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Housing inventory crisis continues in 2022

Want to know where housing demand is headed? Look at the MBA purchase application data from the second week of January to the first week of May.
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Early in 2021, when I was talking about how people should worry about home prices overheating, I had a glimmer of hope that maybe toward the end of 2021 we would be spared another seasonal collapse of inventory. Inventory always falls in the fall and winter, but I hoped it wouldn’t be a repeat of 2020.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and recent data shows that we are at fresh new all-time lows in housing inventory, with mortgage rates and the unemployment rate both under 4% currently.

Houston, we have a problem.

I have always been mindful that the years 2020-2024 have the potential for unhealthy home-price growth, but now that we are entering year three of this unique five-year period, it’s time to see when mother economics will give us clues about when this madness with meager inventory will end. We are in the middle of January 2022 and spring selling season isn’t too far away. I don’t believe any of us want 2023 to start off with new fresh all-time lows in inventory.

Mortgage demand needs to slow down

A big theme of my work here at HousingWire has been to show you that since 2014 purchase application data has been rising just as total inventory has been slowly moving lower. Demand is growing and stable, excluding the COVID-19 pause. Unfortunately, we need to see weakness in demand for inventory to rise and get into a range that I am 100% rooting for, between 1.52- 1.93 million. This level, while historically still low, will mean the days on market will go higher, and this will give people choices.

Here are two charts from the National Association of Realtors that will show that homes simply come off the market too fast to give housing a breather.

This data comes from the recent existing home sales report which has been outperforming lately.

The best way to track whether mortgage demand is slowing down is to look at the MBA mortgage purchase application data from the second week of January to the first week of May. Typically, this data line falls in volume past May, so February to April are the real key months to focus on.

For some perspective, you really only want to look at the year-over-year data with this data line and also realize that we are still dealing with COVID-19 comps until mid-February: after that, we should be fine on a year-over-year basis. For example, today, purchase application data is down 17% year over year and has been showing negative year-over-year trends since the middle of 2021. However, once you make COVID-19 adjustments, the demand was stable in 2021 and picked up toward the end of the year.

My 2022 existing home sales range is lower than what we are currently trending at: I am looking for a sale range between 5.74 million and 6.16 million.

If housing is really getting softer, you will see year-over-year declines of 15%-30% in this data line. We had this happen only two times in the past eight years excluding the recent data that need COVID-19 adjustments.

In 2014, purchase application data on-trend was down 20% year over year because rates had spiked up higher in the second half of 2013. We saw softness in housing toward the second half of 2013 as well. Total inventory levels rose in 2014 and adjusting to population, that was the lowest level in MBA purchase application data ever. Still, with that slowdown in demand, monthly supply never broke above six months. However, the rate of price growth cooled down and days on market grew.

Higher rates created balance in the marketplace in 2013-2014 and also in 2018-2019. While I do believe the rate of growth of home prices are cooling, it’s still well above my comfort zone for the years 2020-2024. I don’t want it to seem like I am rooting against housing, I just would like to see more balance in the marketplace. There is a reason I was warning about home price growth with inventory and mortgage rates low amid stable demand.

In 2020, for about six weeks purchase application data took a dive as Americans were pausing due to the first experience of COVID-19. Back then people took their homes off the market so the inventory data didn’t move too much higher outside a brief increase as people realized the world wasn’t ending. We had purchase application data down over 30% year over year, which took sales down as buying paused. However, sales shot right back up higher, quickly.

So, for 2022, you want to keep an eye on the year-over-year data, especially past mid-February toward April. If you see year-over-year declines in the data, then the days on market should grow. I am not talking about 5% – 8% year-over-year declines, I am talking more like 15%-30% year-over-year declines after COVID-19 adjustments are made. When it really matters, this data line will show you double-digit percentage moves both positive and negative. If you’re looking for balance like I am, this is where you want to look. This data line looks out 30-90 days as well, so you get the picture: the critical time for this data line is coming up in 2022.

Don’t spend too much time on mortgage credit getting looser or tighter

One area that you don’t need to focus too much on is mortgage credit availability. I know many housing bears had hoped that credit getting tighter in 2020 and 2021 would crash the housing market. However, credit is very liberal today, as it always has been. However, since we’ve had no exotic loan debt structure post-2010, credit looking tight on paper just doesn’t have the same impact as it did from 2005-2009. At that time sales were declining from a high level and credit was getting very tight from the standards that facilitated the demand from 2002-2005.

