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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House? (April 2022)

Experts weigh in on how to make your real estate purchase worth it.



Experts weigh in on how to make your real estate purchase worth it.

It has been rough out there for first-time homebuyers.

First they have to put together a down payment of at least 3% of a home's sale price. That comes in at $11,760 of the $392,000 national average sales price of a home in America.

Once they have secured funding, they then have to lock in what rates are currently going, with the first upticks in years due to Federal Reserve actions to curb inflation. And, while interest rates in the 4-5% range are historically low, they're a bitter pill to swallow after years in 3% range.

Often stymied by low supply, finding a home they like has been difficult over the last two years, especially if they are in a metro area.

When they do find something that they want, bidding wars often ensue, and other buyers with all-cash offers are likely to win any tussle over a home's sale price are likely to win out.

That puts them right back where they started, leaving them wondering: Is it always this hard? Is now even a good time to buy a home?

The answer to that varies, depending on who you ask and what you are looking for — and how soon you may need it.


Here's What the Experts Say About Buying a House Now

Dion McNeeley, a real estate investor who got into the market after the Great Recession and has since recouped $2 million on his investments, said that even with the market's bumps, now is a smart time to buy a home (but he's not speaking as someone who intends to live in the home).

"'It’s always a good day to buy a great deal. Period. Always," he told TheStreet.

"If prices go up you gain equity. If prices go down you pay less taxes," he said. "I don’t care if my assets lose value. We care about rents. And in my life I have never seen them go down. Not even after 2008."

Other market watchers said it really depends on your situation.

Kayla Bruun, economic analyst at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, told TheStreet that data shows many people are pulling back as they wait for the market to cool.

"Morning Consult’s index of consumer sentiment sank lower in recent months, and a lot of that is driven by the declining share of consumers who say that now is a good time to make a major purchase, which would include a home," Bruun said.

But there are still plenty of people who need housing and who are ready to make the leap from renting to buying, and they likely are not deterred by a few upticks in interest rates.

"Compared to a few months ago, when borrowing costs were lower and prices were maybe even a bit below where they are now, you won’t be getting as good a deal, but that is all relative," Bruun said.

"Whether or not it’s a good time to buy a home can really depend on an individual’s situation at that time, including what their specific needs are and what are the alternatives."

How Does Inflation Affect Home Buying?

Would-be buyers also shouldn't be too spooked by the current 8.5% inflation, which has left many people wondering if they should wait to pull the trigger on such a major purchase.

"Inflation is your friend when you own appreciating assets," McNeeley said. "I gained over $600k in net worth in 2021. Just because I owned properties."

Bruun, too, said that while inflation may be high now, and the market will see dips and correction, eventually real estate will go up in value.

"Land is limited and prices do tend to rise in the long run," Bruun told TheStreet. "There [are] also opportunity cost to consider."

Are We in a Housing Bubble?

But many investors, economists, realtors and homebuyers all disagree over whether or not we are in a housing bubble.

You can read a deeper dive on that here. 

Technically, a housing bubble means that the homes on the market are overpriced, which means that a price correction is inevitable and eventually the market will go back to more affordable options.

Bruun said that's not what is happening now.

Instead, buyers are facing a major lack of supply, either of new homes or homes that aren't going onto the market.

Bruun said that Morning Consult data over the past year has shown that many more adults are trying to buy homes than are planning to sell them over the next 12 months, which leads to a kind of uber-sellers market.

"There are real factors underpinning that demand, including demographics [like] millennials starting families and wanting more space, and pandemic-related lifestyle changes [like] remote work enabling geographic flexibility," Bruun said. 

McNeeley took issue with supply being the major culprit of the overheating housing market.

"Supply is what a lot of people say but this is inaccurate. We had over six million in transactions in 2021, meaning supply was there," he told TheStreet. "Demand is the issue, with record wage inflation. People can pay more." 

He added that there are also other unprecedented economic developments that many economists and other experts might not have had the chance to study yet.

"We have the highest 'consumer confidence' we have ever seen in my life. For decades people thought you would lose your house if we weren’t allowed to work," he said "But that was proven untrue. We had a pandemic. An actual country shut down." 

"Which gave us: An eviction moratorium. Stimulus. Unemployment, extended and extra. Forbearance. With the missed payments being added to the end of the mortgage or lenders offering a 40-year mortgage," McNeeley said.

That longer lifeline for homeowners means that more people are able to stay in their homes than ever before, which has crimped how many houses are available to buy.

Should You Wait For More Supply to Buy?

Getting more inventory into the marketplace is likely one of the main things that will reset housing prices to affordable levels.

But how do you coax builders wary of supply chain delays and rising inflation into building more homes? Or tempt long-time homeowners to put their houses on the market?

Bruun said that strong demand and limited supply are pushing home prices higher, but so is a tight labor market.

"That plus bottlenecks on new construction, which is making new homes take longer to deliver and pressuring builders to ask higher prices on new homes to cover their construction costs," Bruun said.

So what can be done to get more inventory into the marketplace? Perhaps sadly for first time buyers, that will probably take higher housing prices, which will make building things worthwhile for investors and construction companies.

There are signs of that beginning, however nascent, too.

"Permits and housing starts have picked up, so that will add to inventory down the line," Bruun said. 

"Supply chain disruptions and the tight labor market are holding back the pace of completions, so easing constraints for materials and workers could help speed up deliveries and allow housing stock to expand a bit sooner."

