Commercial And Industrial Real Estate Doing Well

By CHUCK GREEN While climbing interest rates are throwing a monkey wrench in the U.S. economy, commercial real estate – at least in the short term – seems to be looking up. In a recent address to the 2022 REALTORS Legislative Meetings’ Commercial Economic Issues and Trends Forum, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said regardless of burgeoning rates, the commercial real estate market is expected to prosper. “Outside of the office sector, which is lagging behind as employers allow increased remote work flexibility to keep and attract talent, commercial real estate continues to strengthen,” Yun said. Apparently shucking aside setbacks in light of the 2020 and 2021 pandemic, heading into this year conditions were looking up for the commercial real…

Consumer Sentiment On Housing Hits Lowest Level Since May 2020

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Consumers across the country continue to report difficult homebuying conditions due to inflation, higher mortgage rates, and home price appreciation. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, says that in April their Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell to its lowest level since the spring of 2020. The percentage of respondents who said it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 24% to 19%, while the percentage who said it is a bad time to buy increased from 73% to 76%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy decreased 8 percentage points month over month, according to the survey. “The current lack…

Ishbia Under Fire After Slamming Rocket Mortgage As The Industry Sees Reductions In Workforce

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage has come under fire after posting online that he is “disappointed” with Rocket Mortgage’s decision to offer buyouts to members of its workforce. Mat Ishbia posted on LinkedIn last week that this should not be necessary for a company that made over $5 billion in profits last year. “These 2,000+ people will struggle to find new jobs, and I think it’s disgusting that they’re thinking short term and are solely focused on cutting a few million per month in costs… this is the wrong thing to do to people,” Ishbia said. Ishbia went on to write that they have not had a single layoff in 35 years at UWM. The post…

Morning Roundup (4/26/2022)– Housing Bubble: Clickbait Or Is There A Bumpy Ride Ahead? 

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, April 26. The Biden administration established a program that allows Americans to sponsor Ukrainian refugees. A New York judge held Donald Trump in contempt for refusing to turn over documents. The Boston Celtics eliminated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the N.B.A. playoffs. The Mortgage Note Reports Housing Bubble: Clickbait Or Is There A Bumpy Ride Ahead? Chuck Green reports trouble could be percolating in the U.S. housing market. loanDepot Shakeup: loanDepot has named Anthony Hsieh as its new Executive Chairman, while industry leader Frank Martell joins as President and CEO. Builder Profits: Builder gross profit margins fell to 18.2% in 2020, while net profits slipped to 7%, the first profit margin decline since 2008. And in other mortgage and housing news… Set To Stall: …

Housing Bubble: Clickbait Or Is There A Bumpy Ride Ahead?

By CHUCK GREEN Trouble could be percolating in the U.S. housing market. In a blog post last month, researchers and economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas wrote of indications that real-time market monitoring is picking up signs of a “brewing U.S. housing bubble.” They added: “Our evidence points to abnormal U.S. housing market behavior for the first time since the boom of the early 2000s. Certain economic factors, especially including the price to rent ratio, and the price-to-income ratio—which show signs that 2021 house prices appear increasingly out of step with fundamentals, raise red flags.” Researchers and economists also cited growing concern that U.S. house prices are again becoming “unhinged from fundamentals.” Moe Zulfiqar, Editor of Lombardi Letter,…

Morning Roundup (4/11/2022)– Office Space Vacancies, Vacation Home Demand

Good Morning! Today is Monday, April 11. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed by a dump truck while trying to cross a highway on foot in South Florida. Biden will announce a new firearm regulation Monday meant to contain the use of privately made weapons. Elon Musk has decided not to join the board of Twitter. The Mortgage Note Reports Office Space Vacancies: Writer Chuck Green reports that office vacancy rates are being monitored closely as the commercial space industry continues to grapple with COVID’s effects on the workplace. Vacation Home Demand: Second-home demand fell for a second straight month as rising rates and increased fees deter buyers. Better Loses Another Exec: Better.com CTO Diane Yu is stepping back…

Office Space Vacancies Monitored Closely As Numbers Begin To Fall

By CHUCK GREEN Office vacancy rates are being monitored closely as the commercial space industry continues to grapple with COVID’s effects on the workplace. In Los Angeles, office activity stagnated in the first quarter of 2022. One-fifth of total inventory remained vacant and rents remained unchanged, according to Greg Cornfield at Commercial Observer. Other major metro areas, including New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Chicago, also continue to experience double-digit vacancy rates. Stemming from remote work due to the variant, San Francisco and DC reportedly kicked off the year with vacancies approaching 20%. In major U.S. markets vacancies of around 60% were recently shown by Kastle Systems, which measures occupancy by looking at foot traffic into offices.…

Morning Roundup (3/29/2022)– Biden’s Budget Proposal, Condo Prices Up

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, March 29. Biden said he was expressing “moral outrage”, not policy, when he said Putin “cannot remain in power.” A federal judge concluded that Donald Trump most likely committed felonies by trying to overturn the 2020 election. Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Oscars. The Mortgage Note Reports Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Felt By Builders In America: Some experts say there will be ramifications in the home and commercial markets, Chuck Green reports. Budget Response: The Biden administration’s budget proposal includes big money for housing, which the CHLA says reaffirms the need to scrap its Life of Loan policy. Condo Explosion: Condo prices have hit a record high – up…

Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Felt By Builders In U.S.

By CHUCK GREEN Builders in the United States are feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading some experts to say there will be ramifications in the home and commercial markets. “Already, retail gasoline and diesel prices have jumped by record amounts and reached record levels. Construction firms use large amounts of fuel for their own trucks and offroad equipment,” said Ken Simonson, Chief Economist of The Associated General Contractors of America. Doubling down on the notion that the conflict is putting builders in a sticky situation, Simonson said they pay directly through fuel surcharges. Costs are embedded in the thousands of deliveries of equipment and materials to job sites as well as the hauling away of dirt, debris,…