Logan Mohtashami is a name to bookmark, especially if you’re tracking insights into the ‘2023 housing market.’ On Twitter, his feed is filled with a blend of opinionated, data-centric, amusing, and often controversial takes.
Mortgage Rate Lockdowns Are Not a Thing
Logan firmly believes that “mortgage rate lockdowns” aren’t influencing the 2023 housing market trends. He underscores that 42% of homes don’t even have mortgages and dismisses the idea that historically lower rates impacted inventory.
Many loan officers, however, vehemently disagree (and so do I) simply because they personally know so many potential sellers who are sitting on their homes solely because they don’t want to buy in a high-rate environment.
In addition, in CA, we see a very similar phenomenon take place with PROPERTY TAX LOCKDOWNS – where sellers with very low property taxes (thanks to Prop 13) refuse to sell because they don’t want to buy a new home and be subject to far higher property taxes.
I personally know people in Berkeley who live in a $2 million home but are paying property taxes based on a $150,000 valuation; it would cost them almost $30,000 per year in property taxes if they were to move to a different home of similar value.
Savagely Unhealthy Housing Market
Logan has also coined the phrase “Savagely Unhealthy Housing Market,” referencing today’s extraordinarily tight inventory in the face of falling demand (due to higher rates).
Everyone thought we were in a housing bubble during COVID, Logan explains, but if that were the case, we would have seen inventory explode this year when demand fell off with higher rates.
But, inventory remains extremely tight with average days on market numbers sitting in the teens – and that is extremely unhealthy no matter what, per Logan, as it leads to irrational bidding wars, price increases, unhappy people who can’t get homes, very few transactions overall and potential credit bubbles.
He posted this amusing one-minute rap video today to drive home his point: I guess we’ll just rent forever…
Where’s the Shadow Inventory
Logan also loves to point out how often people have feared the dreaded shadow inventory flooding the market – for no reason.
He did so again today with this tweet: Has anyone checked up on the shadow inventory that is supposed to flood the market anytime now since 2012?
He is referring to the foreclosure inventory that was supposed to swamp us in 2012, and the investor inventory that is supposed to swamp us this year (if only…).
U.S. Housing Market Is the Envy of the World
Despite our massive inventory shortages, despite our high rates, despite our affordability issues, and despite our record low transaction levels, Logan explains in a recent podcast that the U.S. 2023 housing market is the envy of the world.
The primary reason: we have 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, while every other country has variable-rate mortgages that are currently adjusting way higher!
Many countries like Canada, Australia, Norway, and Sweden are facing very real challenges right now when it comes to both housing and housing finance.
America’s 2023 housing market and its credit picture, in contrast, remain surprisingly stable, as underwriting standards have been much stricter for years, and Americans are sitting on record levels of equity and very low fixed rates.
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