Jason Hartman brings on guest and investment counselor Doug to talk about declining housing inventory and what the shortages mean. They look at a few videos on the economy and the housing market. They also discuss the impact of prioritizing mortgages could have on housing affordability.
just invest. It’s still a great thing to do. I know it can be scary to a lot of people. Jason’s been doing this a long time. He’s got a lot of knowledge. We’re in an age of technology and everything’s at our fingertips. You can do a lot of homework on your own. But in the end, make sure you’re talking to professionals like Jason.
Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it on. Now. here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.
Jason Hartman 1:09
Welcome to Episode 1217 1217. Thank you for joining us today. I have Doug here with me today and we are going to talk about critique and add our opinions to some just some of the litany of prognosticators. And economists stand forecasters and, hey, everybody’s got an opinion, don’t they? They’ve got an opinion about what is going on with the economy, what’s going on with the stock market, but most importantly, what is going on with the housing market? And what does that mean to you as a good prudent income property investor? And what we want to do today is just kind of go over some of these predictions and see what you think of them. Doug, welcome back. Great to be back, Jason. Okay, so let’s dive in here and let’s play some clips. This one is from realtor.com. And, of course, realtor.com, at least last I checked was owned by the National Association of Realtors. That could have changed. I’m not exactly up to date on what NAR is doing all the time nowadays. But anyway, let’s see what they’re saying. Usually their feel about the housing market is pretty promotional. They’re usually putting a positive spin on everything. So let’s see what they say.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to economic insights with Audrey Whittington and Danielle Hale Chief [email protected] So today we’re going to be talking about the housing market and sort of the trends of 2019. I think this is a really hot topic. I think people are wondering, where are we headed now where we’ve been, where are we going? Yeah, absolutely. What’s going on right now? Exactly. So the way that we track this is by looking at our inventory data is the most current read on what’s going on in the housing market. And what’s going on right now is, in some ways, a continuation of what we saw at the end of 2018. So the biggest trend is more homes are available for sale. Okay, that’s good news for buyers who have been grappling with the years of not enough homes for sale. But what’s interesting, we’re seeing those new homes for sale concentrated in higher price points and icy markets. So that’s interesting. So
it really isn’t across the whole pricing spectrum. So really, it could be good for buyers sort of it and where would you see that price? Cut? Maybe half a million and up to three? I’m not sure where the cut is. Yeah.
So if we look at homes that are priced at 750,000 of those are increasing and a double digit pace like 11% gain here. In terms of inventory, yeah. In terms of number of homes available for sale on.
Jason Hartman 3:51
See. That’s one of the things that’s so confusing. They talk about these numbers and they never say what they are, are they housing starts are they Housing sales volume. Are they sales volume of resale homes? Are they sales volume of new homes? Or are they housing prices? And then in which category of course, they did bother to segment by price, which was good. And what they didn’t tell you is that most of those more expensive homes above 750,000 are, of course, in the cyclical markets, the coastal markets and the markets that we wouldn’t touch as a prudent long term income property real estate investor. Right?
Well, absolutely. And what I’m actually doing right now is looking at my notebook where I was taking notes and as we were listening to the interview in real time, and when they said when I wrote more homes available for sale, I annotated and wrote At what price question mark, because the big shortage that we have is not in mcmansions right. There is no national shortage of $900,000 houses. There is a national shortage of hundred thousand dollar house Is that are, you know, reasonably livable? Right. And I think that’s actually the place where we have a double built in advantage is that we are intentionally sourcing our inventory and affordable markets at affordable price points. So that when the inevitable correction comes at the high price markets and high priced houses, that there will still be sufficient demand, as you said, from both directions from people who are moving up, and from people who are moving down because they were moving, they were living in something they couldn’t otherwise afford.
