Wage growth is stagnant at best and the 5.1% annual increase in home prices are the slowest pace of appreciation since late 2016. That said, housing prices are still nearly double the rate of wage gains. Sugar high tax cuts for the rich is the legacy of the Trump Administration. And while the national numbers with respect to foreclosures are in decline, that artificial picture painted is not showing the alarming 350% increase in Beaumont, Texas. Savannah, Georgia, came in at a whopping 342% increase. And towns not even remotely impacted by disasters such as Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Anchorage, Alaska, came in at 157% and 200% respectively. The initial aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which brought forward moratoriums, are now seeing those expire. Adding more fuel to the fire are the second rounds of foreclosures with respect to Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
Increased interest rates, trade and tariff wars on the horizon, along with new construction at YOY lows. A flattening yield curve in conjunction with an imminent death cross on the S&P 500 is giving more than a pause to the Dow Jones heading into the peak of holiday shopping — the vast majority of which is occurring online.
And while many may imply that the above may bode well for the Mortgage Field Services Industry, the reality is that I am highly skeptical that much of it, if any, will translate into actionable acquisitions for Labor to perform upon. Weak sales for new and existing homes has dramatic effects upon other, non related industries. From the purchase of new appliances to the movers, to sprucing up the landscape. And it isn’t going to improve coming into the new year, either. At best, we are seeing a new norm and then only if the marketspace plateaus which I strongly believe it has only begun to take a nosedive.