From the chart below, it looks like credit got very tight from the start of COVID-19 and not much has been happening after that. In reality, most loans in America were basic vanilla 30-year fixed loans, and credit flowed for the most part during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery, all the way from 2021 to 2022. So if credit availability grows or declines, it’s only on the marginal loan products that are being used to buy primary residence homes. This isn’t like the peak of the housing bubble where 35% of the loans that were being done were ARM products. That number is below 5% now, so you don’t need to worry about the 30-year fixed loan being shut down. Or you don’t need to concern yourself that exotic loan debt products are coming back into the system pushing credit availability up

From the MBA:


Lastly, it falls back on the bond market

As you can probably tell from my writing, I believe and love a balanced housing market. What we have currently isn’t a balanced market. I really didn’t need to worry about this from 2008-2019, because I never believed we had the demographic demand to push total sales over 6.2 million to drive inventory levels to such low levels.

Well, that isn’t the case in the years 2020-2024, hence why I have always separated these two periods: from 2008-2019 and then from 2020-2024. With that said, in the past, higher mortgage rates, while never crashing the existing home sales market, have been able to cool things down and create more days on the market. The only problem is that this will require the 10-year yield to break over 1.94% and keep rising with some duration. This obviously hasn’t happened and this hasn’t been part of my forecast in 2021 or 2022. You can see why I am concerned.

Even with the hottest economic growth in decades, smoking hot inflation data — like we saw in the CPI report today — and all the talk about the Fed rate hike and taper, the 10-year yield currently right now is at 1.72%. Don’t forget, with the bond market, the trend is your friend, as I talked about in a recent article on jobs data.

What we know today is that we are starting 2022 spring at fresh new all-time lows in inventory for single family homes. Mike Simonsen, a friend from Altos Research creates weekly charts on the meager supply of inventory.

Here in Southern California, the amount of inventory in Los Angeles County is 4,432 homes, in Orange County it’s 954, and In San Diego it’s 1,254. Think about the millions of people who live in these areas and we are looking to start the year at 6,640 homes for sale.

Now, seasonality works both way. Inventory will pick up in the spring and summer and fade in fall and winter. However, as you can see, we are far from levels I would consider to be balanced, where days on market grow and people have choices. Since we are in year three of my five-year unique housing demographic period, demand being stable means getting the velocity of inventory to rise in a big way is difficult. The only way we can get some relief is if mortgage demand fades because that is the primary driver of housing demand. As we all know, the forbearance crash bros failed dramatically in 2021.

I would keep a close eye on mortgage demand, especially from mid February to April, to gauge whether mortgage demand is fading, which would allow days on market to grow. If this doesn’t happen, we are going to have another year of unhealthy home-price growth. Mother economics, she is a serial killer and will leave clues on what the economy is doing — the trick is always looking in the right spot. Remember, always be the detective, not the troll.

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About 35% of People Who Received Placebo in Vaccine Trials Report Side Effects and More COVID-19 News

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 76 percent of the adverse side effects (such as fatigue or headache) that people experienced after receiving their first COVID-19…

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About 35% of People Who Received Placebo in Vaccine Trials Report Side Effects and More COVID-19 News

The placebo effect is where a person who received a placebo instead of a drug or vaccine shows clinical signs, positive or negative, associated with the actual treatment. Much has been made about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, but a new study found a startlingly high number of adverse events associated with people who received placebos in clinical trials. For that and more COVID-19 news, continue reading.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects: Real or Placebo Effect?

A recent study out of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center evaluated 12 COVID-19 vaccine trials with a total of 45,380 participants. The study found that 76% of the adverse side effects reported, such as fatigue or headache, after the first shot were also reported by participants who received a placebo. Mild side effects were more common in people receiving the vaccine, but a third of those given the placebo reported at least one adverse side effect. The statistics from the study showing that 35% of placebo recipients reported adverse side effects is considered unusually high. Several experts suspect that there’s such a high report of adverse events because of the amount of misinformation found on social media about the dangers of the vaccines and the amount of media coverage.

This is not to say that the adverse side effects felt by people who received the vaccines are all in their heads. People do have side effects to vaccines, but this study reports on an unusually high level of the placebo effect. Nocebo is used to describe a negative outcome associated with the placebo.