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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February Employment Situation

By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000…



By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert

The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000 average over the previous 12 months. The payroll data for January and December were revised down by a total of 167,000. The private sector added 223,000 new jobs, the largest gain since May of last year.

Temporary help services employment continues a steep decline after a sharp post-pandemic rise.

Average hours of work increased from 34.2 to 34.3. The increase, along with the 223,000 private employment increase led to a hefty increase in total hours of 5.6% at an annualized rate, also the largest increase since May of last year.

The establishment report, once again, beat “expectations;” the WSJ survey of economists was 198,000. Other than the downward revisions, mentioned above, another bit of negative news was a smallish increase in wage growth, from $34.52 to $34.57.

The household survey shows that the labor force increased 150,000, a drop in employment of 184,000 and an increase in the number of unemployed persons of 334,000. The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.5, the employment to population ratio decreased from 60.2 to 60.1 and the unemployment rate increased from 3.66 to 3.86. Remember that the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed relative to the labor force (the number employed plus the number unemployed). Consequently, the unemployment rate can go up if the number of unemployed rises holding fixed the labor force, or if the labor force shrinks holding the number unemployed unchanged. An increase in the unemployment rate is not necessarily a bad thing: it may reflect a strong labor market drawing “marginally attached” individuals from outside the labor force. Indeed, there was a 96,000 decline in those workers.

Earlier in the week, the BLS announced JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data for January. There isn’t much to report here as the job openings changed little at 8.9 million, the number of hires and total separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.3 million, respectively.

As has been the case for the last couple of years, the number of job openings remains higher than the number of unemployed persons.

Also earlier in the week the BLS announced that productivity increased 3.2% in the 4th quarter with output rising 3.5% and hours of work rising 0.3%.

The bottom line is that the labor market continues its surprisingly (to some) strong performance, once again proving stronger than many had expected. This strength makes it difficult to justify any interest rate cuts soon, particularly given the recent inflation spike.

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Spread & Containment

Another beloved brewery files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The beer industry has been devastated by covid, changing tastes, and maybe fallout from the Bud Light scandal.



Before the covid pandemic, craft beer was having a moment. Most cities had multiple breweries and taprooms with some having so many that people put together the brewery version of a pub crawl.

It was a period where beer snobbery ruled the day and it was not uncommon to hear bar patrons discuss the makeup of the beer the beer they were drinking. This boom period always seemed destined for failure, or at least a retraction as many markets seemed to have more craft breweries than they could support.

Related: Fast-food chain closes more stores after Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The pandemic, however, hastened that downfall. Many of these local and regional craft breweries counted on in-person sales to drive their business. 

And while many had local and regional distribution, selling through a third party comes with much lower margins. Direct sales drove their business and the pandemic forced many breweries to shut down their taprooms during the period where social distancing rules were in effect.

During those months the breweries still had rent and employees to pay while little money was coming in. That led to a number of popular beermakers including San Francisco's nationally-known Anchor Brewing as well as many regional favorites including Chicago’s Metropolitan Brewing, New Jersey’s Flying Fish, Denver’s Joyride Brewing, Tampa’s Zydeco Brew Werks, and Cleveland’s Terrestrial Brewing filing bankruptcy.

Some of these brands hope to survive, but others, including Anchor Brewing, fell into Chapter 7 liquidation. Now, another domino has fallen as a popular regional brewery has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Overall beer sales have fallen.

Image source: Shutterstock

Covid is not the only reason for brewery bankruptcies

While covid deserves some of the blame for brewery failures, it's not the only reason why so many have filed for bankruptcy protection. Overall beer sales have fallen driven by younger people embracing non-alcoholic cocktails, and the rise in popularity of non-beer alcoholic offerings,

Beer sales have fallen to their lowest levels since 1999 and some industry analysts

"Sales declined by more than 5% in the first nine months of the year, dragged down not only by the backlash and boycotts against Anheuser-Busch-owned Bud Light but the changing habits of younger drinkers," according to data from Beer Marketer’s Insights published by the New York Post.

Bud Light parent Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) faced massive boycotts after it partnered with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. It was a very small partnership but it led to a right-wing backlash spurred on by Kid Rock, who posted a video on social media where he chastised the company before shooting up cases of Bud Light with an automatic weapon.

Another brewery files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Gizmo Brew Works, which does business under the name Roth Brewing Company LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 8. In its filing, the company checked the box that indicates that its debts are less than $7.5 million and it chooses to proceed under Subchapter V of Chapter 11. 

"Both small business and subchapter V cases are treated differently than a traditional chapter 11 case primarily due to accelerated deadlines and the speed with which the plan is confirmed," explained. 

Roth Brewing/Gizmo Brew Works shared that it has 50-99 creditors and assets $100,000 and $500,000. The filing noted that the company does expect to have funds available for unsecured creditors. 

The popular brewery operates three taprooms and sells its beer to go at those locations.

"Join us at Gizmo Brew Works Craft Brewery and Taprooms located in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Find us for entertainment, live music, food trucks, beer specials, and most importantly, great-tasting craft beer by Gizmo Brew Works," the company shared on its website.

The company estimates that it has between $1 and $10 million in liabilities (a broad range as the bankruptcy form does not provide a space to be more specific).

Gizmo Brew Works/Roth Brewing did not share a reorganization or funding plan in its bankruptcy filing. An email request for comment sent through the company's contact page was not immediately returned.


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