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Don’t get caught off guard by market crashes that can take all your money down with them. And don’t miss out on markets where you can build wealth practically overnight. Real Estate News for Investors with Kathy Fettke is the premiere source for savvy real estate investors who want the edge. Stay up…

Kathy Fettke: Real Wealth Network

    • May 22, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Real Estate News: Real Estate Investing Podcast

    The Real Estate News Brief: Fed Dashes Hope for Rate Cuts, Bye-Bye New DTI Loan Fees, Pickleball at Malls?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2023 6:34

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending May 20th, 2023... what the Fed Chief is saying about interest rates and potential rate cuts, how the FHFA is responding to a controversy over new rules for home loan fees, and why mall owners have become interested in pickleball.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week, and the Fed chief's response to predictions about what the central bank plans to do next. Jerome Powell spoke out at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and said that Fed officials have made “no” decision yet on their next move. Many economists are expecting a pause in rate hikes, but the Fed is determined to bring inflation back down to the 2% level, no matter what. A decision would be made after the Federal Open Market Committee evaluates “all” the most recent data. (1)   Powell may have also dashed a few hopes for rate cuts later this year. He says: “The data has continued to support the FOMC's view that bringing inflation down will take “some time” and that rate cuts simply are not part of the Fed's current forecast. But he also says that interest rates are currently high enough to slow economic growth, and hopefully tamp down inflation without further credit tightening.   Meantime, the U.S. leading economic index, or LEI, shows a decline in April, for the 13th month in a row. The declines have pointed toward a potential recession, but so far, that hasn't happened. The index was down .6% last month with eight of the ten economic indicators showing a decline. (2)   Initial jobless claims were down last week, thanks to an effort in Massachusetts to reduce fraudulent claims. They fell from 264,000 the previous week to 242,000 last week. Overall, they have been slowly rising since January. The number of continuing claims was also down by about 8,000 with about 1.8 million people collecting benefits. (3)   New home construction was higher in April, thanks to an outsized demand among consumers, despite high interest rates. The government says they rose 2.2% for the month with more activity in the Midwest and the West. That's for both multi-family construction, which was up 5.2%, and single-family, which was up 1.6%. Building permits were down, however, by 1.5%. (4)   The home builders confidence index also reflected a positive outlook among builders. The National Association of Home Builders say the index was up five points to a central balance point of 50 in May. Anything above 50 is positive, and below 50, negative. The reading for May is the first time it's been out of negative territory in almost a year. (5)   The latest report for existing home sales is for February, and according to the National Association of Realtors, it surged 14.5% as interest rates experienced a temporary dip. It was the biggest monthly increase since July of 2020 when sales skyrocketed 22.4%. NAR says that single-family sales are currently at their highest level since the association started tracking them in 1999. (6)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates are still moving sideways. Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up just 4 basis points, to 6.39%. The 15-year was unchanged at 5.75%. (7)   In other news making headlines...   FHFA Rescinds New DTI Fee Structure   The FHFA is rethinking its controversial new up-front fee structure for single-family home loans which placed more importance on a borrower's debt-to-income ratio than it did on credit score. The government finance agency has now rescinded the new fee structure for Fannie and Freddie loans, and is asking for input on the goals and policy priorities that the FHFA should pursue in regards to an upgrade of the pricing framework. (8)   When the FHFA announced the previously upgraded pricing structure, there was an outcry from real estate organizations, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, and others. It kinda blew up in the media, because it appeared to raise the fees for people with higher credit scores while lowering fees for low income borrowers, and gave the appearance of an unfair fee subsidy.    The FHFA denies that the fee structure was based on the idea of a subsidy. But it is now accepting feedback from the public on how to adjust the fee structure to better reflect loan risk in order to protect Fannie and Freddie against those risks, and without unnecessary expense for borrowers, especially those struggling with affordability issues.   Mall Owners Filling Empty Stores with Pickleball Courts!   Mall owners have a new strategy to fill vacant stores and attract more people. They are turning to the fast-growing sport of pickleball, and replacing shuttered stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond with pickleball courts! (9)   The combination satisfies a need on both sides as consumers gravitate toward locations that offer fun, social experiences and not just a place to shop. Malls have already been incorporating things like theaters, arcades, and amusement parks into their shopping locations. So now, they are adding pickleball, and other experience-based activities like skydiving and virtual golf.   Pickleball is currently the nation's fastest growing sport. As reported by CNN and the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, it's up 159% over three years to 8.9 million players in 2022.   That's it for this episode of the Real Estate News for Investors. Please check the show notes for links at If you want to learn more about investing in real estate, be sure to hit the “Join for Free” button, and check out how RealWealth can help you create a cash-flowing real estate portfolio. And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!   Thanks for listening! Kathy Fettke   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -

    Bank Execs Clash with Lawmakers at Hearing on Bank Failures

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2023 7:04

    A Senate hearing on recent bank failures turned into a prickly confrontation between bank executives and lawmakers. Former leadership for Silicon Valley, Signature, and First Republic Banks were hammered by lawmakers about why their banks collapsed. And there wasn't a lot of agreement on the cause. Bank executives blamed the government and the media, while lawmakers blamed mismanagement and greed.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   Silicon Valley Bank made the biggest splash as the first bank to fall with about $210 billion in assets. Signature bank had about $110 billion when it was seized by regulators. They were the third and fourth largest banks in the U.S. so their failures raised huge concerns about the impact on the entire financial system. First Republic went south and teetered for a few months after it lost billions in deposits, and was largely taken over by JPMorgan.   SVB CEO Blamed a Series of “Unprecedented Events”   In a joint session before the Senate Banking Committee, former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker pointed a finger at the federal government, saying the bank's failure was the result of a series of “unprecedented events.” He testified that: “With near zero-percent interest rates and the largest government sponsored economic stimulus in history, more than $5 trillion in new deposits flooded into commercial banks. By the end of 2020, SBV had grown 63 percent over the prior year, and in 2021, SVB's assets grew another 83 percent to $212 billion.” (1)   He also pointed out that during the pandemic, when inflation started to become an issue, the Federal Reserve insisted that inflation was “transitory” and that interest rates would remain low.   Massive Bank Run at SVB   The bank's collapse largely happened after a decision to invest more than half of the bank's loan portfolio into fixed-income Treasury securities, when interest rates were low. They are considered “low risk” but they are also impacted by interest rate hikes. When interest rates blew up to fight inflation, the value of SVB's portfolio shrank and that forced the bank to sell at a $2 billion loss. When news spread about the bank's situation, depositors became concerned about accessing their funds and the bank experienced a massive bank run.    Media Misconceptions   Becker also blamed the media for comparing the March 8th failure of Silvergate Bank to Silicon Valley Bank. He told lawmakers that the two banks had completely different business models, and said: “Rumors and misconceptions quickly spread online, culminating on March 9th with the first-ever social media bank run leading to more than $42 billion in deposits being withdrawn from SVB in 10 hours, or $1 million every second.”   Two More Dominoes to Fall   Former Signature Bank Chairman Scott Shay was miffed that his bank was seized by New York State regulators on March 12th. He insisted that the bank would have survived that bank run. He argued: “We were at all times solvent and well-capitalized, and even with the sale of our available-for-sale securities, we still would have remained well capitalized.”   Former First Republic CEO Mike Roffler also blamed social media and news stories for inciting panic among depositors along with technology that allows for fast-paced digital withdrawals. Roffler told lawmakers: “The contagion spread very quickly and panic is very hard to control.” (2)   Lawmakers Blame Mismanagement, Greed   But lawmakers also took the conversation in a different direction, criticizing bank leaders for millions of dollars in bonuses and personal stock sales ahead of the failures. Senator Sherrod Brown ripped into Becker saying: “Workers face consequences, executives ride off into the sunset. Only in corporate boardrooms can you run your business into the ground, take the whole economy along with you and come out ahead. We can't let that happen again.”   Some lawmakers said that bank executives could have reduced the risk by hedging their portfolios, but that they, instead, placed profits ahead of safety. As explained in a Washington Post article, Silicon Valley Bank had financed short-term liabilities with long-term debt. It seemed like a no-brainer when interest rates were low, and to be fair, there was a lot of talk about interest rates remaining low for a very long time. But when the Fed started hiking rates, the value of those Treasurys went down. Lawmakers say the bank could have swapped those longer-term notes for one with shorter-terms that match the duration of the bank's liabilities. But they say the banks didn't do that because it would have been more expensive. (3)   Sharp Words from Some Senators   The session became downright nasty at times. Senator John Kenney of Louisiana had sharp words for what he called SVB's “stupidity.” He told Becker: “You made a really stupid bet that went bad, didn't ya? And the taxpayers of America had to pick up the tab for your stupidity, didn't they?” (4)   He continued saying: “No, this wasn't unprecedented. This was bone-deep, down-to-the-marrow stupid. You put all your eggs in one basket and unless you lived on the International Space Station you could see that interest rates were rising and that you weren't hedged.”   Let's hope we've seen the last of this kind of banking madness. You can read more about this by following links in the show notes at    I always encourage listeners to hedge their own financial empire with real estate. You can learn how to invest in rental properties at RealWealth. Becoming a member is free and will give you access to all our educational material as well as our investor portal with valuable data on rental markets, sample properties, and help from our investment counselors who can answer your questions. Just hit the “Join for Free” button.   And please remember to subscribe to this podcast!    Thanks for listening! Kathy Fettke   If you're a RealWealth member, just sign into the portal and look for DealCheck under the Resources tab. If you aren't a member, it's free and easy to sign up. And, please remember to subscribe to this podcast!   Thanks for listening! Kathy    Links:   1 -   2 -   3 - 4 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Two New Inflation Reports, U.S. Debt Default Impact, Gallup Poll on Investor Preferences

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2023 6:37

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending May 13th, 2023... some good news about inflation, how a U.S. debt default might impact housing, and a new Gallup Poll on investor preferences.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with two inflation reports from this past week. The first was a report on the Consumer Price Index for April. The CPI shows a .4% rise in consumer prices which is a slight increase from the previous month, but it brought the annual rate below 5% for the first time in two years. It hit a high of 9.1% last summer, but is now down to 4.9%. The core rate, which omits food and fuel, was also down .4%, with an annual rate of 5.5%. Shelter prices rose the most, but those prices are slowing down. It's interesting to note that the three-month annualized rate is now at 3.2%. (1)   Producer prices are also coming down. The Labor Department reported a .2% increase in the Producer Price Index for April, with an annual rate of 2.3%. The PPI's core rate was also down .2% but the annual rate is a bit higher, at 3.4%. As MarketWatch reports: “Inflation is moderating at the consumer and producer levels. This is adding to market expectations that the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates further at the next meeting in mid-June.” (2)   The Fed's preferred report on inflation, known as the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index or PCE, will play a big role in what the Fed does next. That's coming out at the end of this month.   Weekly jobless claims were a surprise on the upside, with 240,000 people filing for benefits. They were 22,000 higher than they were for the previous week. Economists had only expected an increase of 3,000. That's the highest number of claims since October of 2021. The numbers have been steadily rising since January, for a total of 1.81 million continuing claims. Higher numbers indicate a softening of the job market and slower wage growth which the Fed wants to see in its fight against inflation. (3)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates are still idling in the lower 6% range. Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down four basis points to 6.35% this last week. The 15-year was down one point to 5.75%. (4) Freddie Mac's chief economist, Sam Khater, says: “A recent sideways trend in mortgage rates is a welcome departure from the record increases of last year.” (5)   In other news making headlines…   Mortgage Rates Would Skyrocket if U.S. Defaults on Debt   As lawmakers haggle over the debt ceiling, there's concern about what would happen if they don't come to an agreement and the government defaults. According to Zillow, it would have a devastating impact on the housing market, with mortgage rates potentially rising to 8.4%. That would increase a typical mortgage payment by 22%. (6)   Zillow says if mortgage rates get to the 8% level, existing home sales could fall from April's 4.3 million to around 3.3 million in September. That's a 23% drop. Zillow's senior economist, Jeff Tucker, acknowledges that a default is “unlikely” but if it did happen, he says it would send the housing market into a “deep freeze.”   It is hoped that President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy will hammer out a deal by June 1st. In a Bloomberg interview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: “There is no satisfactory solution for the U.S. that's good for the economy and financial markets other than Congress acting to raise the debt ceiling.”   Fed's Rate Hikes Are Now Hurting the Housing Market   Housing economists are not happy about the latest rate hike. The Fed hiked short-term rates another quarter point to a range of 5 to 5.25%. The National Association of Realtors' Lawrence Yun and the National Association of Home Builders' Robert Dietz call it “disappointing.” They say the high rates are freezing loan activity and hurting the economy. (7)   They say that consumer prices have been coming down for months and the last rate hike wasn't necessary. Yun says that: “Regional banks are an important source of loans – but they are frozen.” He says: “They are shuffling their balance sheets and figuring out what to do.”   Dietz says that higher rates are making it harder for developers to build homes, which are badly needed to boost inventory. He says: “We need to be building more than 1.1 million homes a year to haVe a meaningful impact on the lack of inventory.”    Real Estate Still a Top Investment Choice, but Lead is Shrinking   A recent Gallup poll shows that real estate is still a top investment choice, but the lead is shrinking. In 2022, 45% of the participants said that real estate is the best long-term investment. This year, that percentage shrank to just 34%. (8)   Many consumers have turned to gold, which has now taken second place and pushed stocks into third. Gold was favored by 26% this year, compared to 15% last year. Stocks dropped from 24% last year to 18% this year. Savings accounts, CDs, and bonds are up slightly but they are still in fourth place.    Gallup asked some of the participants about crypto, but that has lost its luster with the recent collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, and a decline in crypto prices, especially for bitcoin. Only 4% of Americans are choosing crypto. Last year, it was 8%.   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links, and the “Join for Free” button to become a member of RealWealth. It's free to join, and you'll have full access to our website including our investor portal where you can check out various rental property markets and find out how to make real estate work for you in this tough environment.   And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Hints at a Pause, Mortgage Rate Averages, ChatGPT Home Search

