Posts

What If Rates Don’t Fall? WRAP-AROUND MORTGAGES

“… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 15%!” said every boomer ever… “… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 10%!” said my law school professor… The above two comments are huge reminders that homes still sell in even the highest of interest rate […]Read More

Barry Speaks! Fed Disdain; Recession & Low Rates Coming; Housing Will Be Fine

Barry Habib reminds us that it is inflation that is driving higher rates, but that it will peak in October and start to fall for two reasons: (1) today’s higher rates are destroying demand across the board (I again suggest watching the video for his full explanation); and (2) supply chains will be untangled and working by then, eliminating shortages.Read More

A Home Is Your Castle Against Rising Inflation

My title is the exact headline from this recent WSJ column by economist Laurence Kotlikoff. The first line of his column was this: “Mortgage rates are up to 5%, and some fear a valuation bubble. Even so, it’s a good time to buy.” I have been beating the “houses-equal-inflation-hedge” dead horse for years now, but […]Read More

Who’s To Blame For High Gas Prices & Why It Matters?

There are 150,000 gas stations in America, and most of them are independent “mom and pop” stations. Similarly, there are 9,000 oil companies in America. So – it is comical to hear politicians accuse the oil and gas industry of “colluding” to create higher gas prices – when it would be impossible. Gas prices are […]Read More

Fastest Rate Increase Since 1981; Will Recession Lower Rates?

The Fed has engineered the fastest increase in mortgage rates since 1981 – as rates have nearly doubled over the last several months. And, interestingly, housing continues to appreciate for the usual reasons we cite often: (1) inventory remains at record low levels primarily due to a lack of building, not demand, since 2008; (2) demand remains stronger than ever primarily as a result of demographics or millennials hitting homebuying age; and (3) affordability has not been affected as much as people think because incomes have risen with inflation.Read More

Recession Coming Soon – Will It Bring Down Rates?

Barry Habib of MBS Highway fame was recently on the National Real Estate Post, discussing interest rates because that is what he does. Once again, I love quoting Barry because he has been one of the most accurate prognosticators in the vast realm of economic punditry. Also, his 20-minute interview is not behind a paywall, […]Read More

Why Did Interest Rates Fall After The Fed Ostensibly Made Them Rise?

The Fed recently raised rates, but interest rates fell in response. This is something we see so often that I had to blog about it – to again allay some of the confusion about the Fed’s rate increases. Rates are way up now, but recently they fell at least 1/8% AFTER the Fed announced the […]Read More

Inflation & Rates Increase But Industry Experts Still Bet On Low Rates

The current surge in commodity prices such as wheat, nickel, copper, and oil is fostering doom and gloom predictions – of mass shortages and runaway inflation. So, in light of that, why is Raoul Pal, the founder and CEO of “Real Vision” buying bonds in a bet that interest rates will fall? Pal thinks higher prices will crush demand and that a recession is looming.Read More

When Will Rates Fall?

I had an acquaintance who was a very successful regional homebuilder in the 1990s and early 2000s. By early 2005, he was so certain we were in a housing bubble that he started to short the major homebuilders (Lennar, Toll Brothers, Pulte, etc.). By “shorting,” he was betting that stocks would fall.Read More

How Will The Stock Market Crash Impact Real Estate?

I ❤ Real Estate I frequently tout real estate as an excellent investment for the following reasons: (1) it is a great inflation hedge; (2) there is an inventory shortage due to a lack of building, and not due to excess demand; (3) homebuying demographics are surging in sharp contrast to 2008; (4) buying is […]Read More

Will We See Negative Interest Rates In America? (Hint: We Already Are)

Mortgage Rates Are More Of A Gift Than Ever! I often write that the market’s very low interest rates are a gift because they are so low by historical standards! (and it’s true) And, they are more of a gift than ever before now, despite the fact they have risen by 1/2% since last summer, […]Read More

Fed Announces 3 Rate Hikes… And Rates Dropped! WHY?

The Fed sent the markets into a tizzy recently, finally admitting that inflation is now a serious problem and that there would likely be as many as THREE RATE HIKES in 2022. The bond and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) markets reacted negatively, and every lender announced a series of mortgage interest rate increases as a result. […]Read More

This Is Why Every Renter Should Consider Buying Now

WHY OUR CONDO IS THE PERFECT INFLATION HEDGE My wife Heejin and I own a rental condo in Scottsdale – with a small, fixed-rate mortgage and quickly increasing rent, as Scottsdale is one of the hottest markets in the country. It is a perfect example of why real estate is such a great inflation hedge. […]Read More

Jack Dorsey’s Case for Hyperinflation (There Isn’t One)

JACK DORSEY = PARIS HILTON 😊 A few weeks ago, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, tweeted this: “Hyperinflation is going to change everything. It’s happening.” And sadly, some of the talking heads on the various cable news networks seemed to agree. But, fortunately, cooler and better-educated heads are prevailing here and one of them is Erik […]Read More

Inflation; Mercedes S-Class Cars; Here To Stay? Does It Matter?