Jason Hartman 5:32
Right. Absolutely. Good point. And I think your inevitable correction is already here. I wouldn’t say it’s quite to the point of in the inevitable crash yet, in the higher end cyclical markets, but it is we are at correction point, I think we could both agree on that. It’s pretty interesting how few people really understand how to segment the market and how to divide it up. But you’re right, you know, We want to catch people moving up on the spectrum. In other words, you know, people that are wanting to move from an apartment to renting a single family home. And of course, we’re really not that concerned overall with housing prices anyway, because we’re concerned about income, yield rents return on investment for investments that we buy and hold. But since everyone talks about housing prices all the time, and some people think they’re going to time the market and, you know, wait for a better deal, and usually those people never win, but they keep trying, you know, that does apply to them. So it’s, it’s interesting to look at
it. Okay, Jason, I want to challenge that assumption. Just a second. Sure. Even if I was going to buy and hold a property forever, and even if I never wanted to extract a nickel of equity out of it, I would still want the price to go up so that I can get better terms on refinancing, fair
Jason Hartman 6:59
enough. Well, that’s long term and long term we know it will go up. I’m just talking about little dips here and there and little sides is my market, not big long term dips. But you know, you’re a fan of Warren Buffett, you didn’t pay $4 million to have lunch with him like that, like the cryptocurrency guy just did.
Jason Hartman 7:18
you know, you and I both agree even though neither of us love the stock market. We agree with the concept of value investing the Benjamin Graham kind of mentality, if you will. And I know that’s not completely attributed to him, but just broadly speaking, and you know, it’s about just buying good value and holding on to it, rather than trying to pick up every little dip and not being in the game and not getting the tax benefits not getting the income not getting the return on investment. Because here’s a faulty belief a lot of investors have say that there is a person sitting out there now and I don’t hear this often, but I did hear it from one person Last week, so I thought I’d bring it up, who says, Well, hey, you know, I missed the last cycle is I should have bought lots of properties a few years back, I didn’t, I missed it. And I’m going to just keep my powder dry, keep my money in the bank and wait for the next recession. And Funny thing is, is that first off, the recession is usually caused by obviously a slowdown in the economy. But the housing recession, if you will, is usually caused by higher interest rates. And so you’re going to have to pay more every month to own the property, even if the price does decline. And even if you can time it, right, which is a miracle in the first place. But here’s the big thing, people miss Doug, and I’d love for you to comment on this. They miss that if you have to wait three years for that cycle for that dip. If you have to wait for it to come and you Could have earned 20% annually on that investment as the overall return on investment, everything included. You missed all that return while you’re waiting and keeping your powder dry, so to speak. What do you think of that?
Yeah, I think the opportunity costs is very, very real. And it’s something that people frequently ignore because you’re just people’s brains are naturally attuned to think about think in terms of accounting profits and losses. But one thing that you were that you touched on that I wanted to unpack a little more, which is where you were saying that, you know, nobody can time the bottom. And that’s actually even more true than a lot of people think because if you sit there and wait till the next recession, then I’m going to buy prices go down. 5% Hey, we’re in the next recession town to buy. They go down another 5% Oh, well, whatever I’m going to buy again, they go down another 5%. Okay, the thing you just bought at the very beginning is now down 10% and if you have liquidated you’d probably your all of your equities gone, where you say, Okay, now I’m in, I’m all in, it’s down 15%, I’m going to buy some more than it goes down another 5%. Is that right? You know, if you’re trying to buy on the downside, you have no idea where the markets going to bottom. And so can be almost guarantee that you’re either going to buy while it’s still going down, you might catch it on the other side, but then you’re not going to know whether you bought at the top again, right. And so it’s way more important to understand the value of what you’re buying, as opposed to trying to time the price. Because if you’re trying to play that price time and game and you’re disconnected from value, then there’s no time when what you’re buying is going to make sense from a value perspective. Case in point. Let’s say you’re talking about a townhome in San Francisco, I think like about 15 years ago, those are like about you know, 400,000 bucks. Now they’re like $3 million and say they go down to like 900 grand Well, it didn’t make sense at 400,000. What makes it make sense at any other price?
Jason Hartman 11:09
And I don’t know about your prices? I think you pluck those out of thin air a little bit. I don’t, I don’t Okay. Well, you made it good. Because I don’t think it went from 400,000 to 3 million that quickly, but it certainly went up. So it might be 1.5 million or, you know, whatever the number is, it doesn’t matter. But when it was 400,000, it only rented for maybe $2,000 a month. Okay. And if it’s rent controlled, and we have a real case study on this, one of our listeners who was on the show, he lives in a rent controlled apartment in San Francisco came on the show talked all about it is paying like I think he said 20 $400 a month or something and the place is worth 1.5 million Cisco, right? Yeah.
