Remember that pretty girl from your history class in college — the one who would blow hot and cold, so you never really knew what she was thinking? The U.S. housing market can be like that girl: you can get many mixed messages (especially about a housing bubble) unless you are paying attention. But who has time for that? Hey, that’s all I do, so you’ve come to the right place.
The latest messaging is that the Federal Reserve is creating a housing bubble by keeping rates so low that prices can skyrocket. Or that Americans who recently purchased homes are going to get all their equity wiped out when housing prices take a nosedive. Recently, CNBC contributor Peter Boockvar was quoted in Trading Nation as saying:
“I feel bad for the people who bought homes over the past year because they’re the ones that paid the very elevated prices.” The article goes on to say that “He singles out those who put down 5% amid historically low mortgage rates. If home prices correct by 10%, Boockvar sees a world of pain.”
A world of pain because a purchaser had the financial wherewithal to buy a home for their family during a time with historically low mortgage rates? Really?
To be fair, there is potential for pain if one purchased a home at the “top of the market” with a very low down payment right before a job-loss recession. This is one of the risks of “late-cycle lending.” Taking on debt, with little selling equity, then losing your means of repaying that debt is a crappy situation for anyone — and if it happens to a bunch of people at once, it’s even worse. But how likely is that scenario in the current market?