Opening Bell: Mortgage Mega Slump | Business Insider India

Coffee really does taste better on Fridays. But if you’re in the housing market right now it’s probably hard to swallow every day of the week. Mortgage applications have cratered, and business is cooling after a historic boom.

I’m Phil Rosen, and today we’re breaking down the housing market.

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1. Mortgage demand is at its lowest point in 22 years. Over the last week, mortgage applications fell 7%, and they’re down 21% since last June.

A traditional 30-year fixed mortgage saw average interest rates rise to 5.4% last week, compared to rates in the low 3% range around this time last year.

The cost to buy a home has risen dramatically in 2022, which has resulted in a drop-off in demand.

Or, more simply: there’s been “a meltdown.”

Pantheon’s chief economist Ian Shepherdson said the sharp drop in applications is likely to continue, given that interest rates are set to rise further. This could be a silver lining for buyers who’ve been locked out of the market by the dual headwinds of stubbornly high prices and higher mortgage rates.

“The chance of a short period of clear declines in prices is increasing, primarily because new home inventory has shot higher,” Shepherdson said.

And weakness in housing begets weakness in lumber. Prices for the key building commodity dropped another 4% Wednesday to hit their lowest level in nine months. Builders have pulled back on new housing starts as they see inventories across the country rising.

Prices have slipped in nine of the last 11 weeks, and the strength in mortgage rates has moved inversely with weakness in lumber.

Lumber prices are down 50% this year, and have plunged 67% from their record-high reached last May of around $1,700 per thousand board feet.

In other news:

Opening Bell: Mortgage Mega Slump
An employee holds a sample of crude oil at the Yarakta oilfield, owned by Irkutsk Oil Co, in the Irkutsk region, Russia on March 11, 2019.Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

2. US stock futures traded cautiously early Friday, as investors braced for US inflation data that could influence the Fed’s tightening policy. Economists largely expect May’s CPI reading to have flatlined at 8.3%. If the report is higher than expectations, that could spark volatility in stocks. Here are the latest market moves.

3. On deck today: North Bud Farms, YourWay Cannabis Brands, and Mimi’s Rock Corp, all reporting. Plus, the latest consumer price index inflation print for May is due at 8.30 am ET.

4. A UBS strategy head who warned about high inflation and slowing growth last June gave his top investing ideas. There’s only a 12% chance of a recession, according to Keith Parker. But these four investments are strong bets right now.

5. Russian oil and gas exports helped the Kremlin add $9.5 billion to an emergency fund. According to a Reuters report, bailouts are piling up amid Western sanctions and Russia is looking to shore up its defenses. Here’s what you want to know.

6. US stocks are primed for a dramatic move in either direction as investors look to the inflation report. “The S&P 500 remains wound up in a tight intraday trading range, which has the potential to be resolved in dramatic fashion,” Fairlead’s top analyst said. These are the key levels to monitor.

7. Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is backed by a little-known Dubai-based investment firm. And its founder was once dubbed a “human supercomputer” by the venture capitalist behind Andreessen Horowitz. The secretive Vy Capital has committed $700 million to Musk’s Twitter takeover.

8. Goldman Sachs’ star economist laid out whether the US is heading for a recession. He also broke down what could possibly trigger a rebound in the floundering stock market after the crash. See what he said here.

9. Top money managers are looking to Jim Osman’s buy list to find hidden gems. The expert stock picker is helping investors navigate the “everything is on sale” market. He shared his five “special situation” stocks that are loaded up for gains of up to 31%.

Opening Bell: Mortgage Mega Slump
Markets Insider

10. ExxonMobil stock has soared 157% since the Dow Jones Industrial Average kicked it out two years ago. And it replaced the oil giant with Salesforce — which has slumped 30% since then.

Keep up with the latest markets news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. listen here.

Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @philrosenn.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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