That’s, that’s ridiculously low.
Jason Hartman 11:58
Yeah, well, it’s rent control. And it’s worth 1.5 million. That’s my point. If you were a boy, yeah, I’d vote for Democrats to if they get if I had that good of a deal. That’s an incredible deal. So if you were the owner of that property, though, and you were subject to rent control, you just be losing your shirt. It’s a terrible deal. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. But okay, so by value market timing is usually it just fails. I mean, it’s almost always fails. The thing to do is the old saying, don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and then wait, but you got to buy real estate and follow my commandment number five, Thou shalt not gamble. The property must make sense the day you buy it, or you don’t buy it. That’s absolutely got to be the case. Let’s go back and play a little more audio because they were getting into something good here.
We’re looking at homes under $200,000. Those are still declining. So there are still fewer of those homes available for sale this
Jason Hartman 12:55
year than last year. So see the dangerous perception there. She says if we look at homes under 200,000, those are still declining. People would think she meant the price. What she was talking about was the inventory, the inventory has declined, which means upward price pressure on those lower priced homes. Let’s continue
all the data that really keeps pointing to what you said keep talking about which is affordability, right, so more people are sort of orienting themselves to
houses they can afford. And at the sort of upper echelons,
maybe they’re kind of pausing
and holding a bit.
Yeah, sure, they’re taking a little bit of a break as far as like assessing what they can afford and where they want to be. There’s not the same frenzy that there was before because we’re starting to see more homes come available for sale. But I do think sales will continue in those price points. We’ve got mortgage rates that have you know, approached 5% by the end of the end of 2018. And they’re now down under four and a half percent while so it’s a nice boost to the spring market, especially actually at the higher end home price homes because the Every quarter of a percent makes a huge difference. Yeah, so let’s talk with the rest of the year. And I know you’re going to look into your crystal ball and you’re going to tell us exactly what we can expect. Yeah, what does this mean? So we are one thing I’ll tell you one thing we’re definitely looking at to see whether home sellers continue to be interested in listing their homes for sale because different market for sellers is spring for the first time in many years, they’ve got to think about their competition, right? In the last year, it seemed like homes are selling so quickly, you were probably the only home listed for sale because right neighbor that listed for sale a week before you
this year, they’ll have to think a little bit about competition, especially if they’re listing in those higher price points. So about that 750,000 mark or even maybe at a slightly lower price point in some markets. On the flip side, if you’re selling an entry level home one that’s priced under $200,000. It’ll go like that. Absolutely. So depending on your
Jason Hartman 14:52
Yeah, so I would agree with that. I don’t know why they put that stupid music track. You know that music bed in the video. That’s just super annoying. But anyway,
there was one thing that that kind of stuck with me, they said, people are orienting around what they can afford. And my thought was, Has that ever not been the case? Maybe it wasn’t? Seven. Yeah.
Isn’t that like how people buy houses?
Jason Hartman 15:20
Normally what people do, it’s what the lender will let them afford. They don’t necessarily do what they can afford. It’s what the lender will let them as we saw, you know as to what brought on the Great Recession. But let’s take a look at another video okay, or not a look at it, but a listen to it. And this one is a CNBC video, and I think this would be kind of interesting to you.
low interest rate, if you can’t find the house that fits your financial profile. There’s not much you can do and it is at the low end of the market.
Jason Hartman 15:50
Usually, by the way, this is Doug Duncan, the chief economist for Fannie Mae,
existing home part of the market where people are moving up. Yeah, and people are just not moving up. The boomers are aging. And place that part of the market is at 30 year lows in terms of supply. We also
mentioned that there might be some kind of floor under rates that the banks would put into place. Doug, can you elaborate it all on that?
