak inventory levels we saw in 2019 this year, or even breach the lower levels of 2019 on the national data.

From the National Association of Realtors:

What I want to talk about is the concern I’ve had throughout this post-COVID-19 housing market: When will we get total inventory back into a range of 1.52 million to 1.93 million? Once that happens, I can finally take the savagely unhealthy housing market theme  off my talking points.

First let’s take a look at the data.

Redfin:

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Realtor.com:

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Altos Research:

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Clearly, we are seeing a slowdown in new listings as the data has been negative now for months. One thing that I have stressed is that higher mortgage rates can create a slowdown in demand and thus allow more inventory to accumulate through a weakness in demand. After March of this year when rates were rising, this was the case, especially when rates ranged between 5% to 6%. Inventory growth is happening much like we saw in 2014 — the last time total inventory grew — which was also the last time mortgage purchase application data went negative year over year. 

However, inventory accumulation due to weakness in demand is only one of many ways to see inventory increase. If you really want to see inventory grow to 2019, 2016, 2014 or even 2012 levels, you need a healthy amount of new listing growth each year. We aren’t talking forced sellers, foreclosures or even short sellers. With just traditional new listings and with higher rates and time, we should be able to hit peak 2019 inventory levels. 

The problem with new listings declining now is what will happen if mortgage rates make a solid push lower. At that point housing inventory could slow even more, pause, and in some cases fall again due to demand. If mortgage rates peaked at 6.25% or 6.50%, that means that the next big move should be lower and that is a risk to getting balance back into the system.

How low do rates need to go?

Mortgage rates have made a move of 1.25% in recent week and I have talked about how low they need to go to make a material shift in the markets. Looking at the most recent mortgage purchase application data, I haven’t seen anything yet to show that demand is coming back in the meaningful way. In fact the recent data shows that even though we saw a positive 1% move week to week, the year-over-year data is still down 19%.

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So as of now, the growth rate of inventory slowing down is a supply issue more than demand picking up in a meaningful way. This is why if rates do fall, we will have more supply and more choices for borrowers, who in some areas won’t have to get into a bidding war for a home. This is something I will be keeping an eye on for the rest of the year, since I do have all six of my recession red flags up, which historically means that rates and bond yields fall.

Two things that I believe are key for a soft landing are rates falling to get housing back in line and inflation growth falling so the Fed can stop with the rate hikes and start cutting rates if the economic data gets even worse.

Inflation!

The recent inflation data did surprise the downside a bit, sending the bond market rallying, stocks higher and mortgage rates falling.

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However, we are far from calling it a victory as inflation growth rate is still very high and we do have some variables that can create supply shortages, such as war and aggression by other countries. 

For today, people cheered the growth rate of inflation falling as they know this is the biggest driver of the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone and more aggressive rate hikes. Also, in general, the mood of Americans is much better when gasoline prices are falling and not rising. However, we need much more aggressive monthly prints heading lower for the Fed to be convinced that inflation is no longer a concern. 

All in all, the decline in new listings does warrant a conversation on how much more growth we will see for the rest of the year. Inventory data is very seasonal and traditionally we see inventory start to fall in October as people start getting ready for the holidays and the New Year, and then in the spring and summer inventory pops up again.

I would remind everyone that the growth rate of inventory, working from all-time lows, was aggressive in the last few months, so some context is needed if we do see some weekly declines in inventory during the summer months. For now, this is due to a lack of new sellers rather than demand picking up. If demand starts to pick up due to falling rates, that is an entirely different conversation we will have, but we haven’t crossed that bridge yet. 

Just remember that American homeowners are just in much better shape these days.

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I know the professional grift online since October of 2021 was that a massive wave of millions of people were going to list their homes to sell at any cost to get out before the housing market crashed. 

However, homeowners don’t operate this way. A traditional home seller is a natural homebuyer, buying another property when they sell. They don’t sell their house to be homeless or purposely sell to rent at a higher cost for no good reason. If we get a job loss recession we can have a further discussion of credit risk profiles, but for now, it shouldn’t be too shocking that new listings are declining, except for the fact it’s happening sooner than later in the year.

The post Is housing inventory growth really slowing down? appeared first on HousingWire.

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