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2023 6:27

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending May 6th, 2023… why economists are expecting a rate hike pause, where homeowners are paying the most and the least for their mortgages, and new home search help from a chatbot!   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week, and the big news is, of course, the Fed's rate hike. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee followed through on an expected quarter point hike to the overnight lending rate, which puts the target range between 5 and 5.25%. It was the 10th rate hike in a row and a unanimous decision among committee members, despite calls for a pause from some Congressional lawmakers. (1)   The Fed also appeared to suggest that it might now be time for a pause, by eliminating a sentence that says “some” additional rate hikes may be needed. Instead, the statement kind of hedged on the idea of rate hikes by saying that any further rate hikes would depend on “the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affect economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.” Economists are interpreting that to mean that the Fed is prepared to take a more “dovish” approach at its next policy meeting. As MarketWatch puts it, the Fed is “on hold.”    Fed Chief Jerome Powell also said in his press conference after the meeting that: “We are no longer saying we anticipate” rate hikes. He says: “We will be driven by incoming data, meeting by meeting.” (2)   Some economists say the Fed has already gone too far. Chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, is one of them. He called last week's rate hike “unnecessary and harmful.”   Yun says inflation has been coming down and will continue to do so. He says: “It will be even lower as the heavyweight component to inflation, which is rent, will inevitably slow down given the robust, 40-year high in construction of new apartment units.” He also says that many small banks are struggling right now. He says: “They are becoming zombie-like banks, unable to lend even to good businesses, as they are more concerned with balance sheet shuffling for survival.” (3)   Meanwhile, there are new signs that the job market is softening. Initial claims were up 13,000 to a total of 242,000. That's up from about 200,000 in January. Continuing claims were down, however, by 38,000 to a total of 1.81 million. (4) The April jobs report also shows that the job market is still going strong. It shows that companies increased the number of available positions by 253,000. Wall Street economists had anticipated the addition of just 180,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate also declined from 3.5% to 3.4%. (5)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates dipped a little this last week. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down four basic points to 6.39%. The 15-year was up five points to 5.76%. (6)   In other news making headlines…   The Average Monthly Mortgage Payment   The average monthly mortgage payment is now $2,317. Lending Tree's latest study shows that the average U.S. home buyer needs a mortgage of $333,342 with the highest amounts needed in the District of Columbia, Washington State, and California. (7)   High priced states skew the averages however, so you need to look at the individual states to see how affordable they are. The three states with the lowest average mortgage amounts are West Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan. In West Virginia, the average is just $1,700.   Homeownership Not a Priority Among Most Renters   A majority of renters don't see homeownership in their future. Online brokerage Home Bay conducted a survey that shows about two-thirds say they have lost hope in owning a home, although half of the respondents said that homeownership is “very important.” Given their current situation, they'd prefer to spend their money on other things. The top three priorities are paying down debt, having a comfortable retirement, and owning a car. (8)   Among the renters who want to own a home, a third are willing to pay a high price to do that including many who said they'd skip meals or sell their plasma. Two thirds also said they would take on a second job.   Zillow, Redfin Launch ChatGPT Plugin   Searching for a home could get a little easier with the help of a chatbot. Both Zillow and Redfin announced that users will be able to get a ChatGPT plugin that will allow them to describe homes and have the chatbot show relevant listings. The OpenAI website says that only a small number of users have access to the plugins right now, but you can add your name to a waitlist. (9)   That's it for this week's News Brief. Check the show notes for links at You can also join RealWealth while you are at our website by hitting the “join for free” button. Membership gives you full access to our Investor Portal where you can see sample properties and connect with our network of real estate professionals, including our RealWealthinvestment counselors.   And please remember to subscribe to our podcast!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   ​​9 -  

    Pet Households Outnumber Families with Kids

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2023 4:46

    When it comes to renting a home, landlords may see many more applicants with pets than they do parents with children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of households with pets is almost double the number of households with children. That's a trend that impacts the rental market as well as the home buying market, as pet owners look for housing and neighborhoods that will accommodate the needs of their children, and their pets.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   Census data shows that the number of families with kids under the age of 18 has been declining over the past 20 years. Last year, in 2022, just 40% of households had children. That's down from 48% in 2002. A RisMedia article suggests two reasons for the decline: One, because birth rates have been shrinking over the last few decades, except for an increase in just the last year; And two, because baby boomers still comprise a large share of U.S. households, but at this point, with no kids.   Pet Households Rise and Kid Households Decline   As households with children have dwindled, those with pets have been rising. The American Pet Products Association says that, back in 1988, 56% of households had a pet which was most likely a dog or a cat. Today, about 70% of U.S. households have pets. Although the number has been steadily rising over the years, many people adopted pets during the pandemic and continue to lavish time and money on their pet companions.    The BLS American Time Survey shows that the share of Americans who spend daily time with their pets grew from about 13% in 2003 to almost 20% in 2021, with women spending more time on pets than the men. Americans are also spending more money on their pets. The American Pet Products Association says the expenditure has grown from about $53 billion in 2012 to $123 billion in 2021.   The Importance of Pets in Real Estate Decisions   With that kind of time and money being lavished on our pet companions, it's not that surprising to think that pet owners will place great importance on the well-being of their pets in their home buying process or their rental decisions. According to the National Association of Realtors, almost one-third of unmarried homebuyers will consider their pet when they decide on a neighborhood. About 14% of married couples will factor that in.   When it comes to gender, 25% of single women want a pet-friendly neighborhood compared to 16% of men. Pet friendly neighborhoods are ones with a high walkability score, access to parks and recreation areas, and homes with bigger yards.   Renting to Tenants with Pets   As a landlord, it has become more important to accommodate pets, but you should also have clear, comprehensive rules written into the lease agreement. The California Apartment Association offers a Pet Addendum that can help landlords and property managers protect their property and the safety and cleanliness of their rental community in general.   Among the key components of the addendum is a requirement that renters get a landlord's written consent before they bring a pet onto the premises. The addendum also requires detailed information about the pet including type, breed, name, sex, age, size, and a description or photograph. This can help with record-keeping. If there are local pet ordinances, the tenant should agree to comply with those. There should also be guidelines for the disposal of any pet waste on the rental property and the maintenance of litter boxes.   We'll have a link to the addendum, and the data on households with children and pets in the show notes at I also ask that listeners become RealWealth members to find out more about the creation of rental property income. It's free to join at our website. And please remember to subscribe to this podcast!   Thanks for listening! Kathy Fettke   Links:   1 - 2 -

    Investor Home Sale Losses Triple from Last Year, but There Is a Catch!

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2023 4:19

    March wasn't a great month for investor home sales. A new Redfin report shows that one in every seven homes sold by investors was sold at a loss. That's 14% of investor sales or about triple the number from a year earlier, and the highest level of investor home sale losses since 2016. But there is a catch! These sales were mostly for investors who bought more recently and sold after a short length of time, such as flippers.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   The housing market has slowed dramatically as home prices and mortgage rates make it tough to buy, and in some areas and for some people, tough to invest. It's important to remember that the report is based on national statistics, and that six in seven of those real estate investors made money on sales, although their gains may have been smaller.   Typical Gains for Investor Home Sales   Redfin says the typical investor who sold a home in March, sold it for about 46% more than they paid. That's down from a little over 55% in March of last year. Profit will likely be less than that, because of other costs, like renovations.   Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari says: “You might wonder why investors don't just wait to sell until the housing market bounces back. Many long-term investors who rent their properties are doing that, but many flippers–especially those who bought recently–can't afford to.” She says: “Holding onto homes that aren't producing income can be expensive because the owner is on the hook for property taxes, operating costs, and in many cases, mortgage payments.”   Phoenix Redfin agent Van Welborn says: “Home flippers aren't reaping the gains they used to.”   Flippers More Likely to Report Losses   If you narrow the overall results of the Redfin study down to “just” flippers, Redfin says that one in five sold at a loss in March. Redfin defines a flipper as someone who bought and sold a home within a nine-month time frame.    Holding long-term will likely produce much better results, although the median U.S. asking rent has been slowing. It was down .4% year-over-year in March but that is also the first time it's gone down in three years. Redfin agents say that Airbnb operators are also hurting in some markets, and have had to sell.   Flippers Lose More in Pandemic Boomtowns   Places where investors are more likely to sell at a loss are the pandemic boomtowns like Phoenix and Las Vegas. In Phoenix, 31% sold at a loss in March. In Las Vegas, that percentage was more like 28%.    The report says that many of the sellers are mom-and-pop investors who are worried about where the market is headed, possibly remembering what happened in 2008. But today's housing market is nothing like it was in 2008, and real estate is still a solid investment over the long term. Many institutional investors see it that way. Instead of selling, many are holding on to their properties and waiting for buying opportunities.   My Formula for Real Estate Wealth Redfin says that 10% of the homes on the market right now are for sale by investors. That's higher than at any time before or during the pandemic but down from a peak of 12.4% last year. My formula for real estate wealth is to buy wisely and hold on to your properties long-term, especially now when there's such strong demand for single-family rentals.    At RealWealth we encourage the use of a platform called DealCheck for a thorough analysis of a deal before you close on it. DealCheck is a powerful property analysis platform that's easy to use, and provides instant details on a property's cash flow, cap rate, ROI, profit from a sale, acquisition cost, and other helpful information.   If you're a RealWealth member, just sign into the portal and look for DealCheck under the Resources tab. If you aren't a member, it's free and easy to sign up. And, please remember to subscribe to this podcast!   Thanks for listening! Kathy    Links:   1 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Mixed PCE Inflation Report, Q1 Economic Growth, Argentina's Sky-High Inflation

