Jobs data positive for all housing stocks, except REITs
Earlier tapering prospects push REITs down
The stock market and the HW 30 responded favorably to a sudden drop in unemployment for the month of November – with the U.S. jobless rate tumbling from 7.3% to 7%.
As a result, most housing stocks on the HW 30 rose alongside the index, which alone grew 1.26% Friday.
Of course, mREITs turned out to be the exception.
It’s been a volatile year for REITs, with Annaly Capital falling 31.98% year-to-date.
Another REIT, Two Harbors Investment Corp. (TWO), also edged down 0.11% in Friday trading, with the same stock falling 22.10% year-to-date.
From the data, it’s obvious investors made a clear deduction Friday that an improving economy means the Federal Reserve is closer to pulling back on its monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys.
As Ron D’Vari with NewOak Capital points out in this HousingWire blog, mREITs are greatly impacted by swings in interest rates, and signs of tapering, could mean higher rates for REITs to maneuver in the near future.
The drop to an unemployment rate of 7% in November only hastened expectations that the Fed might announce easing at its next Federal Open Market Committee.
Many analysts believe the first round of tapering could occur as early as March.
"The (jobs) report highlights the resiliency of the private sector amid headwinds and should green-light the Federal Reserve to start tapering its asset purchases in March as we anticipated, assuming orderly outcomes over the government funding and debt ceiling issues," said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. "Contentious fiscal events in October and lingering unresolved issues appear to have tempered consumer expectations regarding the housing market."