Source: BioSpace

“Negative information in the media may increase negative expectations towards the vaccines and may therefore enhance nocebo effects,” said Dr. Julia W. Haas, an investigator in the Program in Placebo Studies at Beth Israel Deaconess and the study’s lead author. “Anxiety and negative expectation can worsen the experience of side effects.”

Four Factors for Long COVID

A study published in Nature Communications identified specific antibodies in the blood of people who developed long COVID. Long COVID is not well understood and has a range of up to 50 different symptoms, and it is difficult to diagnose because there is no one test for it. The study, conducted by Dr. Onur Boyman, a researcher in the Department of Immunology at University Hospital Zurich, compared more than 500 COVID-19 patients and found several key differences in patients who went on to present with long COVID. The most obvious was a significant decrease in two immunoglobulins, IgM and IgG3. The study found that a decrease in these two immunoglobulins, which generally rise to fight infections, combined with other factors, such as middle age and a history of asthma, was 75% effective in predicting long COVID.

75% of COVID-19 ICU Survivors Show Symptoms a Year Later

A study out of the Netherlands found that a year after being released from an intensive care unit (ICU) for severe COVID-19, 75% of patients reported lingering physical symptoms, 26% reported mental symptoms, and up to 16% noted cognitive symptoms. The research was published in JAMA. The research evaluated 246 COVID-19 survivors treated in one of 11 ICUs in the Netherlands. The mental symptoms included anxiety (17.9%), depression (18.3%), PTSD (9.8%). The most common new physical symptoms were weakness (38.9%), stiff joints (26.3%), joint pain (25.5%), muscle weakness (24.8%), muscle pain (21.3%) and shortness of breath (20.8%).

Pennsylvania Averaging Most COVID-19 Deaths Per Day in a Year

In general, COVID-19 deaths are dropping across the country. However, in two states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the numbers are increasing. Pennsylvania is averaging 156 COVID-19 deaths per day over the past seven days, which is a 17% uptick compared to two weeks ago. The number of deaths per day in Pennsylvania is below what was hit in January 2021, largely due to the availability of vaccines. New Jersey averages 111 deaths from COVID-19 per day, an increase of 61% over the last two weeks and the highest since May 2020. Similarly, New Jersey cases and hospitalizations are declining.

Omicron Surge: Shattering Cases and Hospitalizations, but Less Severe

According to the CDC, although the current Omicron surge is setting records for positive infections and hospitalizations, it’s less severe than other waves by other metrics. Omicron has resulted in more than 1 million cases per day in the U.S. on several occasions, and reported deaths are presently higher than 15,000 per week. However, the ratio of emergency department visits and hospitalizations to case numbers is lower compared to COVID-19 waves for Delta and during the winter of 2020–21. ICU admissions, length of stay, and in-hospital deaths were all lower with Omicron. They cite vaccinations and booster shots as the likely cause. Although the overall result is that Omicron appears less severe, it’s not completely clear if that’s because the viral variant doesn’t infect the lower lung as easily as other variants, or because so much of the population has either been vaccinated or exposed to the virus already. It is clearly far more infectious than other strains, which is placing a real burden on healthcare systems. The number of emergency department visits is 86% higher than during the Delta surge.

J&J Expects Up to $3.5 Billion in COVID-19 Vaccine Sales This Year

Johnson & Johnson projected annual sales of its COVID-19 vaccine for 2022 to range from $3 billion to $3.5 billion. This was noted during the company’s fourth-quarter 2021 report. In December 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the PfizerBioNTech or Moderna shots over J&J’s due to a rare blood condition observed with the J&J shot. By comparison, Pfizer and BioNTech project their vaccine will bring in $29 billion in 2022, after having raked in almost $36 billion in 2021. Moderna expects approximately $18.5 billion this year, with about $3.5 billion from possible additional purchases. Although final figures for Moderna aren’t in yet, they projected 2021 sales between $15 and $18 billion.

BioSpace source:

https://www.biospace.com/article/about-35-percent-of-people-receiving-placebo-in-vaccine-trials-report-side-effects-and-more-covid-19-news

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Economics

Oil Could Be The Haven Stocks Traders Need To Shelter From Fed

Oil Could Be The Haven Stocks Traders Need To Shelter From Fed

By Nour Al Ali, Bloomberg Markets Live commentator and analyst

Oil is starting to look like an unlikely haven from the stocks selloff in the run-up to anticipated Fed tightening.