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2023 6:40

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending April 29th, 2023... you'll get mixed news on inflation, results for the first quarter GDP, and a rate hike in South America that you never want to see here!   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   Let's begin our economic review with the latest inflation report. The Personal Consumption Expenditure Index for March was released on Friday and showed a tiny .1% increase in overall inflation. That brought the yearly rate down from 5.1% in February to 4.2% in March – the lowest it's been since May of last year. But unfortunately, the news wasn't as good for the PCE's core rate. When you omit prices for food and gas, the core rate rose .3%, and brought the annual rate down from 4.7% to 4.6%. As MarketWatch reports, the core rate hasn't changed much for the last five months. (1)   The PCE is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, and will be an important factor in determining whether to hike interest rates again this week. It's generally believed that the central bank will hike rates another quarter point, but it's a delicate situation because the economy is teetering on the brink of a recession. As Bill Adams of Comerica told MarketWatch: “The Fed is stuck between raising interest rates and likely pushing the economy into a recession… or pausing and risking that inflation accelerates in a few quarters if the economy regains momentum and sticky prices stay high.”   First quarter GDP is out. It shows the economy grew at a rate of 1.1%. That's down from a GDP of 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending has been strong, but was offset by spending cautiousness among businesses. Home construction and sales are also a drag on the GDP, thanks to higher mortgage rates. But MarketWatch says the biggest impact on the GDP was a lack of inventory growth. Business inventories were down $138 Billion. If that had not been the case, and inventory growth remained flat, the GDP would have reportedly been much higher, at 3.4%. (2)   Jobless claims reversed course this last week and fell an unexpected 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000. Economists had expected them to rise slightly. The report shows that the job market is still strong, which feeds into the Fed's concern about inflation. Continuing claims were also down 3,000 to 1.86 million. (3)   Housing demand and a lack of existing home inventory drove new home sales higher in March, despite high mortgage rates. The Commerce Department says they were up 9.6% for the month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 683,000. The surge was mostly driven by new home sales in the Northeast. The median price for a home was $449,800. Chief Economist, Lisa Sturtevant, at Bright MLS, says that about one in three homes for sale are new builds. Historically, it's more like one in 10. (4)   Although the sale of existing homes has been rising over the last several months, they fell in March. The National Association of Realtors says contract signings were down 5.2% for the month which is more than economists had predicted. NAR says about a third of the listings are seeing multiple bids, and 28% are selling for more than the asking price. (5)   The February report on home prices by Case Schiller shows the national index was up .2% for the month, and 2% for the year. That's the smallest increase in home price growth since 2012. (6)   Mortgage Rates   NAR says that realtors are predicting that mortgage rates will hit 6% this year, and 5.6% next year. But they aren't there yet. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was up 4 basis points this last week, to 6.43%. The 15-year was down 5 points to 5.71%. (7)   In other news making headlines…   Study: Home Demand Rises After Periods of High Inflation   The desire to own a home will likely increase thanks to inflation. The results of a new study by UC San Diego show that the inflation we're seeing today will have a lasting impact on the housing market, with many people buying homes to protect themselves from future price growth. The study claims to be the first of its kind to show that personal experience with inflation will lead to home ownership. (8)   One of the study co-authors says: “We think one reason people choose to buy instead of rent is because they are worried about future inflation, which may drive up both rent and house prices.” She says: “Our paper suggests that cohorts living through the current inflationary period will have a higher demand for housing for years to come.”   Huge Rate Hike in Argentina as Inflation Soars   As the American consumer worries about inflation and another rate hike when the Fed meets this week, consider this:   The Argentina central bank just hiked short-term rates 300 basis points to an annual rate of 81%! That's in response to surging inflation that hit 104% in March.   Argentine officials had hoped to cut rates this year after a difficult tightening cycle in 2022, but inflation has returned with a vengeance. Argentina has one of the world's highest inflation rates right now. JP Morgan is predicting that Argentina's inflation will hit 130% by the end of the year. (9)   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links at You can also join RealWealth to learn more about real estate investing by hitting the “Join for Free” button. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -

    Will Good Credit Make Your Home Loan More Expensive?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2023 7:01

    Fannie and Freddie are changing some rules that could make home loans more expensive for people with high credit scores, and less expensive for those at the low-end of that spectrum. Critics say the rules amount to an unfair subsidy for high-risk borrowers, but the GSE's say it's a misconception about what they are changing.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   You may have seen the headlines already. One says: “A Bigger Subsidy for Risky Mortgages.” Another says: “Upside Down Mortgage Policy.” Another says this new policy will “screw Up the Homebuying Market.”   The headlines refer to a new rules from the Federal Housing Finance Agency regarding loan-level price adjustments or LLPAs for conventional loans. They officially kick in on May 1st, although some lenders have already been incorporating them into their fee structures.    What's an LLPA?   If you have a mortgage that's backed by Fannie or Freddie, you have paid or are paying this fee. LLPAS are fees that the government-sponsored enterprises charge when they buy loans from lenders. The fee is passed on to borrowers as a percentage of the loan and the amount is based on the borrower's risk factors such as credit score and down payment. People with higher risk factors pay higher LLPAs, and they can be paid up front or with higher monthly mortgage payments.    Business Insider offers a few examples of how the new pricing structure will impact borrowers.    1 - Someone who might see an increase could have a credit score of 700 with a 20% down payment for a $300,000 loan. They would have previously paid 1.25% of that loan amount or $3,750. With the new fee structure, they'd pay 1.375% or $4,125, which is an increase of $375. (1)   2 - Someone who might see a decrease could have a credit score of 780 but a down payment of just 3%. Previously, they would have paid .75% on a $300,000 loan or $2,250. With the new rules, they'd pay .135% or $375. That's a $1,875 reduction.   NAR, NAHB Opposed to the New Rule   The National Association of Realtors is among those criticizing the rule change. It is encouraging the FHFA to rescind the new rule especially given the affordability issues facing home buyers. It suggests instead that: “The GSEs could simply reduce the fees for (higher risk) borrowers and maintain the others at the same cost—especially given the sharp decline in affordability over the last year.” (2)   National Association of Home Builders CEO, Jerry Howard, told Newsweek: "In the short term, this may increase homeownership among the targeted group, but I'm afraid it could decrease homeownership among the middle class. I'm not sure that we're not robbing Peter to pay Paul here." (3)   FHFA Defends New Rules   FHFA Director Sandra Thompson issued a press release this week to “set the record straight.” She says: “Much of what has been reported advances a fundamental misunderstanding about the fees charged by the GSEs and why they were updated.” She says the pricing structure hadn't been updated for many years, and the new pricing structure is the result of a 2021 review. (4)   The goal: “To maintain support for purchase borrowers limited by income or wealth, ensure a level playing field for large and small lenders, foster capital accumulation at the Enterprises, and achieve commercially viable returns on capital over time.”   The overhaul has been done in steps over the last 18 months, beginning with fee increases for loans on second homes, high balance loans, and cash-out refi's. Then some fees were eliminated for first-time homebuyers with lower incomes but the means to meet their loan obligations. She says in her statement that this latest step is a recalibration of upfront tees that will make the housing finance system more resilient.   Among the misconceptions, she says:   1 - Stronger credit borrowers are not subsidizing weak credit borrowers. She claims that fees generally increase for lower credit scores, despite the down payment.   2 - She says the new fee structure does not raise the fees for all low-risk borrowers. She says many borrowers with high credit scores or high down payments will see no change in their fees or even a decrease.   3 - She says the old framework was not perfectly calibrated to risk. She says it was essentially outdated, and is now better aligned for the performance of a mortgage relative to its risk.   4 - The new rules do not encourage low-income borrowers to pay a lower down payment to benefit from lower fees because they will also have to pay mortgage insurance premiums.   5 - The elimination of upfront fees is not for people with lower credit scores but for borrowers with lower incomes, and she says they are essentially supported by the loan fees for second homes and cash-out refi's (and not by good credit, high down payment borrowers).   6 - The changes are not intended to stimulate mortgage demand, but rather to advance the soundness and safety of the GSE's.   The old and new fee structures are listed on the Fannie Mae website. You'll find links to those tables in the show notes if you'd like to compare. (5) (6)   Impact on Real Estate Investors   So how does this impact real estate investors?   Shawn Huss of Warsaw Federal told RealWealth: “For investment lending, it has helped out in some situations with better pricing when you have a greater down payment or a two to four unit. For a multi-unit, Fannie used to charge 1.0 points in additional pricing. Now if an investor's credit score is 780 or higher, it is only .375%. Another example is pricing used to be 2.125 points in pricing for 70% loan-to-value.  With the new pricing, at 70%, the pricing is better by .50 points which helps with lower rates.”   The new pricing structure only impacts conventional loans – not jumbo loans, FHA mortgages, or other non-conforming loans.   You'll find links to the stories I mentioned at including the charts from Fannie Mae where you can compare the two pricing structures.   And please, remember to hit the Join for Free button at RealWealth and subscribe to our podcast.   Thanks for listening, Kathy   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Recession Timeline, Construction Material Costs, Homeowner Wealth Report

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2023 6:31

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending April 22nd, 2023… we have two new forecasts on whether we'll see a recession this year, some good news about the cost of construction materials, and a report that shows how much wealthier you are if you own instead of rent.    Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with a look at economic news from the past week. There are a few new reports predicting that we'll have a “mild” recession in the second half of the year. The Conference Board's leading economic indicator index, or LEI, was down for a 12th month in a row in March. It fell 1.2%, which is the biggest decline in the last three years, according to MarketWatch. The index is a compilation of 10 indicators. One Conference Board manager says: “Economic weakness will intensify and spread more widely throughout the U.S. economy over the coming months, leading to a recession starting in mid-2023.” (1)   Fannie Mae economists are also predicting a recession later this year. The GSE's Economic and Strategic Research Group says the economy is “running out of steam.” Although the economy got off to a strong start this year, the ESR group expects to see an economic contraction during the second half of 2023. Fannie Mae's chief economist Doug Duncan, says: “The economic slowdown has resumed – whether the end result is a modest recession or simply a soft landing remains unanswered.” He attributes much of his optimism to the strength of the housing market, saying: “The greater-than-expected resilience of the housing sector to the affordability pressures of higher home prices and mortgage rates is central to our expectation that the recession will be modest.” (2)   The Labor Department reported another weekly increase in jobless applications, which are now at their highest level since the end of 2021. Initial claims were up another 5,000 to a total of 245,000. That's still an historically low number. Continuing claims also jumped a bit. They were up 61,000 to a total of 1.87 million. (3)   Housing starts were down .8% in March, to a rate of 1.52 million. The drop is mostly due to a slowdown in condo construction which fell 6.7%. Starts for single-family homes offset that a bit with an increase of 2.7%. Permits for single-family homes were also higher, by 4.1% while permits for multi-family buildings were down almost 25%. The pullback in apartment construction follows a red-hot building streak over the last several months. (4)    Builders are feeling more confident about the market as demand grows for new homes. The National Association of Home Builders says its monthly confidence index was up one point to 45 in April. It's the fourth month that the index has gone higher, and it's now the strongest it's been since September of last year. Demand is strong because the inventory for existing homes is so low. (5)   Meantime, existing home sales were down 2.4% in March, to an annual rate of 4.44 million. Compared with March of last year, they are down 22%. Prices are also falling which means that current homeowners would lose some of their equity if they sold now. The National Association of Realtors says that prices were down 1% in March, which is the biggest monthly drop in a decade. That's a national number. A recent report from Black Knight says that prices are falling in the West but rising in the East. Prices are falling the most in cities that experienced a pandemic housing market boom. (6) (7)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates started rising again this last week. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up 12 basis points to 3.69%. The 15-year was up 22 points to 5.76%. (8)   In other news making headlines…   Prices Dipping for Construction Materials    Prices for construction materials are finally coming back to earth. According to an analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors group, they are lower today than they were a year ago. It's the first year-over-year decrease we've seen in more than 18 months. Construction Dive says that building costs are still almost 40% higher than they were right before the pandemic struck. (9)   Costs for some individual construction materials remain high, however. Bisnow reports that concrete is up 14.5% from a year ago. Construction machinery and equipment is also about 12% higher. Prices are also fluctuating a lot from month to month. Chief Economist Ken Simonson for the Association General Contractors of America told Construction Dive that: “Contractors remain wary about committing to projects” because of the price volatility.   Some contractors are also putting the brakes on hiring. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 50% drop in construction job openings at the start of this year.   Homeowner vs. Renter Wealth Report   Many homeowners are becoming much wealthier than renters, thanks to an increase in their home equity. A study by the National Association of Realtors shows that over the last decade, homeowners became more than 40 times wealthier than the average renter because of that equity. (10)   The average gain since 2012 is about $99,000 for low income homeowners, about $122,000 for middle-income homeowners, and about $150,000 for upper-income homeowners.    That's it for our latest economic and housing market updates. Please check the show notes for links at And please remember to click on the Join for Free button at our website for information about real estate investing, and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast, if you haven't already!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2​​ -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -   10 -