MERCEDES S-CLASS SEDANS COST 1/2 OF WHAT THEY COST IN 1979 Leonard Steinberg wrote this in his excellent blog last week: “In 1979 a Mercedes S-Class cost about $34,000. Today about four decades later, an S-Class Mercedes sells for around $111,000, more than triple.” He was illuminating just how much inflation there already has been […]Read More

DANGER! Home Equity Lines & Inflation

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4 Reasons Why Real Estate Is One of The Best Inflation Hedges!

INFLATION ON THE HORIZON Major inflation seems all but inevitable in light of our burgeoning supply chain issues, massive government spending, enormous money supply infusions (printing), climbing CPI numbers, and skyrocketing PPI numbers. Because of this, I want to remind everyone why real estate is one of the best inflation hedges available. By “inflation hedge” […]Read More

The 6 Forces Driving Interest Rates

  THE THREE FORCES DRIVING RATES The mortgage industry’s primary voice/blogger, Rob Chrisman, recently wrote this: “There are three forces driving mortgage rates these days: uncertainty about the effects of the pandemic drives money to the safety of fixed income securities (mortgage bonds) moving rates lower; inflation fear backed by data moves rates higher, and […]Read More

Rates Shot Way Up Yesterday; Why? Will They Come Down Again?

Interest rates shot way up yesterday – catching most of the industry by surprise (again). This is because rates have held amazingly steady for the last several months – but now rates are back up to levels we have not seen since early July. WHY DID RATES GO UP? The primary reason is a “Taper […]Read More

Inflation Up; Rates Up; Explained In Terms of Porsches; All About “Buying Power”

THE REFI BOOM THAT WASN’T When rates plunged a few weeks ago in response to renewed COVID concerns and weak economic news, the entire mortgage world was gleeful b/c we thought we had another refi boom on our hands. But alas, it was not meant to be, as strong employment numbers AND INFLATION crashed the […]Read More

Holy High Appraisal Fees, Batman! Please Warn Clients!

Economist Milton Friedman famously said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” (meaning that it is always caused by increases in the supply of money) But, when it comes to appraisals Milton might be … wrong,** as hard as it is for me to type that. 😊 Appraisal fees have risen from as low […]Read More

Rent Vs. Buy Comparisons In The Age Of Inflation

$500,000 HOME APPRECIATES $200,000 IN 9 MONTHS My wife Heejin bought a house in Plano, TX, in November for $519,000. We put down 20%, and our PITI is $2,725. The house was rented for $3,700 per month when we bought it, so we could have cash flowed nicely from the start. The tenants moved out […]Read More

Beware of VACATIONS :) Rates Way Down Again; Why? Stimulus Will End

HOLY LOW RATES, BATMAN! (Wallowing in Wrongness) For months now, I have been repeating the warnings of various pundits about runaway inflation and rising rates. But rates seem to continually fall despite inflation concerns, and this week was another example as rates fell precipitously again. I and many others (like Barry Habib) thought we’d see […]Read More

Fed Speaks – Rates Up; Paying Off Student Loans With Mortgage; Interest-Only Loans

Fed Chair Powell spoke yesterday and sent the bond market into a tizzy, as investors sold off their bonds and pushed rates sharply higher. What crazy thing did Powell have the audacity to say? He acknowledged that the economy is strengthening and that there is an uptick in inflation. In addition, a statement by the […]Read More

Inflation Way Up & Rates Down? What Does The Bond Market Know?

I blog about inflation over and over b/c its potential to send interest rates into the stratosphere and to disrupt our entire economy is so strong. The last time we saw significant inflation in the 1970s, the stock market tanked and didn’t recover for a decade and interest rates remained in double digits for years. […]Read More

4 Must-Know Facts About INFLATION, Housing, And Mortgages

INFLATION, HOUSING & MORTGAGES With inflation here and only expected to get worse, many potential buyers are getting nervous and wondering what to do. As a result, I thought I’d address a few major considerations today. 1. HOUSING IS AN INFLATION HEDGE/PROTECTION AGAINST INFLATION As a hard asset, housing tends to appreciate with inflation like […]Read More

Inflation Is Here! Why Didn’t Rates Climb More?

Inflation numbers came in sharply higher today and rates increased – but only a little. Here is a brief summary of the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Long story short: Inflation numbers are higher than expected and at their highest level since 2008. So, the question is why didn’t rates spike up further […]Read More

There’s A HUGE GLUT OF WOOD, So Why’s Lumber So Expensive?

On Friday, I blogged about whether or not borrowers can roll their closing costs into their loans. Several savvy agents responded and pointed out that I forgot one more way borrowers can get credits for closing costs: agents can credit a portion of their commissions too if they so desire.  We never recommend that to […]Read More

Cage Match Of The Century: Inflation vs. Deflation; Diversify!

