Sam Gendusa August 3, 2022

Newsletter - August 2022

If the state of the housing market — and economy in general — has you feeling a bit queasy, you’re not alone.

We’re facing a “perfect storm” for a 2008-type housing crisis, said Jose Torres, a senior economist for Interactive Brokers.

“At this point, housing is inaccessible,” Torres said. “The percentages of average monthly payments for household income and personal income are at record highs — similar to the levels we saw during the 2008 financial crisis.”

Former presidential economic advisor Larry Summers thinks “odds are better than half” that we’ll be in a recession by next year.

Not everyone believes things will get that bad, but they don’t look particularly good.

As we deal with the highest inflation since 1981, many U.S. consumers find themselves in a precarious position:

40% say they can’t put any money into savings
64% classify themselves as “financially unhealthy”
43% expect to add to their debt in the second half of this year

In fact, American household debt is at a record high of $15.84 trillion.

Meanwhile, home sales have fallen to the lowest level since 2020, dropping 8.1% in June.

Stephen Moore, former White House economic advisor noted that mortgage rates have doubled in the last 18 months. “If you buy a $500,000 house, your payment on a 30-year mortgage goes up by $200,000,” he said.

“So it is going to pinch the housing market. I hope it doesn’t collapse it.”

Ian Shepherdson, a chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says “cratering demand” has put home prices on the verge of a “meltdown.”

“The sellers’ market of early spring became a buyers’ market more or less overnight,” Shepherdson said, “as large numbers of potential purchasers had their spending power dramatically reduced—or were pushed out of the market altogether—by the surge in mortgage rates.”

“Pretty soon, anyone who has bought a home in recent months will be sitting on a loss,” he said.

A housing crash and recession could have a serious impact on homeowners, forcing many into foreclosure. It’s all starting to sound eerily familiar.

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