    Are You On Fannie Mae's Secret Loan Blacklist?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2023 4:25

    Fannie and Freddie have a growing blacklist for certain properties that they won't lend to, but it's not public and it could surprise you when you're trying to close on a deal. The Los Angeles Daily News first reported on this, saying the government-sponsored enterprises are placing condos, associations, and co-ops on the list for a variety of reasons, including deferred maintenance. (1)   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   The president of Philadelphia-based condo and co-op lending service provider CondoTek told the Daily News that the blacklist has now grown to more than 1,400 properties. Orest Tomaselli says just 16 months ago, there were only 900 properties on the list.   New Tighter Standards After Condo Collapse   Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac tightened their standards after the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida. The catastrophic failure of the 12-story condo building resulted in the deaths of 98 people and $1B in property losses.    HOAs started seeing a new questionnaire months later at the beginning of last year. According to the Daily News, Fannie and Freddie are using data from this questionnaire to determine whether a property has deferred maintenance, structural issues, or a lack of funds or insurance to cover needed upgrades or repairs.   Concerns That Questionnaire Creates Liability   The questionnaire has been controversial. Other than questions regarding maintenance and upkeep, they also include questions that could presume future liability for any deficiencies – questions like: “Is the HOA or Cooperative Corporation aware of any deficiencies related to the safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability of the project's buildings?”   The Orange County Register reported on a survey by the Community Associations Institute that shows 89% of the participants felt they might be held liable in the future because of questions they didn't know how to answer. Almost as many also feared liability exposure because they refused to answer those questions. (2)   News reports say that some condo associations and property management companies feel the questionnaires are “draconian” and have chosen instead to boycott Fannie/Freddie loans.   Questionnaire Alternative Not Well Received   The mortgage giants are offering an alternative although that hasn't gotten a great reception either. Instead of the questionnaire, the underwriter can provide reviews of board minutes from HOA meetings, engineering inspections, and local government inspections. Lenders weren't thrilled with that option because it could expose the lender to future liability issues.    Mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson says in the Orange County Register article, that 50% of the loans that his shop runs through Fannie and Freddie require a limited review and a shorter list of HOA questions. A Freddie Mac spokesperson says that: “Freddie Mac's requirements are designed to help ensure residential buildings with aging infrastructure are safe for their residents and the condos and co-ops needing critical repairs have a plan to do so.”   Safety is of utmost importance, but with affordable housing in short supply, the questionnaire and the blacklist add two more obstacles for homebuyers looking for a lower price tag.   Secret Blacklist for Lenders & Servicers   As for the blacklist, it's reportedly available to lenders and servicers, but not the property owners or the public in general which includes potential buyers. That means buyers counting on a loan from Fannie or Freddie might not find out until the last minute.   Tomaselli says: “It's a crapshoot. The only way for you to find out if a project is on that list is if you apply for a mortgage and the lender runs that project to see if it's unavailable. And only then, typically, is the buyer informed.” Buyers must then turn to riskier, more expensive mortgages to complete their transaction.    You'll find links to articles about the blacklist and the HOA questionnaire at As always, I ask that you join RealWealth for free to learn more about real estate, and subscribe to this podcast! We'd also appreciate a review on whatever podcast platform you are using.   Thank you! And thanks for listening, Kathy Fettke   Links:   1 -   2 -

    Will Climate Change Impact Your Property Values?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2023 6:14

    Is climate change creating a real estate bubble we shouldn't ignore? And who's going to get hurt if that bubble bursts? Yale's Climate Connections newsletter just reported on a study that claims there's a massive bubble forming because property values don't include climate risks like flooding and wildfires. The 2023 Nature Climate Change study also suggests six ways to reduce this risk and potentially keep this bubble from bursting. (1)   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   Although climate change skeptics may feel we are experiencing normal weather patterns, many people are concerned that severe weather events are increasing in number and intensity. We've been seeing increased storm-related flooding in some areas and more drought-related wildfires in others. Some inland areas are also dealing with water scarcity and extreme heat while coastal areas are faced with the threat of rising sea levels.   The “Brittleness Bubble”   The Yale newsletter cited climate futurist Alex Steffen for his definition of the so-called “Brittleness Bubble.” Steffen says: “As awareness of risk grows, the financial value of risky places drops. Where meeting that risk is more expensive than decision-makers think a place is worth, it simply won't be defended. It will be abandoned.” He says: “That will then create more problems. Bonds for big projects, loans and mortgages, business investment, insurance, talented workers – all will grow more scarce. Then, values will crash.”   Overvaluation of Homes   The Nature Climate Change study pegged the overvaluation of U.S. homes in flood zones at around $200 billion, but a study done last year by consulting firm Milliman had a much higher number. In the Milliman study, researchers calculated the overvaluation at more like $500 billion.   These figures apply to flood risk, and don't account for the impact of other weather-related risks like wildfires. California is suffering the impact of highly destructive wildfires that have been increasing in number and intensity. And that's pushing up insurance rates, making it unaffordable for many people to rebuild or buy homes in high-risk areas. The Southwest has also been dealing with a long-time drought although recent winter rains have helped to replenish reservoirs. But water scarcity and extreme heat are a growing problem in many areas.   Reducing the Risk   The report goes on to list six ways to help prevent this bubble from bursting, which I will briefly share with you.   1 - The first is to require sellers to fully disclose flood risks. The study says that, in general, properties that are highly overvalued are in coastal counties which often don't require flood-risk disclosures. Some property listing websites will show you this info however, such as Redfin and also provides property-specific risk ratings.   2 - The second suggestion is to raise awareness about climate change which might lead to policy changes about development in risky areas. This will likely happen as more people suffer the impact and media attention grows.    3 - Third on the list of suggestions is to charge market-based insurance rates instead of subsidized rates provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP has issued new risk ratings called Risk Rating 2.0. That has brought insurance costs closer to what they need to be, but it's a slow-going process because there are yearly rate-hike caps.   4 - The fourth suggestion is to reduce federal subsidies for properties in risky areas.  These subsidies come in the form of supplemental disaster relief with no requirements for long-term flood-risk strategies. The study authors say it's a complex issue that will take a lot of effort to tackle because there isn't much political support or funding to get this done.   5 - Fifth on the list of actions to address the so-called climate change housing bubble is a revamping of FEMA and the creation of a National Disaster Safety Board. The report says that FEMA is “underfunded, understaffed, and has minimal authority to do what it needs to do.” A National Disaster Safety Board could help implement policy changes.   6 - Last but not least, the report suggests that we should work toward a retreat policy that would help people move from areas that have suffered multiple climate-related disasters. The strategy would be to provide affordable housing for these people which may sound like a “big ask” at a time when the nation is suffering from a huge lack of affordable housing.   When Will the Bubble Burst?   So when will all this become critical?   The Yale article cites a NOAA prediction, that the average sea level rise by 2050 will be 10 to 14 inches for the East Coast, 14 to 18 inches for the Gulf Coast, and four to eight inches for the West Coast. It says a “rapid rise” will happen after that and claims that we'll see a rise of four to seven feet by 2100 as compared to the year 2000.   The study can't predict when we might see a sudden disruption because so much depends on politics, the economy, and basic human behavior. It says we might see a period of increased risk in the mid-2030s because of a “wobble in the moon's orbit.” It's something that happens every 18.6 years and usually causes unusually high tides along the Southern and Western coastlines.   If you own property in a high risk area, this topic is something that may command more of your attention. And if you're looking to buy a new property, be sure to check on the climate risks and factor that into your decision. As I mentioned, Redfin and both provide environmental risk factors on their property listing pages. You can also find more detailed information at   If you want to read more about this study, you'll find a link to the Yale article at You can also join RealWealth for free if you'd like more information on how to navigate the housing market right now and find rental property that makes sense for your portfolio. And please remember to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review!   Thank you! And thanks for listening, Kathy   Links:   1 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Two Inflation Reports, Fed Minutes on What's Next, Mortgage “Sweet Spot” for Homebuyers

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2023 5:43

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending April 15th, 2023… we have two inflation reports, the minutes of the last Fed meeting, and the results of a survey on an acceptable mortgage rate.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week. The government released two reports on inflation that show prices are rising more slowly, but that inflation is still too high. The Consumer Price Index or CPI shows a small .1% increase in March, mostly due to lower food and gas prices. Energy prices were down 3.5% while groceries fell .3% including an 11% tumble for egg prices. Grocery prices are still 8.4% higher year-over-year, but those declines helped slow the yearly rate from 6% to 5%, which is the lowest we've seen since May of 2021. (1)   The news isn't quite as good for the core rate, which strips out food and gas. That was up .4% and “raised” the annual rate from 5.5% to 5.6%. The increase was partly caused by a 2.7% increase in shelter prices, although rents and home price growth are slowing.    The Producer Price Index or PPI for March was also released, and shows a big drop in wholesale prices. That typically means we'll see retail prices coming down in the coming months. The data shows a .5% monthly decline which brings the yearly rate down from 4.9% to 2.7%. That's the lowest it's been since January of 2021. The core rate shows a slight increase of .1%. That also reduced the annual rate from 4.5% to 3.6%. (2)   Meantime, the Federal Reserve released minutes from the meeting in February which resulted in a quarter-point rate hike. The notes show that Fed officials are very concerned about rate hike stress on the banking system, and are now admitting that we'll likely see at least a “mild” recession later this year. They raised the Federal Funds rate nine times in a row to a range of 4.75% to 5% at the last meeting. They believe that inflation is still much too high and that further rate hikes may be needed, but they will be looking closely at the incoming economic data ahead of their meeting in May. (3)   U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke out at the end of the week, saying that banks are being more cautious, and that if they tighten their lending standards further, there may be no need for further rate hikes. She said that would serve as a “substitute for further interest rate hikes that the Fed needs to make.” (4)   Consumers are spending less, which is another sign that the economy is softening. Retail sales have declined four out of the last five months, and were down 1% in March. As reported by MarketWatch: “Retail sales haven't fallen off a cliff, but they also aren't rising rapidly like they did in 2021 and early 2022.” (5)   Jobless applications are slowly rising. There were 239,000 initial claims for the previous week, which is an increase of 11,000. That's not much of a blow to the job market, but it does show that layoffs are slowly rising. Most of the unemployment applications were filed in California where big tech companies are handing out pink slips. Continuing claims are still very low at 1.81 million. (6)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates held steady for the most part. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was down just one basis point to 6.27%. The 15-year was also down one point to 5.54%. (7)   In other news making headlines...   Mortgage Rate “Tipping Point”   The National Association of Realtors is predicting they will fall below 6% by the end of the year. NAR economist Nadia Evangelou says: “If rates drop to 6%, 3.1 million more households will be able to afford to buy the median-priced home compared to the beginning of the year.”   A survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows the “sweet spot” for most homebuyers is lower than 6%. 71% of the participants taking that survey said they won't accept anything higher than 5.5%. (8)   Sharp Drop in Single-Family Permits   There's been a steep drop in the number of building permits pulled for single-family homes. The National Association of Home Buliders says the they are down more than 34% year-over-year with the sharpest decrease in the West followed by the South and the Midwest. They are down about 44%, 33%, and 31% respectively. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 23%. (9)   Multifamily permits are up slightly for the nation with a year-over-year rate of just over 8%. There's been a steep drop in the Northeast for apartments while they have surged to almost 32% in the South.   Texas had the highest number of single-family permits, but those have dropped more than 40% in the last 12 months. Florida and North Carolina have also experienced big declines of just over 31% and 22% respectively.   That's it for today. You'll find more on all these topics by following links in the show notes at You can also learn more about how demand is growing for single-family rentals at our website and where it makes sense to buy them. Hit the “Join for Free” button to become a member with access to all parts of our website. And  please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   ​​7 -   8 -   9 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Job Markets Soften, Single-Family Rent Yields, Top Home Price Growth Metros

