Despite the downtick in rates for a month or two, the housing 'recovery' appears to have come to an end. This is the fifth consecutive monthly decline in pending home sales and even though a smorgasbord of Wall Street's best and brightest doth protest, it would appear the lagged impact of rising rates is with us for good (as the fast money has left the flipping building). This is the biggest YoY decline since April 2011 as NAR blames low inventories and affordability for the poor performance. Perhaps more worrying for those still clinging to the hope that this ends well is the new mortgage rules in January that could further delay approvals.
“The government shutdown in the first half of last month sidelined some potential buyers. In a survey, 17 percent of Realtors reported delays in October, mostly from waiting for IRS income verification for mortgage approval,” he said.
“We could rebound a bit from this level, but still face the headwinds of limited inventory and falling affordability conditions. Job creation and a slight dialing down from current stringent mortgage underwriting standards going into 2014 can help offset the headwind factors,” Yun said.
Yun said there are concerns heading into 2014. “New mortgage rules in January could delay the approval process, and another government shutdown would harm both housing and the economy,” he said.
So the Fed provided the liquidity that bid prices up to a point that makes it unaffordable for the average joe and uneconomic for the average free-money-riding hedge fund. The Fed has made any recovery entirely dependent on extremely low rates and now is suggesting that taper is coming... and still... Strategists exclaim that rates are low by historical standards and so it won't matter!! come on!