It’s been a long and wild ride in both the real estate and equity markets these past 9 years, right? Analysts and investors have blossomed into celebrities on Shark Tank and HGTV. And, one-time first-time buyers turned into millionaires when they sold their starter homes some years after they “started.”
Focusing on the real estate side of the economy, is this 9-year cycle of soaring home prices, appreciation and equity beginning to fray a bit? Is this 9-year housing cycle beginning sag or even burst with a very loud pop just as bubbles do when they’ve been floating around for too long or when they’ve been blown up too big?
David Kranzler, a financial analyst, thinks yes, this bull housing market is already sagging and about to pop big time.
Kranzler, in a 7/2 /18 post on his website Investment Research Dynamics, wrote “…all three housing market reports released two weeks ago (homebuilder sentiment declining since 12/17, new construction permits off -4.6% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, decreasing existing home sales for 18 months) showed industry deterioration.”
Additionally, Kranzler believes the housing bubble, if there is a housing bubble, is price driven and that the combination of rising housing prices and increasingly lax lending standards from government entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA) are the driving factors that will lead to the next big pop in the housing market.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says no, there isn’t a residential housing bubble and no, there will be no popping.
Yun said, “…fundamental supporting factors (tighter underwriting standards and the dearth of new residential construction) of today’s housing market versus what happened 10 years ago are drastically different. There’s a massive housing shortage. It’s fundamentally different in terms of supply and demand.”
Mathew Gardner, Windemere Real Estate Chief Economist, makes a distinction between single-family and multifamily housing markets. Seeing no rising single-family bubble, Windemere is concerned about multifamily housing.
“When you look at multifamily, you really have to go back to 2010…when builders could start borrowing again…the only asset class (credit markets) would lend to was apartments. We went from big supply and demand imbalances to oversupply. And that’s where we are right now in many major markets.”
Take another look at what’s going on in NYC multifamily market for a good example of Windemere’s conclusions here. Oversupply. Very much declining prices.
Zillow’s chief economist, Aaron Terrazas thinks the strength and steadiness of the US labor market are critical to keeping the housing market on track. His caveat, however, ”There’s no doubt that home buying demand will face stronger headwinds (rising interest rates, supply-side problems for existing and new homes, a cyclical rebound in young adult homeownership) over the next year.”