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2023 7:56

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending April 8th, 2023... reports show a slowly weakening job market, what could be a great year for single-family rentals, and a list of the top metros for home value growth and stability.    Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week. Although the job market remains strong, the latest reports show it is softening. For the week of March 25th, jobless claims hit 228,000. It's the ninth week in a row that they've topped 200,000. They had bottomed out last fall when they dropped to a 53-year low of 182,000. They continued around the 200,000 level for several months and have been slowly rising since February. Government revisions also show that claims during the first part of the year were higher than previously reported. MarketWatch economists say that's probably due to corporate layoffs that are just now showing up in the jobless data. (1)   Job openings are also declining. They fell to a 21-month low in February, which is another sign that the job market is softening. Listings dropped from 10.6 million in January to 9.9 million in February. Openings are now down to about 1.7 openings for each unemployed worker. They were at 1.9 openings or each unemployed worker previously. Bill Adams of Comerica told MarketWatch: “The labor market is still very hot but the big drop in job openings is a sign the labor market is cooling in general.” (2)   A third report on job growth shows that U.S. companies added 236,000 new jobs in March. That's a sign of strength and resiliency, and probably not what the Fed would like to hear. Those new jobs helped lower the unemployment rate from 3.6% to 3.5%. Wage growth was slower however. It's come down from 4.6% in February to 4.2% in March. (3)   A report on construction spending shows it was down slightly in February. The Commerce Department says it fell .1% to $1.844 trillion. Single-family construction spending was down 1.8% while multi-family spending was up 1.4%. Year-over-year, multifamily is up 22.2%. Single-family is up 21.4%. (4)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates dipped slightly this last week. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down 4 basis points to 6.28%. The 15-year was down 8 points to 5.64%. (5)   In other news making headlines…   Single-Family Rental Market Remains Strong   Some parts of the housing market may be in for a rough ride this year, but the single-family rental market isn't one of them. A new report from Attom projected single-family rental yields for 212 counties with a population of at least 100,000. Rental yields are calculated by dividing the annualized gross rent by the purchase price. According to Attom, rentals in those 212 counties will see a 7.5% yield this year. That's up from 6.7% last year. (6)   Attom says that SFR rents are growing in over 90 of the counties analyzed, so those counties will be the most desirable. Three of the top five counties for the biggest upside in rent yields are in Florida including counties for Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. California's Orange and Santa Clara counties are the other two. There's a lot of data in this report so it's worth digging deeper if you're deciding where to buy a rental property this year. You'll find a link to the report in the show notes.   Texas Shows Strength for Overall Housing Market   Another report on the U.S. housing market lists the top 20 cities for growth and stability, and 12 of them are in Texas. The Smart Asset study compared home value data for 400 metros between 1998 and 2022. It then calculated the growth rate from that data. (7)   The Austin, Texas, area was In the number one spot for growth and stability followed by Midland, Texas, in the Western part of the state. Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado, took the third and fourth spots. The Kennewick-Richland part of Washington State was fifth. Rapid City South Dakota took the sixth position. Then it's back to Texas with the Odessa area in West Texas as seventh and the Dallas area as eighth. San Antonio was in the ninth spot, and Houston right after that. Texas also dominated the next ten top cities as well with six more metros showing the strongest growth and stability.   The report also shows the worst cities for growth and stability with Flint Michigan topping that list. I won't list those cities, but you'll find a link to the report in the show notes.   Will Commercial Real Estate Go Belly Up?   While there has been a lot of concern that commercial real estate is going to implode because of maturing debt and the inability to refinance at high interest rate, CNBC published a story with the title: “The coming commercial real estate crash that may never happen.” This story argues that only a quarter of office-building loans will need to be refinanced in the next year.  A quarter of office-buildings? That sounds like a LOT to me.  CNBC also reports that industrial, retail, and hotels are on solid ground. (8) Kevin Fagan of Moody's Analytics says: “There likely will be issues but it's more of a typical down cycle.” Whether it's a typical down cycle or a rare one, losing money is never good for investors and is usually a result of aggressive underwriting in a bull market. According to The RealDeal, distress has started to rear its ugly head in the Houston market. Arbor Realty Trust just foreclosed last week on four low-income multifamily properties in Houston, valued at $229 million. The portfolio includes Heights at Post Oak, Redford Apartments, Reserve at Westwood and Timber Ridge Apartments, all of which were purchased between August 2021 and April 2022. (10) The RealDeal says Arbor's foreclosure is "indicative of the current state of the market, where higher interest rates, regional banking turmoil, and slowing rent growth continue to negatively impact multifamily operators. Investors decreased their purchase of apartment buildings by about $40 billion in the first quarter of 2023, representing a 74% decline in sales from the first quarter of last year, according to CoStar Group.   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links at As always, I ask that you sign up as a RealWealth member. It's free and will give you complete access to our market data and resources. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 - 10 -

    Trouble for CRE Or Media Clickbait & Investor Opportunities?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2023 4:21

    Commercial real estate is feeling the impact of high interest rates, slower rent growth, and the banking turmoil, but is that asset class really set to implode? Many of the headlines you see today would lead you to believe that that's going to happen but some real estate insiders say: “Not so fast. We could be in for a buying opportunity.”   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   First, let's take a look at what's happening with apartment sales. Commercial real estate data company CoStar just released a preliminary report on first quarter sales that shows a 74% year-over-year drop. That's the biggest slowdown since 2012 except for the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic shut down the economy. From the start of the year to March 17th, sales were around $10.6 trillion. If the quarter finished with another $2.8 billion in sales, the total would be equal to the second quarter of 2020. (1)   Apartment Sale Slowdowns   In 2020, apartment sales fell because of the pandemic. Now, sales are slowing down because the Fed has been pushing up interest rates to fight inflation and investors can't make the numbers work. Alex Horn of CoStar News says: “The value of multifamily assets across the United States has started to decline” over the last six months. And he expects valuations to fall further.    As dour as that sounds, CoStar reports that multifamily sales are doing better than other kinds of commercial real estate, such as office and industrial. CoStar's Jay Lybik says that multifamily is “still the preferred sector to invest in.” But this kind of data is looking at a “national” snapshot, which doesn't say much about the submarkets, and places where things aren't quite so bad.   The Basic Tenets of Real Estate    Eric Brody of ANAX Ventures is one of those optimists. ANAX is a real estate developer and lender that provides funding to distressed real estate projects. Brody spoke with Benzinga about the current situation and said: “What are the basic tenets of real estate? Location, location, location and hyper-local markets. Now you have the mainstream media making projections based on a macro scale.” He says that the media should be asking about what asset class in which market and how they structured the deal. (2)   He also objects to stories about a big slowdown in construction that's impacting values. According to Brody, you don't count a half built building as worth only half of it's value. He says the values are still there and there's “a lot of stuff under construction right now.”   Maturing Debt Creates Investor Opportunities   In December, he forecast big buying opportunities in commercial real estate because of all the debt that's maturing. He told that a report by Newmark shows “over $1 trillion in loans are coming due in the next two years, and due to rising interest rates, it is expected that repayment conditions will become more challenging, with bridge financing, office, and retail loans being the most at risk.” He said: “In addition to the rising rates because of increased construction costs, rent growth, and political headwinds, real estate will need an infusion of capital to either refinance assets at a lower rate, pay down existing debt, or complete current projects.” (3)   But what does that mean for investors with capital? Brody told Benzinga that this creates an opportunistic environment for investors with cash on hand. He says: “It's an incredible moment in time if you have the capital and the expertise.”   That's it for a more positive view of the commercial real estate market. You'll find links to the stories I mentioned at You can also join RealWealth for free while you are there, if you haven't already done so. As a member, you have full access to our website, with data on individual rental markets, sample properties, and experienced investment counselors who can answer questions for qualified investors.   If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, please do so! And leave us a review!   Thank you! And thanks for listening, Kathy   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -

    New Ban on Single-Family Zoning in D.C. Metro

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2023 4:57

    Demand for badly needed housing has triggered another ban on single-family zoning. Lawmakers in Arlington County, Virginia, approved a controversial plan to eliminate single-family exclusivity, and allow as many as six homes on one property. The decision came after a contentious three-year debate, and is part of a growing trend to dismantle the long-standing concept for single-family communities.    Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   The policy was unanimously approved by a five-member county board after a battle that included a so-called “Missing Middle Housing Study.” The missing middle is a phrase that refers to housing that falls between apartments and single-family homes. It covers several kinds of housing including townhomes, duplexes, and triplexes with more space than apartments. It could also include backyard cottages or in-law units which are more officially known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs.   Divisive Debate Over Single-Family Zoning Ban   As reported by the Washington Post, some Arlington County residents supported the idea, saying a ban on exclusive single-family neighborhoods would increase affordable housing options and diversify their communities. Other residents argued that it would lead to overcrowding, lower property values, and the destruction of their lifestyle and neighborhoods. (1)   Arlington County is a desirable part of the greater Washington, D.C. metro with a growing population and a growing demand for more housing. The county's board chair, Christian Dorsey, said the ban will help the county address population growth, and move past the “discriminatory noise” within zoning rules.   He says: “Growth and change are not good or bad, they just are.” And, he says: “It's our responsibility to make sure we accommodate that – to make sure that it works well for as many people as it possibly can.”   New Rules Among the Most Permissive in the Country   The new rules are some of the most permissive in the country. Contractors will be allowed to put up to five or six homes on lots that range in size from 6 to 7,000 square feet. Smaller lots will have a limit of 4 units. Height, lot coverage, floor area, and setbacks will remain the same.    According to Wikipedia, single-family zoning has been around since 1916, and began in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley, California. The story goes that a real estate developer in the Elmwood district pushed for single-family zoning rules to prevent a dance company owned by a Black resident from moving into homes that he was trying to sell. He apparently pushed for single-family zoning with the help of other developers who were also trying to keep certain groups of people out of the neighborhood.   Growing Opposition to Single-Family Zoning   More than one hundred years later, the concept is now wavering under the weight of the housing crisis, and the idea of banning this kind of exclusive zoning is gaining momentum across the country. According to BisNow, at least three states and eight municipalities have passed bans on single-family-only zoning.   The city of Minneapolis was the first to implement a ban in 2018. The state of Oregon followed in 2019. Several cities in California banned that kind of zoning, but state lawmakers approved a bill in 2019 called Senate Bill 9. That legislation makes it legal to have two units on a single-family property, and in some cases, four units.   The state of Maine adopted a ban last year. The Washington State House of Representatives just recently passed a bill that would ban single-family zoning statewide, but it still needs approval from the state senate and the governor. (2)   The policy in Arlington, Virginia, goes into effect on July 1st and will be phased in over five years. During those first five years, only 58 permits a year will be approved. The cap will be lifted in 2028.   This kind of ban opens up opportunities for homeowners to be coincidental landlords if they build additional housing on their properties, and rent them out. You'll find links to the Washington Post story in the show notes at   Please remember to join RealWealth by clicking on the “join for free” button. As a member, you'll have greater access to investing opportunities in desirable rental markets across the country. That includes our investor portal, our market data, and our experienced investment counselors. You can also find out more about our spring real estate tours in metros that are popular among single-family rental investors, and our mastermind events to help get you on the path to long-term wealth.   If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, please do so! And leave us a review!   Thank you! And thanks for listening, Kathy Show Notes link:   Join link:   Subscribe link:   Links:   1 -   2 -  

    The Real Estate News Brief: PCE Shows Weaker Inflation, Best Markets for SFR Returns, Savings Gap Grows for Apartment Renters