Well, you they do have to make money. So their mortgage rates are a spread over their cost of funds are now the cost of funds, if use the Treasury rate as a proxy, suggests that mortgage rates should get down around the 4% range given their spread over the 10 year Treasury, which is about 2.2 today, so that but banks don’t make don’t make money unless they have some spread. That said their cost of funds has fallen as well. But consumers need to be confident of a couple things. One is, house prices have been slowing. So they don’t want to step in if they think there might be actually an outright decline. So you don’t want to catch a falling knife so to speak. But if they think rates are going to be down for a while, they may say well, I’m just gonna wait until the house that actually fits with profile is available, because rates don’t look to to be going anywhere. That’s sort of what our survey data says they expect actually rates to fall a bit more. And
Dana, that’s what’s so interesting is that it’s not like rates are down here. And people are figuring it out for the first time. This is almost becoming the new expected normal. Yeah, I mean, if you talk to a millennial and you tell them that you’ve got a mortgage rate at 9%, back in the 90s, and you thought that was great, they look at
Jason Hartman 17:22
you like your mortgage rate at 20% in the late 70s. And there you go, Okay, go ahead.
When I was a kid, the cul de sac where we grew up for the longest time, we were the only house there and I didn’t understand it. Of course, when it got a little older, I figured out that my dad bought that house in 1979. But he bought it with a VA loan. So he was able to get the loan it I think about 9% and all the other loans were going off at your 12 to 15%. And so there was just you know, our house, another house the little down the way and then another house, the other direction, and for about five years. There’s nothing else built, you know, all of us kids, we just ran around in the fields and, and ran back and forth to each other’s backyards. There’s no point putting a fencing around.
Jason Hartman 18:11
You know, what’s interesting about that, too, is there’s this mythology that exists that says, well, the construction will stop if the buyers stop. And that is true, ultimately, but it doesn’t happen right away. Remember, I’ve talked to you many times over the years, about the lag time that occurs. And when I say you, I mean, you listeners, right? We talked a lot about this. There’s this lag time, and that’s the disconnect. And that’s why this stuff is so hard to figure out and so hard to forecast, because the buyers could have gone on strike, yet the builders still have bank financing and letters of credit and commitments, and they’re just going to keep their machine going right into the recession sometimes and we certainly Saw that happened into the Great Recession. The buyers were going on strike, but they kept building for a while, right? So there’s this, this disconnect in time where it doesn’t, you know, you don’t notice it right away. And that’s what happens there all these like overlapping factors. But yeah, let’s go back to this and, you know, tell them millennial rates are 9% What about when they were 20%? Go ahead Doug.
Can I was gonna say if I could just unpack that a little bit because the reason why there’s that lag is because the builders who do the most volume, which is people like your Dr. Horton, Toll Brothers, you know, the linner big builders yet what they do is they buy big tracts of land for you know, usually very high premiums, and then they put a whole bunch of money into prepping the land and to put in those retaining walls in at least where I’m at. They put in retaining walls, you have to put in the drainage ponds for storm runoff. You have to put in the infrastructure you have to put in the streets, right. There’s a ton of money that goes into prep. And then they start building and selling houses. Well, the first few houses haven’t even come close to covering their costs, they probably don’t cover costs until they’re two thirds of the way sold out onto the development. And so if the bottom falls out of the market, when they’re halfway through development, they have to keep the train moving, even if they have to cut the prices on the houses, because they got to make some frickin money cuz they
Jason Hartman 20:22
do, yeah, yeah. You didn’t even mention all governmental approvals, the environmental impact reports the regulatory compliance, and to create, you know, what we call finish blots, right, where, you know, the utilities come up to a lot, but all the infrastructure is built. So,
yes, small amount of effort that
Jason Hartman 20:40
no, no, no small amount of effort or money. Okay, let’s continue.
Doug. I’d be interested also in I don’t want to get too wonky on this question. But I’ve been hearing a little bit also that while we do say that mortgage rates follow the yield on the 10 year Treasury loosely, they are mortgage backed securities, that is bonds that investors have to buy that also dictate rates. We’re hearing that this talk that Fannie and Freddie might come out of conservatorship and Mark Calabria, the head of the FHFA hasn’t actually said specifically that there would be any kind of government government guarantee in the new world that investors are pulling back from mortgage backed bonds. And that’s keeping rates higher than they could actually be. Is that true?
