Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
4 Insurance Policies You Should Consider Buying - 6th May 21
Fed Taper Smoke and Mirrors - 5th May 21
Global Economic Recovery 2021 and the Dark Legacies of Smoot-Hawley - 5th May 21
Utility Stocks Continue To Rally – Sending A Warning Signal Yet? - 5th May 21
ROIMAX Trading Platform Review - 5th May 21
Gas and Electricity Price Trends so far in 2021 for the United Kingdom - 5th May 21
Crypto Bubble Mania Free Money GPU Mining With NiceHash Continues... - 4th May 21
Stock Market SPX Short-term Correction - 4th May 21
Gold & Silver Wait Their Turn to Ride the Inflationary Wave - 4th May 21
Gold Can’t Wait to Fall – Even Without USDX’s Help - 4th May 21
Stock Market Investor Psychology: Here are 2 Rare Traits Now on Display - 4th May 21
Sheffield Peoples Referendum May 6th Local Elections 2021 - Vote for Committee Decision's or Dictatorship - 4th May 21
AlphaLive Brings Out Latest Trading App for Android - 4th May 21
India Covid-19 Apocalypse Heralds Catastrophe for Pakistan & Bangladesh, Covid in Italy August 2019! - 3rd May 21
Why Ryzen PBO Overclock is Better than ALL Core Under Volting - 5950x, 5900x, 5800x, 5600x Despite Benchmarks - 3rd May 21
MMT: Medieval Monetary Theory - 3rd May 21
Magical Flowering Budgies Bird of Paradise Indoor Grape Vine Flying Fun in VR 3D 180 UK - 3rd May 21
Last Chance to GET FREE Money Crypto Mining with Your Desktop PC - 2nd May 21
Will Powell Lull Gold Bulls to Sweet Sleep? - 2nd May 21
Stock Market Enough Consolidation Already! - 2nd May 21
Inflation or Deflation? (Not a silly question…) - 2nd May 21
What Are The Requirements For Applying For A Payday Loan Online? - 2nd May 21
How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part1 - 1st May 21
INDIA COVID APOCALYPSE - 1st May 21
Are Technicals Pointing to New Gold Price Rally? - 1st May 21
US Dollar Index: Subtle Changes, Remarkable Outcomes - 1st May 21
Stock Market Correction Time Window - 30th Apr 21
Stock Market "Fastest Jump Since 2007": How Leveraged Investors are Courting "Doom" - 30th Apr 21
Three Reasons Why Waiting for "Cheaper Silver" Doesn't Make Cents - 30th Apr 21
Want To Invest In US Real Estate Market But Don’t Have The Down Payment? - 30th Apr 21
King Zuckerberg Tech Companies to Set up their own Governments! - 29th Apr 21
Silver Price Enters Acceleration Phase - 29th Apr 21
Financial Stocks Sector Appears Ready To Run Higher - 29th Apr 21
Stock Market Leverage Reaches New All-Time Highs As The Excess Phase Rally Continues - 29th Apr 21
Get Ready for the Fourth U.S. Central Bank - 29th Apr 21
Gold Mining Stock: Were Upswings Just an Exhausting Sprint? - 29th Apr 21
AI Tech Stocks Lead the Bull Market Charge - 28th Apr 21
AMD Ryzen Overclocking Guide - 5900x, 5950x, 5600x PPT, TDC, EDC, How to Best Settings Beyond PBO - 28th Apr 21
Stocks Bear Market / Crash Indicator - 28th Apr 21
No Upsetting the Apple Cart in Stocks or Gold - 28th Apr 21
Is The Covaids Insanity Actually Getting Worse? - 28th Apr 21
Dogecoin to the Moon! The Signs are Everywhere, but few will Heed them - 28th Apr 21
SPX Indicators Flashing Stock Market Caution - 28th Apr 21
Gold Prices – Don’t Get Too Excited - 28th Apr 21
6 Challenges Contract Managers Face When Handling Contractual Agreements - 28th Apr 21
Corsair H150i Pro iCUE Firmware Update Says Bye Bye - H100i, H115i, Bricked Jet Engine Fans Fix - 27th Apr 21
Bude Cliff Walk and Secluded Pebble Beach Tour in VR 360 - Cornwall UK Holidays 2021 - 27th Apr 21
The Top 3 CBD Oils with Anti-Inflammatory Properties for Stopping Pain - 27th Apr 21 -
Biden’s Green New Deal - 27th Apr 21
Gold Stocks Upleg Accelerates - 27th Apr 21
The Tax Plan to Slay the Stocks Bull Market? - 26th Apr 21
See What’s Next for European Markets - 26th Apr 21
Gold's Perfect Storm - 26th Apr 21
Biden’s ‘Green Reset’ Could Be Great for Silver - 26th Apr 21
SPX Stock Market Short Squeeze – Here Or Not? - 25th Apr 21
Fiscal Guilt: What a Shift in Monetary Policy Portends for Investors - 25th Apr 21
Gold Price Reversal? Have No Fear! - 24th Apr 21
No Fear Of Inflation; Threat Of Deflation - 24th Apr 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

A Bifurcated U.S. Housing Market, How Much Longer Can Unaffordable Housing Prices Last?