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 3, 2023 6:19

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending April 1st, 2023… new PCE numbers show inflation is weakening, where investors are reaping the biggest returns for single-family rentals, and how much apartment renters are saving if they don't buy.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week, and a favorable report on inflation. The Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report on the February Personal Consumption Index, or PCE, and it shows a mild .3% increase. That's down from a .6% increase in January, and suggests that the Fed may be getting the upper hand on high prices. With this report, the yearly rate dropped from 5.3% to 5%, which is the lowest it's been in more than a year and a half. (1)   Senior Federal Reserve officials are suggesting that another quarter point rate hike is still needed, before they call for a pause. That would be decided at the Fed's next meeting in May as Fed officials also weigh the risk of further interest rate hikes on the banking system.   The government revised their Q4 GDP for a third time. It was initially 2.9%. Last month, it was lowered to 2.7%. The government is now saying it was 2.6%. As MarketWatch reported, the GDP was reduced because data shows weaker consumer spending, and a decline in corporate profits. (2)   The weekly jobless report shows 198,000 people applied for benefits. That's a three-week high, but it's still a very low number and indicates that the labor market remains strong in the face of high-interest rates and a potential recession. (3)   Reports on housing include the latest Case-Shiller home price report. The national index fell .2% in January, while the 20-city index was down .4%. Year-over-year home prices are still 2.5% higher, but that's down from 4.6% last month. (4)   Home buyers seem to be warming up to the idea of higher mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors reports that pending sales were up for a third month in a row. They rose .8% in February. That's after a huge 8.1% surge in January. If you compare the numbers to one year ago, they are down 21.1%. (5)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates didn't move much in the last week, but they remain at a lower level than recent highs. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down one point to 6.32%, which is essentially the same as the previous week. The 15-year dropped 12 points to 5.56%. (6)   In other news making headlines…   More Sellers Sitting on the Sidelines   While it seems the spring buying season is producing a surge in buyers, and mortgage rates have come down slightly, sellers are still in a wait-and-see mode. says that new listings fell again in March, and are down 20% compared to a year ago. The active inventory is about 60% higher year-over-year, but that's because homes are taking longer to sell. says that homes are now sitting on the market for an average of 54 days. That's up from an average of 36 days last spring. Chief economist, Danielle Hale, says shoppers are very sensitive to mortgage rates and they “only jump back in the market when rates dip.” She says rates will play a big role in whether the housing market “bumps along or picks up speed this year.”   Best Counties for Single-Family Rentals   If you're trying to decide where you might get the best returns for a single-family rental, real estate data firm ATTOM just issued its Q1 2023 Single-Family Rental Market report. ATTOM analyzed 212 U.S. counties with a population of at least 100,000.    The report shows the overall single-family rental yield increasing from last year in 91% of those counties. It was 6.7% last year, and rises to 7.5% this year. Rents are rising faster than home prices in many counties. CEO, Rob Barber says: “Rents for single-family homes are growing while prices have flattened out, which has helped boost yields for landlords for the first time in at least several years.”   Three of the top five counties for rental returns are in Florida, including River County, Florida, in the Sebastian-Vero Beach area; Collier County, Florida, in the Naples area; and Charlotte County, Florida, in the Punta Gorda area. A few other counties with high rental yields include Chicago's Cook County, Cleveland's Cuyahoga County, and West Palm Beach's Palm Beach County.    Looking at the top 50 counties for rental returns: 29 are in the South, 13 are in the Midwest, eight are in the Northeast, and none are in the West.   Big Savings for Apartment Renters   The savings gap is growing for people who rent an apartment instead of buying a home. The National Multifamily Housing Council says it's now more than $1,000 dollars more expensive per month to buy a home than it is to rent an apartment – $1,176 to be exact. That's the widest gap in 15 years. (9)   Apartment rent growth has been slowing. It was only up 2.6% in March and is now back to pre-pandemic levels. Vacancies are also returning to normal levels. They are currently at 6.6%. That's up from 6.4% in February. (10)   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links at You'll also find market data at our website, along with investing education and opportunities. You need to become a member to access some of our information, but it's free to join and will only take a few minutes.    We also ask that our listeners subscribe to the podcast, if you haven't done so already. And if you have a minute, please leave us a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -   10 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Fed's Latest Rate Hike, The Impact on Banks, Tenant Migration Destinations

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2023 6:23

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending March 25th, 2023... the Fed's latest rate hike, the impact of high rates on banks, and the top states for tenant migrations.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week. The Federal Reserve hiked the short-term rate once again by a quarter point. The benchmark rate is now 4.75% to 5%. There had been speculation that we'd see a half point rate hike because inflation hasn't been coming down fast enough, but the failure of Silicon Valley Bank forced the central bank to be more cautious. (1)   Fed Chief Jerome Powell said he was surprised at how quickly Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and even admitted that committee members considered a pause in rate hikes. Federal Reserve data shows that almost $100 billion were pulled from accounts during the week that ended March 15th. Most of that money came from small banks, while larger banks saw more of an inflow.   Although depositors have been yanking money from smaller banks, Powell says the deposit drain from small banks has slowed down and the U.S. banking system is “sound and resilient.” He says the Fed set up a powerful backstop for banks, allowing them to tap into an emergency loan program. (2)   It's important to remember that FDIC-insured banks will guarantee deposits up to $250,000 and $500,000 for couples. If you have more than those amounts, you can protect yourself by keeping the maximum-insured amounts at different banks.   Moving on to the job market… The weekly unemployment report shows another drop in claims for new benefits. Those applications declined to a three-week low of 191,000. That indicates that companies are not laying off employees in any great numbers, and that higher interest rates have “not” hit the job market, yet. (3)   New home sales are up for a third month in a row, thanks to a dip in mortgage rates. They rose 1.1% to an annual rate of 640,000 in February. (4) And for the first time in 13 months, existing home sales were higher. According to the National Association of Realtors, they surged 14.5% last month to an annual rate of 4.58 million. NAR says the sale of single-family homes is the highest ever since the association began tracking those sales in 1999. As reported by MarketWatch, there's clearly a pent-up demand for homes as the spring home-buying season gets underway. (5)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates slid closer to the 6% level this last week. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down 18 basis points to 6.42%. The 15-year dropped 22 points to 5.68%. (6)   In other news making headlines...   Small Bank Impact on Real Estate   Pressure on small banks could make it harder to get a real estate loan. According to Goldman Sachs, there are about 4,800 small and mid-sized banks in the U.S. and they are often the go-to lenders for real estate loans, including a high percentage of construction loans. These smaller banks are responsible for 67% of commercial real estate loans and 37% of all residential real estate loans. (7)   As reported by Axios, small banks had already started tightening their lending standards by the end of last year, but now economists are expecting more tightening. CoStar says about 40% of loan officers had tightened their lending standards for commercial real estate loans by Q4 of last year. Only about 5% said they were doing that in Q4 of 2021.   Commercial real estate could face the biggest impact as property owners deal with low-interest loans that are maturing, and a whole lot of half-empty office space. Those loans will need to be renegotiated at higher rates, making it tough on property owners and their lenders loans become unaffordable.   Study: 190 Small Banks Could Collapse   One study projects the failure of 190 smaller banks if depositors decide to withdraw even half their uninsured amounts. The study was done by social Science Research Network and published in USA Today. (8)   The report did not list the at-risk banks but described them as smaller banks with a total of $300 million in FDIC-insured deposits. They are at risk because the value of long-term investments, like government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, has gone down. Economists say if those values decline further, more of those smaller banks could be at risk. Spring Tenant Migration   It isn't just the beginning of the spring home-buying season. Real estate insiders are expecting a huge number of renter migrations as well, and many of those renters are looking for homes in new cities. A study by Apartment List shows that 40% of tenants searched in a new metro last year, while 27% searched in a new state… and that many are considering long distance moves. (9)   Apartment List says those long-distance moves tend to be more common among high-income renters, and that many of them are coming from California and New York. Those two states each lost about a half a million residents from 2020 to 2022. Top destinations for ex-Californians are Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Washington, and Florida, while New Yorkers are heading for Florida, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links at, and make sure you hit the “Join for Free” button for complete access to our market data and resources for real estate investing opportunities.   It's also important to subscribe to our podcast, and we'd love a review if you haven't left one yet!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -

    Fed Hikes Rates Despite Bank Turmoil

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2023 5:24

    The Fed followed through on another rate hike despite the banking turmoil. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee raised the Federal Funds rate another quarter point on March 22nd. That brings the short term rate to a range of 4.75% to 5%.    Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   Fed Chief Jerome Powell said the collapse of two banks, and the near-collapse of a third, did force Fed officials to consider a pause in rate hikes. But he says they were persuaded to hike rates again because of stubbornly high inflation and a strong job market with strong wage growth. But Powell offered assurances that the central bank is prepared to protect the banking system. He also still believes there's a path to a soft landing. (1)   Powell says he expects the need for one more rate hike this year, while seven of the 18 Fed officials are forecasting two hikes. If the short-term rate is raised another quarter point, the end range would be 5% to 5.25%.    Fed Sees Higher End-of-the-Year PCE Percentage   The Fed previously thought Personal Consumption Expenditure index, or PCE, would end the year at 3.1%. It's now projecting a higher 3.3%, which is moving in the wrong direction from the central bank's 2% target.    In the meantime, the Fed also needs to make sure the financial system remains stable. There's fear that nervous depositors could pull more money out of regional banks, which are already under stress. Federal regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and are making sure depositors get all their money back despite the FDIC limit of $250,000. The Fed also worked with the FDIC, and the U.S. Treasury in the creation of a fund for banks that need to borrow money to cover deposits. As reported by Bisnow, banks withdrew a total of $300 billion during the first week.   Government Prepared to Prop Up Small Banks   Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also says the government is prepared to protect small banks from failures, but much of this stability depends on the confidence of depositors. Archie brown of Cincinnati-based First Financial Bank told Bisnow: “The main thing is to make sure that the Fed is instilling confidence in the deposit base. As long as we do that, I think everything else will manage itself.”   The San Francisco-based First Republic had teetered toward failure with a $70 billion run on deposits, which is about half of its total. The bank received an infusion of cash from eleven large banks and the federal government to keep it from toppling. But the experts are still worried about smaller regional banks which is where a lot of commercial real estate investors get their loans. According to an article in Axios, small and mid-sized banks hold 67% of commercial real estate loans, and 37% of residential real estate loans. (3)   Small Banks Could Reduce Real Estate Exposure   Brad Kraus of the CRE financial consulting first Ascension said in an email to Bisnow: “If banks do end up struggling, the first thing we see here on the front lines is a reduction in their real estate exposure.” He said: “If things get worse, they simply start quoting rates which guarantee profitability, thus effectively pricing themselves out of the market.” (4)   Higher rates will push commercial real estate values lower. Keiran says: “Those looking to sell anytime soon, especially those owners that are facing loan maturities, will have to offer their deals at higher cap rates to attract buyers.” According to the Wall Street Journal, as much as $270 billion in commercial mortgages will mature this year.    As these loans mature Keiran expects to see a “major value adjustment” for commercial properties especially if we sink into a recession. Banks are also likely to cut back on lending as a way to preserve capital, especially if they expect the Fed to keep hiking rates.   That's it for now. You'll find links in the show notes at Please remember to join RealWealth. It's free to join and gives you an all-area pass to our website. That includes our investor portal, our market data, and our experienced investment counselors. You can also find out more about our mastermind events, and our real estate tours in markets that are popular among single-family rental investors.   Please remember to subscribe to the podcast, and leave us a review!   Thanks for listening, Kathy Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Encouraging Inflation Reports, Skittish U.S. Buyers, Foreign Buyers - Eager!