Jason Hartman 21:20
Oh, that’s, that’s a really interesting question. And over the years, we’ve discussed the possible privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And now that is on the table again, it sort of went away for a few years. But Doug, you might remember it meet the Masters in maybe 2011. I’m guessing we were on stage together. We were talking about this and and, you know, the possibility of Fannie and Freddie becoming privatized, and what that might mean. So it’s interesting that, you know, history does repeat itself. So we’ll see if it happens, but the talk is, is really becoming louder again. Let’s listen to Doug Duncan’s answer. There will be Because I don’t want to make too much my time in the momentum of that, and then we’ll talk more
about the I suppose, Horvitz it’s also the case that the Fed continues to run off its portfolio of mortgage backed securities, even though they’ve slowed the overall portfolio run off, they are running off mortgage backed securities. So that would put some pressure on spreads as well.
Jason Hartman 22:21
You’re coming back.
That’s something I think is really interesting is that you’re if you’re talking about privatizing Fannie or Freddie is that the proof in the pudding is going to be the next time that they lose a lot of money? What’s going to happen? Because I think a lot of people would be would like the idea of some kind of you know, Quasar full privatization, they might not like what it means because chances are, it means higher mortgage rates, and you won’t be able to get 30 year loans because if you talk to people from other countries, their interest rates are view usually two to six points higher, and their loan amortization is
Jason Hartman 22:55
the same shoulder 15 maybe 20 years ago. Yeah. 20 year loans long. loan, some are literally five year loans that force you to refinance after five years. Yeah, exactly. You know, again, folks, and we’ve talked about this many times, but the United States has a very special housing market. It’s very unique and all the world in so many ways, and that’s why foreign direct investment here is very high. Because we have a very special housing market here.
The impact of privatizing would be a dramatic shift in the terms, which over the long term, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, because it’ll help prevent the market from getting overheated. Just because right you know, when you know, people have to pay two to three more points for mortgage. So instead of being four and a half percent, it’s seven and a half percent and they have to amortize that loan over 20 years. affordability goes in the tank, but now all the sudden that prices don’t escalate quite as high. And so it’s going to lean out that boom and bust cycle.
Jason Hartman 23:55
I agree with you completely. I think Fannie and Freddie should not have anything to do with the government, they should be private and everything should run by the free market as much as possible. Okay, let’s talk a little bit now about the Case Shiller index, which is rather misleading again, let’s
go set your favorite index ever.
Jason Hartman 24:16
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Because it overweight. It’s the cyclical markets. About 75% of that index is in the high flying cyclical markets, only a quarter of it in the prudent linear markets. But let’s listen to this Fox Business clip and talk about that
all depends on what side of the door you might be on. As the latest Case Shiller report shows mixed results for the housing market. Homeowners on the whole still seeing their home values increase, that surveys show that housing prices rose in the 20 largest markets on an average of 2.7%. year over year. However, that was the slowest pace since August 2012.
Jason Hartman 24:56
Yeah, and that’s pretty slow, really, but let’s continue.
This is a new york City, for example, even dropped point 1% from February into March. It’s another data point for those who
Jason Hartman 25:06
have as they should as they should. New York City was time long overdue for a correction
about growth moving forward. strong growth is partly what President Trump and his team are relying on for reelection in 2020. A New York Times op ed over the weekend, noting that three reliable models suggest that President Trump will win once again. Joining me now the CEO of bokke Enterprises earning buck Jr. Ernie, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it. Thank you. So want to start with the housing market case show or what do you make of it because it seems like housing prices are starting to move in that direction, at least the pace of sales and home price. I think that the prices are are high, extremely high. So they’re, they’re coming down. They’re leveling off. I think they’re adjusting I don’t think it’s too much to worry about. The interest rates are low and It’s okay. Shouldn’t this low? Shouldn’t the housing market be in a much better spot than it is right now, though? Well, in some cases, in some places in the United States, it is by, in a lot of other places, especially in New York prices were so high, they could not go up anymore. They had to come down. Want to get to these models? They are three models, which are pretty good at predicting who will win presidential races, one of them especially from a Yale University professor,
Jason Hartman 26:31
okay. Let’s forget the political stuff and focus on the economic stuff. Doug, any comments on that one?