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Oil Could Be The Haven Stocks Traders Need To Shelter From Fed

By Nour Al Ali, Bloomberg Markets Live commentator and analyst

Oil is starting to look like an unlikely haven from the stocks selloff in the run-up to anticipated Fed tightening.

Traders are pricing lower volatility in the commodity than in the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Barometers of market anxiety for both indexes have shot up recently, suggesting trader sentiment is souring. Meanwhile, the CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index, which measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility of crude oil prices applying the VIX methodology to USO options, shows that oil prices are expected to remain relatively muted in comparison.

With a producer cartel to support prices, the outlook for oil is more sanguine, even if the Fed raises rates. The commodity has ample support, with global oil demand expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. The U.S. administration has been pushing oil-producing nations under the OPEC+ cartel to ramp up output, while the group has stuck to a modest production-increase plan and is expected to rubber-stamp another 400k b/d output hike when they meet next week. This means that oil is likely to stay a lot more stable than in recent years.

The relatively low correlation between the asset classes provide diversification benefits. The relationship between the S&P 500 and the global oil benchmark is weak and lacks conviction; it’s even weaker between the Nasdaq 100 and Brent crude contracts. The divergence in price action this week could indicate that stocks have been tumbling in fear of a hawkish Feb, more so than geopolitical risk alone. That would perhaps offer traders an opportunity to seek shelter amid stock volatility in anticipation of the Fed’s next move.

Oil might have tracked the decline in stocks at the beginning of this week, but the commodity is back to its highs now. It’s up close to 15% this year, while the S&P 500 is struggling to reclaim its footing after plunging as much as 10%.

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/26/2022 - 13:45

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Economics

AT&T down 10% despite topping estimates

AT&T (NYSE: T) has revealed that Q4 results indicated continued users for the HBO MAX, wireless and fiber segments. In addition, the company gained more postpaid phone users for the whole year than the last ten years adding one million fiber subscribe

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AT&T (NYSE: T) has revealed that Q4 results indicated continued users for the HBO MAX, wireless and fiber segments. In addition, the company gained more postpaid phone users for the whole year than the last ten years adding one million fiber subscribers. Similarly, the company beat its high-end outlook for international HBO Max and HBO users with almost 74 million subscribers as of December 31, 2021.

CEO John Stankey said:

We ended 2021 the way we started it – by growing our customer relationships, running our operations more effectively and efficiently, and sharpening our focus. Our momentum is strong and we’re confident there is more opportunity to continue to grow our customer base and drive costs from the business.

Q4 2021 revenue dropped 10% YoY

Consolidated revenue in Q4 2021 was $40.96 billion beating consensus estimates $40.68 but dropping 10% YoY, which reflects the impact of divested segments and low Business Wireline revenues. In the third quarter, the company divested US Videos, and in Q4, it divested Vrio. The drop was partially offset by high Warner Media revenues, recovery from pandemic impacts, and high Consumer Wireline and Mobility revenues. Stankey commented:

We’re at the dawn of a new age of connectivity. Our focus now is to be America’s best connectivity provider and also ensure our media assets are positioned to grow and truly become a global media distribution leader. Once we do this, we’ll unlock the true value of these businesses and provide a great opportunity for shareholders.

AT&T reported Q4 net income (loss) attributable to $5 billion or $0.69 per diluted shared share. On an adjusted basis, including merger-amortization fees, a share of DirecTV intangible amortization, gain on benefit plans, and related items, the company had an EPS of $0.78 topping consensus estimate of $0.76 per share.

AT&T had total revenue of $168.9 billion in 2021

AT&T’s consolidated revenues were $168.9 billion in 2021, compared to $171.8 billion a year ago, reflecting the split of the U.S Video division in Q3 2021, as well as the effects of other divested operations. However, higher revenues in WarnerMedia and Communications somewhat offset these declines.

For the full-year, net income (loss) attributable to commons shares was $19.9 billion or $2.76 p were per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, FY 2021 earnings per share were $3.4.

La notizia AT&T down 10% despite topping estimates era stato segnalata su Invezz.

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