WHY NO INFLATION AFTER 2008 After the 2008 mortgage meltdown, the Fed and congress stepped in with trillions of dollars of “Quantitative Easing” (buying of Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities) and stimulus spending – and numerous market watchers and pundits, e.g. Arthur Laffer, predicted massive inflation. They were all wrong for several reasons, including the fact […]Read More

Why A Giant Stuck Ship (Suez Canal) Impacts Mortgages & Real Estate

YouTube gets me – and thank goodness for that b/c it sends me entertaining videos all day long, every day! This is why I know that Komodo dragons eat deer alive (Komodo saliva paralyzes the deer), why I know about the mating habits of cicadas (they only live a few weeks and come out every […]Read More

2021 Predictions: Rates, Inflation, Housing & Affordability

I often point out how difficult, impossible and/or ineffective it is to make predictions for anything nowadays. This is because we are in uncharted waters when it comes to this much Fed and government involvement in our economy, making it impossible for anyone to predict accurately b/c there are no precedents to rely on. BUT […]Read More

Will Mortgage Rates Fall Again? What Are The Variables?

I received numerous questions in regard to mortgage rates yesterday, e.g. Will they come down again? Should I lock now or wait? What do I think will happen? As always, my answer was don’t wait to lock in your rate b/c nobody has a clue what will happen. VARIABLES AT PLAY I responded that way […]Read More

What Will Happen To Mortgage Rates in 2021

Here is my bold prediction for mortgage rates in 2021: They will go up and down. You can take that to the bank! OK – here’s a more specific prediction – they will edge up about 1/2 percent before coming down again to where they are now or even lower. This is from rate-guru, Barry […]Read More

Fed: “We’ll Ignore Inflation & Keep Rates Low Forever!” Or Not

Media outlets are abuzz with news about The Fed’s new commitment to keep rates low pretty much forever and to also change its inflation targets. This WSJ article is just one of many I saw today discussing this. So what does this mean? The Fed will no longer give credence to what is called the […]Read More

Why COVID-19 Is Not Hitting Housing Prices

A few weeks ago, I blogged about why we are not seeing more foreclosures despite our severe recession and a huge number of delinquent borrowers. The reasons include: (1) borrowers have more equity and won’t abandon it; (2) lending guidelines have been much stronger since 2008; and (3) the housing market is on fire, making […]Read More

How Low Can Rates Go? Not Waiting To Refi

One of the most interesting aspects of the COVID-19 crisis is its effect on interest rates. In “normal” times, mortgage rates correlate closely with the 10 Year Treasury Bond. In other words, when the 10 Year moves higher so do mortgage rates, and vice versa. Also, “the spread” or the difference between the 10 Year […]Read More

What Your Clients Want to Know; Wage Inflation Too

All of our clients – past and present – want to know two things right now: (1) what is really happening to mortgage interest rates; and (2) what is happening to home values – particularly their own. I know this b/c we are getting so many inquiries from clients, and, more significantly, b/c so many […]Read More

Jumbo Market Lives; Inflation = Windfall; Why Lenders Are Terrified of Forbearances

I am repeating this b/c I am still getting so many questions: The Jumbo Market Definitely Lives. Jumbo buyers with 20% down can buy up to $1.6 million in CA and up to $1.4 million in Texas with 1st/2nd Combo Financing. I recently blogged about combo financing here. Traditional jumbo lenders remain in the marketplace […]Read More

5 Bold Predictions For The Post COVID-19 World; COVID-19 Updates; Reason to Refi

Forbes Publisher, Rich Karlgaard, published 5 Bold Predictions for the Post COVID-19 World. He imagined what we might see by the Spring of 2021 and predicted the following: A rebounding world economy with a fantastic global growth rate of 4%. Fully resumed global travel b/c human nature makes people want to travel no matter what. […]Read More

Why I Was So WRONG About Interest Rates Rising – Part CCXXIX

If you Google the word “Wrong,” the below picture pops up in the results: OK… that is a real photo taken at a holiday party (in a photo booth – thank you Danny Winkler) when I really did think rates were going to shoot up. BUT, I am pretty sure I was not thinking about […]Read More

What Moves Interest Rates

I’ve touched on interest rates often in recent months b/c the most recent drop has been so surprising. Examples: Are Low Rates the New Normal? Rates Hit 19-Month Low; Will They Stay Low Borrowers and agents alike are nevertheless still asking if rates will stay low or move lower, so I thought it was time […]Read More

“Rates Hit 19-Month Low” – Why? Will They Stay Low? Rate Roll-Downs

Rates hit a 19-month low and the headlines prompted some of our borrowers to ask about “rolling down” their locked-in rates. RATE “ROLL-DOWNS” Rates, however, have been hovering very close to their current levels for the last few months. So, while rates have bottomed out, the improvements have been marginal. When lenders lock in a […]Read More

Are Low Rates The “New Normal?” The Fed Is Irrelevant

For years I have been repeating the predictions of various market experts about how interest rates have to go up at some point. And for years, I have been dead wrong! My wrongness was only illuminated again with the recent dramatic drop in rates. All this only makes me think that low rates may now […]Read More

Inflation: The One Reason No Buyer Should Get Cold Feet

Everyone knows there are many reasons to buy a home, including: (1) enjoying the pride of ownership; (2) locking in a low interest rate; (3) fixing your housing payment; (4) taking advantage of tax savings; and (5) building equity, among other things. But, most people do not appreciate how important real estate can be as […]Read More