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2023 6:27

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending March 18th, 2023… the latest reports on inflation, why homebuilders blame the media for skittish homebuyers, and what international buyers think about the U.S. real estate market.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with the latest economic news from this past week, and what a week it's been. The banking crisis continues to underscore the impact that interest rate hikes can have on the economy. Economists are now predicting that the Fed may only raise rates a quarter point when it meets in the coming week, instead of the previously anticipated half point rate hike. (1)   The latest inflation reports are also encouraging. The Consumer Price Index was up .4% in February. That's after a .5% increase in January. The lower rate of inflation brings the annual rate down to 6% from 6.4%, which is still high, but receding. The CPI's core rate was a bit higher. It was up .5% on a monthly basis with an annual rate that is now at 5.5%. The core rate doesn't include prices for food or gas. (2)   The Producer Price Index was also down an unexpected .1% in February. Economists had expected a .3% gain. The decrease brought the annual rate down to 4.6% which is substantially below the January reading of 5.7%. Most of the decline was due to a steep drop in egg prices. They came down more than 36%. The Fed will be paying attention to both those reports at the upcoming meeting, along with the risk to banks that rate hikes are causing. (3)   The job market continues to show strength. Jobless claims tumbled to 192,000 last week. That's down from 212,000 the week before. The report suggests that companies are not laying off many workers, despite the tough economy. (4)   The government also reported good news about home construction. Housing starts were up almost 10% in February. Economists had estimated a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.31 million, but the report shows 1.45 million. It's the first time in six months that new home construction is higher. Building permit applications also surged higher by almost 14% indicating more new homes are in the pipeline. They are now up to 1.52 million, while economists had forecast 1.34 million. (5)   Builders are also showing more confidence. The National Association of Home Builders reports that its home-builder confidence index is up for a third month in a row. The reading is now up to 44 which is still below the midway point of 50. It was at 79 last year at this time. The NAHB says that home buyers are still wrestling with high prices and a tight inventory while builders are dealing with tight credit and a dwindling number of buildable lots. (6)   Mortgage Rates   After several weeks of slowly rising mortgage rates, they reversed course after the bank failures. That's due to investors shifting money to safer assets such as Treasury notes and bonds. When that happens, Treasury yields fall along with mortgage rates which tend to follow those yields. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down 13 basis points to 6.6%. The 15-year was down 5 points to 5.9%. (7)   In other news making headlines…   Homebuilders Blame the Media for Buyer Fears   Homebuilders are blaming the media for headlines that are scaring off home buyers. The NAHB says that almost 80% of home builders believe this. Last year, it was only 55%.   The issue is that most reports about the real estate market provide information on the entire U.S. But the nation is made up of hundreds of smaller real estate markets, and while some are seeing a pullback, others are doing quite well. Also, many buyers may not understand that a recent dip in home sales is part of a return to normal after a pandemic-related home-buying frenzy while interest rates were still super low.   Last November, a Lending Tree survey showed that 41% of consumers believed we're headed for a housing market crash within the next year. While many consumers are worried about a repeat of the 2008 housing market crash, economists have offered many reasons why that won't happen in today's environment.    Chief economist for Nest Seekers International, Erin Sykes, says: “We're now in a more balanced, health housing market.” And that's the headline she'd like home buyers to pay attention to.   Foreign Buyers Rank U.S. Housing Market as “Excellent”   International buyers have a much healthier opinion about the U.S. housing market than domestic buyers. According to a survey by Global Luxury Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 80% of the participants call U.S. real estate a “safe investment.” The majority also rank U.S. real estate as either excellent or good. Contrast that with the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index which shows 79% of consumers saying it's a bad time to buy a home.    Liz Gehringer of Coldwell Banker Affiliate Business says for the international buyer, the dream of homeownership is alive and well, although she says that international buyers also tend to buy in cash. She says: “Affluent buyers are flocking to diverse U.S. locations to enhance their portfolio diversification, with many opportunities for growth, investment and building long-term wealth.”   The top international buyers are coming from China, Canada, India, and Mexico. Most are buying properties in Florida, California, and Texas.    That's it for today. You can find out how to diversify your portfolio by joining RealWealth at It's free to join, and free to access all our data and resources. You can check the show notes for links and please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   ​​2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -

    Inflation Cools Slightly as Fed Meeting Draws Near

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2023 4:51

    Just out, the Consumer Price Index for February and it shows that inflation cooled slightly for the month. Government figures show it rose .4% which brings the annual inflation rate down to 6%. It was 6.4% last month.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review.   The report on the CPI also shows a .5% rise in the core rate of inflation, which omits volatile pricing for food and energy. That's slightly higher than a .4% estimate for the core rate, but the annual core rate of 5.5% was inline with expectations.    Economists Expect Soften Fed Policy   Overall, inflation went down in February, but likely not enough to prevent another rate hike when the Federal Reserve meets next week. Economists expect the banking turmoil to soften the Fed's stance however.   The head of Evercore ISI's global policy and central bank strategy, Krishna Guha, told CNBC: “While only moderately higher than consensus, in the pre-SVB crisis world this may well have pushed the Fed to hike 50 basis points at its March meeting next week. It is a sign of how much things have changed in the very near term that 50 basis points is almost certainly off the table for March.”   Economists started predicting a 50 basis point rate hike after hawkish comments by Fed Chief Jerome Powell when he testified before two congressional committees. During two days of testimony, Powell said that interest rates will probably be “higher than previously anticipated.”    After the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and two other banks, economists now expect the Fed to back off a bit, but not completely. Jeffrey Roach, who's the chief U.S. economist at LPL Financial told CNBC: “Even amid current banking scares, the Fed will still prioritize price stability over growth and likely hike rates by .25% at the upcoming meeting.   Inflation Rate Varies from Sector to Sector   When you break the report down into sectors, you see that lower energy prices helped bring the overall rate down. Energy prices were down .6% in February, to an annual rate of 5.2%. Food prices were up .4% although egg prices tumbled. They were down 6.7% but are still up 55.4% on a year-over-year  basis.   Shelter costs were .8% higher which brought the annual rise in shelter prices to 8.1%. Shelter costs make up about one third of the CPI, but fed officials expect those costs, including rent growth, to slow down throughout the year.   As Bright MLS chief economist, Lisa Sturtevant, told CNBC: “Housing costs are a key driver of the inflation figures, but they are also a lagging indicator. It typically takes six months for new rent data to be reflected in the CPI.” She says the fact that the data is six months old means that inflation levels are not accurately reflecting current rates of inflation.    Moody's: Six Banks at Higher Risk of Failure   Fed officials will be taking this report into consideration at their meeting, along with other newly released economic data and the risk to the banking system. Moody's released a list of six banks that it considered at higher risk of failure because of the current economic environment. Those banks include: First Republic Bank, Zions, Western Alliance, Comerica, UMB Financial and Intrust Financial. (2)   Economist Gus Faucher of PNC Financial Services told MarketWatch: “What was a tricky task for the Fed, raising rates by enough to cool off inflation, but not by too much as to push the economy into recession, has gotten even more difficult with the recent bank failures.” (3)   Check the show notes at for links to our sources. I also encourage you to join RealWealth for free. When you become a member, you have access to more than just the Learning Center. You'll be able to log in to the Investor Portal where you'll find data on some of the best rental markets in the country, along with sample properties for sale to investors. Members also have access to our experienced investment counselors, and our list of property teams and other real estate professionals that can help put you on the path to financial freedom.   Thanks for listening, Kathy Fettke   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Collapse of Three Banks & the Fed's Likely Reaction, 1031 Exchange Under Fire

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2023 7:02

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending March 11th, 2023 and beyond… the collapse of three banks in one week, how this might change the Fed's decision on a rate hike, and a new attempt to kill the 1031 exchange.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin the latest economic reports and the failure of a huge bank in Silicon Valley. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank happened in just 48 hours, after a $42 billion bank run. It's now the second biggest bank collapse in U.S. history after the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008.    The crisis began when the bank said it needed to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its balance sheet, but that spooked investors which include some of the biggest tech companies and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Withdrawals happened so rapidly that the company was forced to sell all of its available-for-sale bonds at a $1.8 billion loss. At the end of the two-day run, the bank had a negative cash balance of $958 million. (1)   Fintech investor Ryan Falvey of Restive Ventures told CNBC: “This was a hysteria-induced bank run caused by venture capitalists. This is going to go down as one of the ultimate cases of an industry cutting its nose off to spite its face.”   The root cause of the collapse goes deeper however, into the lap of the Federal Reserve and its fight against inflation. As the Fed hiked rates, many of the startups withdrew funds to keep their businesses afloat. That led to a funding shortfall at the bank, and the need to sell those bonds at a loss.    The government is trying to prevent further damage to the economy by taking control of SVB and promising to make good on all deposits including deposits worth more than the FDIC-insured $250,000 maximum. The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and FDIC said in a joint statement: “This step will ensure that the U.S. banking system continues to perform its vital roles of protecting deposits and providing access to credit to households and businesses in a manner that promotes strong and sustainable economic growth.” (2)   Regulators are also dealing with two other bank failures. They have taken control of crypto-friendly Signature, which has a sizable commercial real estate loan portfolio. They are also promising that customers will have full access to their deposits, beyond the $250,000 FDIC insured amount. (3) It's a different story for crypto-friendly Silvergate which has also failed. That bank started to go downhill after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX last year. At this point, the bank has now announced that is will shut down and liquidate assets to meet its obligations with depositors. (4)   Economists say the banking failures point to what some now expect to be a “hard landing” for the economy, or at least harder than the wished-for “soft landing.” While they were recently forecasting as much as a half point rate hike at the Fed's next meeting, there's now talk that the Fed will have to back off. CNBC reports that the probability of a quarter point rate hike rose above 70% at one point last Friday. But the Fed will also be considering new economic data including a report on February's Consumer Price Index. (5)   Moving on to the job market. Initial claims for unemployment jumped to 211,000 last week. That's the highest since Christmas, but most of those lay-offs were in New York, so they may not indicate a national increase. Meanwhile, continuing claims were up 69,000 to a total of 1.72 million. (6)   As for job growth, the government says that companies created a robust 311,000 new jobs in February. That's less than the 500,000 jobs created in January, but more than Wall Street analysts had forecasted. The unemployment rate did rise slightly to 3.6% and job openings have come down somewhat, to 10.8 million. In December, there were 11.2 million open positions and a record 12 million earlier in 2022. (7) (8)   Mortgage Rates   Checking in on mortgage rates… Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up 8 basis points this last week, to 6.73%. The 15-year was up 6 points to 5.95%. (9)   In other news making headlines…   Another Whack at the 1031 Exchange   President Biden is taking another whack at the 1031 exchange. His budget proposal suggests that by eliminating 1031s, the government would collect an additional $19 billion. The 1031 gives real estate investors a way to transfer equity from one investment property to another similar property without triggering a taxable event. But it would only defer the tax obligation, not eliminate it. (10)   The White House is calling it a “sweetheart deal” for real estate investors, but it's also a shot in the arm for the economy, when investors can reinvest without taking an immediate tax hit. Let's say you own a property that has increased in value, and you'd like to sell that property so you can buy a similar property elsewhere. If you have a huge tax bill, you wouldn't have enough money to do that, which might discourage you from selling in the first place. The 1031 allows for movement within the real estate industry, and a tax bill that comes due when the investor eventually sells without reinvesting.    Biden's budget proposal also seeks to eliminate the carried-interest tax break. It says the loophole allows “wealthy investment managers to pay a 20% rate on the pay they receive for managing fund assets, instead of the 37% rate that comparable wage earners pay.” And that by closing this loophole, the government would save $6 billion dollars.    That's it for today. Check the show notes for links. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   If you'd like to learn more about how to invest in real estate and the benefits of a 1031 exchange, go to You can join RealWealth for free and have access to our Learning Center and our Investor Portal. That's at   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -   10 -

    CPI vs PCE to Create Inflation Confusion

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2023 4:31

    The Fed may have a difficult time determining its progress against inflation later this year, as the two biggest inflation indicators contradict each other. The Federal Reserve prefers the Personal Consumption Expenditures index or PCE as a basis for its 2% inflation target. But due to the differences between the PCE and the Consumer Price Index or CPI, they might reverse their roles and cause confusion.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please don't forget to subscribe to our podcast, and leave us a five-star review if you like what you hear!   The CPI is more closely watched by average Americans, and it's been the one to show the highest level of inflation. But according to an analysis in the Wall Street Journal, as inflation subsides, it could drop below the PCE, making it difficult for the Fed to explain rate hikes based on the PCE. (1)   Difference Between the CPI and the PCE Indexes   Economists are betting that the CPI will fall to 2.6% in October while the PCE will drop to about 2.8%. Barclays inflation expert, Michael Pond, says: “That will leave market participants looking at low inflation while the Fed looks at a measure that tells them they need to continue to be quite hawkish.”    The two indexes perform differently because they place different amounts of emphasis on various components of the economy. For example, housing makes up 33% of the CPI which is more than twice the size of the housing component in the PCE. Shelter inflation is rising about 8% per year right now in both indexes, so the strength in housing in pushing the CPI higher. As the Journal reports, it contributed 2.5 percentage points to the CPI's January reading of 6.4% while it only contributed 1.2 percentage points to the PCE's January report.   Piper Sandler economist Jake Oubina expected CPI shelter inflation to fall from 8.1% in March to 5.5% in December. If that happens it will weigh more heavily on the CPI, bringing the total amount of inflation down by a larger percentage than the PCE.    Economists also believe that medical care costs will play a role in this disconnect between the CPI and PCE. Those costs are expected to rise this year. They make up 16% of the PCE and just under 7% of the CPI. If they do go higher, that will put more pressure on the PCE than it does on the CPI.    There's also concern that energy costs will help invert these two indicators because they make up 6.9% of the CPI and just 4% of the PCE. If energy costs keep falling, that will exert more deflationary pressure on the CPI.    CPI Could Drop Lower than the PCE   City economist Veronica Clark told the Journal that a combination of the factors could bring the CPI down to 3.2% by June while the PCE is closer to 3.6%. She expects the gap to be even bigger for core inflation. She says: “For the Fed, the message could be kind of tricky. They target PCE, technically, so as long as the PCE remains high, they can't declare victory.”    You'll find a link to the Wall Street Journal article in the show notes at We also invite you to become a RealWealth member. It's free and will give you full access to all our real estate data and resources, including property tours in several markets over the next few months. You'll find information on those tours inside the Realty Portal on our website. I would also like to remind everyone to please subscribe to the podcast if you haven't done so already and leave a review!   Thanks for listening, Kathy Fettke   Links:   1 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Testimony from the Fed Chief, Home Price Forecast, Rent Growth Rebound

