Friday, August 16, 2019

Inverted Yield Curve Aids in Market Panic

Earlier this week the Stock Market shed some 2-3% of its value on one trading day. The DJIA dropped 800 points on Wednesday after the markets showed an inverted yield curve with short term interest rates higher than long term rates. This is sometimes a precursor to a recession and that has investors spooked.

Now the reality is that inverted yield curves do often appear before an economic slowdown, but it is by no means a definitive harbinger. In fact there are many reasons that investors might pour assets into long term bonds and some of that action may of actually been from turbulence in Hong Kong. The US economy is not quite as robust as the White House likes to tout, but it is pretty far from recessionary as well. Employment is maxed, wages continue to climb, and consumer confidence remains high.

The inverted curve is likely to be short lived and the market scare may have provided a convenient opportunity for investors to take profits after record high stock values earlier this summer.

All economics aside, the interest rates on 15 and 30 year mortgage notes will benefit from an inverted curve as long term rates dropped allowing more people to qualify for home loans and pushing the qualifying values higher.

Our local real estate market is a tale of two markets really. Homes priced up above 150% of median are in a bit of an inventory glut and sellers are reducing prices while buyers take their time. Meanwhile in the entry level market at 120% of median and below buyers continue to face stubborn sellers and multiple offers on well priced properties.

Things are actually healthy in the local market with strong sales activity and excellent economic indicators for the next several months, possibly into next year.

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