Well, the thing that I keep thinking whenever people talk about, you know, prices are going to x or y or whatever, and they talk about the average price of houses. So it’s kind of a sterile thing. But you have to understand that any house that gets sold, somebody’s got to buy it, and they need to hit debt to income ratios. They need to have some kind of down payment, or they need to have some kind of goofy financing. And so people say oh, Well, you know, prices are only going to grow another 2%. Well, yeah, it’s because people have to buy this stuff and they have to be able to afford it. And if prices escalate to the point where none of the people in the market can afford it, they’re going to stop buying it. I mean, that used to be called common sense, but people think anymore.
Jason Hartman 27:16
Yeah, very good point. Okay, let’s do one final video, and then we’ll wrap it up.
All the housing market in Canada is cooling off. But despite that, a new report says most cities will be less affordable in 2019. The World Bank says higher interest rates will drive up the cost of carrying a mortgage. In fact, it says the cost of owning a home in the biggest city Toronto will hit
median household income.
Jason Hartman 27:42
What’s interesting about this is that you look at these Canadian cities on both coasts. I mean, we’ve profiled Vancouver a lot is one of the most overpriced housing markets on the planet. It was absolutely insane. And I mean, think about what they’re saying about Toronto, right which is Just north of New York, right? It’s not too far at all. Yeah, border. Right, exactly. I’ve actually driven that before when I was when I was a kid. I wasn’t driving. I was a passenger, but grandma was driving. My grandparents are from upstate New York. So we went to Niagara Falls drove up to Toronto, and they’re saying 79% of median income would be required for housing costs. Are you kidding me? That’s insanity beyond all insanity. Doug, Can you spell bubble?
Exactly, because this is just getting back to our prior point, which is that somebody has to buy these dang houses. And you know, and the thing is, right, you know, medians the middle and you know, even if you have a heavy upward skew on your incomes, which I’m sure Toronto does, at some point, you’re a millionaire. So there’s only so many freakin houses a millionaire billionaire he needs they say, I’m good, you know, peace. I’m Good Guys, I
Jason Hartman 29:00
don’t need any more and listen, even though they’ve got lots of money, it doesn’t mean they want to lose money, how they get there, their mentality was prudent, right? And so yeah, this is the greater fool theory in action, these Canadian markets are absolutely beyond ridiculous. And the greater fool theory says, no matter how much I pay, some greater fool will come and pay more. But just like the game of musical chairs you played when you were a kid, the music eventually stops and someone is left standing. In fact, I was almost thinking about you know, the old airline joke right? You know, they say how do you become a millionaire you know, start as a billionaire then buy an airline, right?
Well, you know, it’s a How do you become a millionaire stars a billionaire than by a bunch of houses in Toronto?
Jason Hartman 29:39
Yeah, absolutely. And with that, I think we can probably wrap it up. I think at the point we don’t need to listen to that.
beat that. We don’t need to beat it up anymore. It’s, we don’t.
Jason Hartman 29:50
But anyway, hey, Doug. Thanks for joining me today. listeners a happy investing to you all, thank you for investing. And thank you for sending your spam reviews at Jason Hartman calm we love your real estate spam. So as you receive this spam, which you did not subscribe to from other players out there in the real estate industry forward it to us we will be your trashcan for your spam. Just forward it to reviews at Jason Hartman calm and we’d love to see it. Doug, thanks for joining me everybody. Happy investing we’ll talk to you tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes. Be sure to check out the show’s specific website and our general website heart and Mediacom for appropriate disclaimers and Terms of Service. Remember that guest opinions are their own. And if you require specific legal or tax advice, or advice and any other specialized area, please consult an appropriate professional and we also very much appreciate you reviewing the show. Please go to iTunes or Stitcher radio or whatever platform you’re using can write a review for the show we would very much appreciate that. And be sure to make it official and subscribe so you do not miss any episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.