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2023 6:42

    In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending March 4th, 2023... the Fed Chief's testimony before Congress for the current week along with a forecast on home prices and what national rent growth is doing for single family homes and multi-families.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with comments from Fed Chief Jerome Powell about the central bank's fight against inflation. He spoke before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee on March 7th and 8th. Bloomberg reports that he softened his tone slightly on the second day, saying that Fed officials will wait for new data on Jobs and inflation before they decide on the size of a rate hike when they meet later this month. He did say the rates will likely go higher than previously anticipated, but that depends on the new data and whether it indicates that the economy is still running hot. (1)   Recent economic data shows strong job growth and inflation that seems to be ticking higher, instead of lower. But the Fed will be getting February reports on jobs, inflation, and retail sales before the Fed's next meeting on March 21st and 22nd. Those reports will have a strong influence on the central bank's next move. Short-term rates are currently running between 4.5% and 4.75%. The Fed has penciled in a target range of 5% to 5.25%.    The weekly jobless report shows that initial unemployment claims were down again, for the seventh week in a row. They've been holding steady below 200,000, which is near a historic low. Last week, there were 192,000 new claims. Continuing claims also dropped. They were down 5,000 to 1.66 million. (2)   Pending home sales bumped higher in January. The National Association of Realtors says that contract signings for existing homes rose 8.1%. That's a big bump, and the highest since June of 2020. That follows a pull-back in home sales as mortgage rates pushed higher, and then came back down slightly. Unfortunately, they have been rising again so we may see a new lull in home sales. NAR expects an 11.1% drop in existing-home sales for 2023. (3)   Construction spending was down slightly in January. The government says it dropped .1%. Spending is up overall, at 5.7% for the past year. As for single-family construction, it was down 1.7% in January. (4)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates continue to move higher, as I mentioned. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up 15 basis points this last week, to 6.65%. The 15-year was up 13 points to 5.89%. (5) The Mortgage News Daily has the average pegged at 7.1% for the 30-year. The Daily's COO, Matthew Graham says: “Rates continue to move at the suggestion of economic data, and the data hasn't been friendly. This is scary considering this week's data is insignificant compared to several upcoming reports.” (6)   In other news making headlines…   Lower Home Prices in the Coming Months?   As mortgage rates hover in the 7% range, home prices will likely head lower in the coming months. According to Redfin, the typical U.S. home sold for just over $350,000 in February. That's down .6% from the previous year, and the first time prices have fallen since February 2012. But that's not making homes more affordable. The typical mortgage payment has hit a record high of $2,520. (7)   Redfin's Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr says: “Mortgage rates rising to the 7% range was the straw that broke the camel's back, dampening home buying demand and leading to sellers asking less for their homes.” He expects prices to come down a bit more in the months ahead, but he says: “First-time buyers hoping to score a major deal this year are likely out of luck… because so few homeowners are listing their homes for sale.”   When it comes to affordability, Redfin says that just 1 in 5 home listings were affordable last year. That's down from 2 in 5 in 2021. (8)   National Rent Growth Rebound   Multi-family rent growth did a u-turn in February, with the first positive number in several months. reports that after months of decline, it was up by .3% in February to a year-over-year increase of 3%. The research team says it's following a seasonal trend and shows that rental demand is rebounding. (9)   Single-family rent growth dropped by about 50% in December, but the latest report from CoreLogic shows that that annual rate is 6.4%. The report says that the average rent for a detached rental home had gone up about $300 a month over the past two years. And that markets in Florida, including Orlando and Miami have posted the highest gains. (10)   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!   You can also join RealWealth for free at If you're interested in learning more about real estate investing, please click on the Learn tab. When you become a member, you'll have full access to the site. That includes our market data, property teams, investment counselors, and a list of property tours that RealWealth is offering over the next few months.   Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 -   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 -   7 -   8 -   9 -   10 -

    U.S. Home Values Drop $2.3 Trillion But Some Markets Still Rising

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2023 4:28

    Home values have been coming down since they peaked in June of last year. A Redfin report shows the U.S. total went as high as $47.7 trillion before it dropped to $45.3 trillion in December. That's a 4.9% decline and the largest June-to-December percentage drop since 2008. The report also shows that home values in some markets are holding up well, with double-digit year-over-year gains.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. Please don't forget to subscribe to our podcast, and leave us a five-star review if you like what you hear!   According to Redfin, December year-over-year home values were still 6.5% higher nationally, but that's the smallest year-over-year increase since August of 2020. The analysis included data on 99 million U.S. residential properties in the top 100 metros for population. (1)   Fight Against Inflation Impacting Home Values   Property values started declining after what seemed like an unstoppable run-up in home values. Inflation really took off after all the government stimulus during the pandemic, and now the Fed is trying to slow things down with rate hikes. Although the higher short-term rates are not directly connected to mortgage rates, they do have an impact. And when mortgage rates rise, home prices fall.   The median U.S. home price hit a peak of $433,133 in May, and then dropped 11.5% to $383,249 in January. While that was happening, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 7.08% last November and has come down closer to the 6% level since then, but it's still more than two times what it was for years before that.   On the bright side, people who bought homes before or during the pandemic are still seeing gains. Redfin's Chen Zhao says: “The total value of U.S. homes remains roughly $13 trillion higher than it was in February 2020, the month before the coronavirusvwas declared a pandemic.”   Florida Home Value Holding Up Well   But one of the more interesting results of this analysis – it shows that home values in Florida and other Southeast metros are not only holding up well, but rising in many areas.   Redfin says the total value of homes in Miami were up 19.7% year-over-year in December. That's a huge annual increase.   North Port-Sarasota was second on the list of rising Florida home values with a 17.8% year-over-year increase. Knoxville, Tennessee, was next with a 17.7% increase. Charleston, South Carolina, follows with a 17.4% increase. And then we're back to Florida, where Lakeland was up 16.9%. When you look at the top ten metros for home value appreciation, six of them were in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.    Palm Beach Redfin agent, Elena Fleck, says: “Florida's housing market is being sustained by folks moving in from the North and as of recently, the West Coast.” She says that “people are pouring in from New Jersey and New York” thanks to Florida's affordability and the fact that Florida has no income tax.   Suburbs Are Doing Better than the Cities   The report also shows that home values are doing better in the suburbs than they are in the cities. That's the result of the remote worker exodus that continues although many companies are demanding that employees spend at least some time in the office.   The housing market that lost the highest percentage value in this recent decline is the San Francisco Bay Area. You might also expect to see declines In markets where there's a high risk of flooding or heat, but they've done better than other areas. Redfin says that suggests that climate dangers are not yet priced into home values.   You'll find a link to the Redfin report in the show notes for this episode at You can also join RealWealth at our website. It's free and easy to join for access to all our data on strong rental property markets. If you'd like to see some of these properties in person, please check out our tour page. We have several tours lined up over the next few months.   As always, I ask everyone to please subscribe to our podcast, and follow me on instagram @kathyfettke.    Thanks for listening! I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -

    The Real Estate News Brief: Inflation Flip-Flop, Investor Purchase Activity, Big Landlords Gobbling Up SFRs

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 1, 2023 6:19

    I n this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending February 25th, 2023... the latest disappointing report on inflation, a Q4 report on investor home-buying activity, and a new prediction for institutional ownership of single-family rentals.   Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.   Economic News   We begin with economic news from this past week and a report that inflation remains stubbornly high. According to the Personal Consumption Expenditures index or PCE, the cost of goods and services rose .6% in January. That's the largest increase since last summer, and raises the annual rate from 5.3% to 5.4%. The core rate, which excludes food and fuel, was also up .6% and raises the annual core rate of inflation from 4.6% to 4.7%. The disappointing results follow two other hot inflation reports for January. It's not clear if this is just a blip in the battle against inflation or a change of course, but it does suggest that the Federal Reserve may keep its foot on the rate hike gas pedal. (1)   The next meeting of the Federal Reserve Board is March 21st and 22nd, so a lot can happen between now and then. Fed officials raised the rate a quarter point during their February meeting to a range of 4.5 to 4.75%. The minutes show there's unanimous support for continued rate hikes although some Fed officials believe the economic risks have become more balanced and not just focused on inflation. A few members suggested the need for a half point rate hike to speed up the Fed's inflation-reducing strategy but it wasn't written into the minutes as an effort supported by all members. (2) (3)   Several of the regional Fed Presidents also spoke out last week, including Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester. She said last Friday that interest rates may need to move higher to curb inflation but she's still optimistic that it can be done without triggering a recession. (4)   And it's “so far so good” for the job market. U.S. jobless claims were lower last week by about 3,000 to a total of 192,000. That's below the forecast and a sign of strength for the job market. (5)   On to the housing market…   New home sales were up 7.2% in January thanks to strong sales in the South. They were up 17.1% in the Southern region and down everywhere else. The Northeast had the biggest drop of 19.4%. U.S. year-over-year sales are still down 19.4%. (6)   Existing home sales were also higher in the South and the West, but they were down overall by .7%. As reported by MarketWatch, the amount of sales activity was the lowest since October of 2010. Year-over-year, they were down 36.9%. (7)   Mortgage Rates   Mortgage rates floated higher last week. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was up 18 basis points to 6.5%. The 15-year was up 25 points to 5.76%. Freddie also said that as average rates rise, there may be a big difference in rates from lender to lender so it's best to shop around. (8)   In other news making headlines…   Real Estate Investor Activity Down Almost 50% in Q4   It isn't just retail home buyers who are sitting on the housing market sidelines. Many investors are too. A new Redfin report shows that investor home purchases were down 46% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, but the share of homes bought by investors is about the same. It slid from 19% to 18% for the year. (9)   Redfin says that investors had piled into the market in 2021 because of low mortgage rates and high demand for housing. But many are now waiting for rates and prices to come down. Florida agent Elena Fleck says: “A lot of investors are on hold because they still see home prices declining.” She says: “The investors who are in the market are selective and aggressive. Many of them are only offering around 60% of the asking price since it's so difficult to make a profit when flipping homes right now.”   Investor activity varies from market to market. The report says investors activity is down the most in pandemic boomtowns like Phoenix and Las Vegas. But there are many markets where the investor share of purchased homes is higher, including Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Charlotte.    Will Institutional Investors Own 40% of Single-Family Rentals by 2030?   The institutional ownership of single-family rentals could mushroom over the next several years. According to an analysis by MetLife Investment Management, their share was about 5% early last year, and by 2030, it could be more than 40%. That's about 7.6 million homes controlled by rental portfolio giants like Tricon Residential, Progress Residential, American Homes 4 Rent, and Invitation Homes. (10)   Representative Ro Khanna from California authored the “Stop Wall Street Landlords Act of 2022.” If it passes, it would provide disincentives for institutional investors such as an excise tax on the sale or transfer of a single-family home that's equal to the price of the home. It would also eliminate deductions for mortgage interest, insurance, and depreciation. (11)   That's it for today. Check the show notes for links, and join RealWealth if you'd like to know where it still makes sense to invest in single-family rentals. We're offering several market tours over the next few months. You can join RealWealth and check out the tours at   And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!    Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.   Links:   1 -   2 - ​​   3 -   4 -   5 -   6 - ​​   7 -   8 -   9 -   10 -   11 -