First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on CNBC and Yahoo! Finance last week, discussing potential moderation of the housing market and affordability challenges with CNBC and providing perspective on July housing starts data and the implications for the housing market with Yahoo! Finance.
“We are seeing some signs of softening in the housing market, but context is important here. We’re seeing purchase mortgage applications decline on a week-over-week basis and they are certainly lower than one year ago, and we’re starting to see inventory rise, which is good news. But, with that said, inventory is rising from an historical low, so inventory is still very, very low, and purchase applications, while lower than one year ago when we saw all of that pent-up demand flood the market, are still at about 2019 levels, which was our second-best year in a decade. We’re still very much in a sellers’ market, but we are seeing some early signs of softening.”
“So, it was an underwhelming report, but not unexpected. Builders are facing multiple supply-side headwinds. We’ve all heard about lumber shortages, which are starting to ease, but there’s also skilled labor shortages, shortages in appliances, and, of course, a lack of buildable lots. And builders have always faced regulatory burdens to building more homes.”