Saturday, July 16, 2016

North Carolina's new real estate bubble
"...House prices have retaken Bubble 1.0 levels on the exact same drivers: easy/cheap/deep credit & liquidity that found its way to real estate. The only difference between both era’s is which cohorts controlled the credit and liquidity. In Bubble 1.0, end-users were in control. In this bubble, “professional”/private investors and foreigners are. But, they both drove demand and prices in the exact same manner. That is, as incremental buyers with easy/cheap/deep credit & liquidity, able to hit whatever the ask price was, and consequently — due to the US comparable sales appraisal process — pushed all house prices to levels far beyond what typical end-user, shelter-buyers can afford. Thus, the persistent, anemic demand.

• Bubble 2.0 has occurred without a corresponding demand surge just like peak Bubble 1.0. As such, it means something other than fundamental, end-user demand and economics is driving prices this time too.

• The end result of Bubble 2.0 will be the same as 1.0; a demand “mix-shift” and price “reset” back towards end-user fundamentals once the speculators finish up, or events force them to the “sidelines”.

• Lower prices will create demand, which the housing sector will always achieve one way or another…it’s what it does. Just like the anemic demand led the price crash of Bubble 1.0, which ultimately led to increased demand as prices stabilized lower.

...people underestimate the volume of low-down mortgages originated over the past several years, and those with little to no equity in legacy loans or rising interest rate mods, which if house prices drop a few percent turn high-risk, especially when factoring in the 6%+ cost to sell. But, it doesn’t matter where the supply comes from — maybe the PE firms start to dump rentals — as it’s fungible.

• Sure the bubble could blow bigger. Maybe we get a double-bubble. Bubbles are strange things. But, when they begin to fall there is a lot of air under there because the downside has clearly been established. mortgage rates can’t go meaningfully lower, the unorthodox demand cohort is exhausted, and real affordability to end-user shelter-buyers has rarely been worse. In fact, I believe this is the year house prices go red yy."