Housing-Market / US Housing Oct 10, 2015 - 06:09 PM GMT

By: Adam_Taggart

Housing-Market

Charles Hugh Smith writes: Markets discover price via supply and demand: Big demand + limited supply = rising prices. Abundant supply + sagging demand = declining prices.

Eventually, prices rise to a level that is unaffordable to the majority of potential buyers, with demand coming only from the wealthy. That’s the story of housing in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and other desirable locales that are currently magnets for global capital.


In the normal cycle of supply and demand, new more affordable housing would be built, and prices would decline.

But that isn’t happening in hot real estate markets in the U.S.  What’s happening is rental housing is being built to profit from rising rents and luxury housing is being built to meet the demand from wealthy overseas buyers.

With limited land in desirable urban zones and high development fees, it’s not possible to build affordable housing unless the government subsidizes the costs.

Meanwhile, the supply of existing homes for sale is limited by the owners’ recognition that they won’t be able to replace their own home as prices soar; it makes financial sense to stay put rather than sell and try to move up.

Some homeowners are cashing in their high-priced homes and retiring to cheaper regions. But this supply is being overwhelmed by a flood of offshore cash seeking real estate in the U.S.

This is part of the global capital flows I described in my recent analysis What Happens Next Will Be Determined By One Thing: Capital Flows. As China and the emerging market economies stagnate, capital that was invested in these markets in the boom years is moving into dollar-denominated assets such as bonds and houses.

This globalization of regional housing markets is pricing the middle class out of housing in areas that also happen to be strong job markets.

Many commentators are concerned that a nation of homeowners is being transformed into a nation of renters, as housing is snapped up by hedge funds and wealthy elites fleeing China and the emerging markets.

But will current conditions continue unchanged going forward?

Let's start with the basics of demographic demand for housing and the price of housing.

Demographics & Housing Valuations

There are plenty of young people who'd like to buy a house and start a family (a.k.a. new household formation), but few have the job or income to buy a house at today's nosebleed levels -- a level just slightly less insane than the prices at the top of Housing Bubble #1:

(Charts courtesy of Market Daily Briefing)

The current Housing Bubble #2 (also known as the Echo Bubble) certainly isn’t being driven by rising household income, as median household income has declined when adjusted for inflation:

What enabled households to buy homes as prices pushed higher?  Super-low mortgage rates:

Now that mortgage rates have hit bottom, there’s not much room left to push housing valuations higher by lowering rates. No matter how solid the buyers’ credit rating, mortgages remain intrinsically risky, as unexpected medical emergencies, job losses, divorces, etc., trigger defaults in the best of times. In recessions, job losses typically cause defaults and lenders’ losses to rise.

All debt, including home mortgages, is based on household income and debt levels. The higher the debt load, the more money the household must devote to debt service. That leaves less to spend on additional debt or other spending.

As this chart shows, the ratio of debt-to-earned income (wages and salaries) has declined since the speculative frenzy of Housing Bubble # 1, but it remains almost twice the levels of the pre-bubble era:

Based on the fundamentals of domestic income -- debt levels and current home prices -- only the top 10% of households has much hope of owning a home in globally desirable regions:

If domestic buyers can no longer afford to buy, then who’s left? Cash buyers from overseas is one answer.

Capital Flows into U.S. Real Estate

Chinese millionaires buying homes for cash in the U.S. and Canada have been voting on conditions in China with their feet.  The tide of money leaving China has turned into a veritable flood, with hundreds of billions of dollars leaving China in the past year aone as economic conditions there deteriorated.

This flood tide can be seen in real estate transactions, not just in the U.S. but in Australia, Canada and the U.K.:

These cash purchases by wealthy foreign nationals are creating a bifurcated housing market. In areas deemed desirable, Chinese and other foreign nationals are dominating the market (see: 80% Of All New Home Buyers in Irvine, CA Are Chinese).

In regions that are below the radar of offshore buyers, for example, broad swaths of the Midwest, home prices remain more affordable.

But even domestic markets with relatively few foreign buyers have seen soaring home prices if there is strong job growth and limited land for new development.

A Bifurcated Housing Market: The New Normal?

These dynamics have created islands of strong job growth and global/domestic demand for housing in which only the wealthy can afford to buy and everyone else is a renter for life. These islands are surrounded by a sea of lower-cost housing in regions with weak job growth and stagnant wages.

Is this bifurcation the New Normal? Or is Housing Bubble #2 heading for the same shoals that popped housing bubble #1 in 2007-08?

Right now, the general consensus is that housing prices “will never decline” in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, etc.—the islands of job growth and high valuations--due to the strong U.S. economy and capital flows into USD-denominated assets. But if the bulk of this capital flow has already occurred, and capital controls and clawbacks become the order of the day, this prop under current nosebleed housing valuations might be kicked away far sooner than anticipated.

In Part 2: How A Major Housing Correction Can Happen Over The Next 1.5 Years we examine the strong argument can be made that conditions are far more fragile in this Bubble #2, as the global recession that is rapidly spreading around the globe can’t be reversed with the same bag of tricks that worked in 2008-09.I expect home valuations to fall rather quickly once capital flows out of China drop off and the recession swamps America’s economy.

History suggests that the markets that soared the most are also the ones that collapse the farthest.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

By Charles Hugh Smith

http://www.peakprosperity.com

© 2014 Copyright Adam Taggart - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in