Market Commentary 10/15/21, Market Commentary 10/15/21

Market Commentary 10/15/21

Banks kicked off earning season with the major banks reporting positive growth, inspiring the equity markets to move higher. Although inflation is becoming a bigger concern, the market has momentarily put those worries to the side. Interest rates have drifted lower, which is perplexing, as the cost of all goods (food, gas, rent, materials) show no signs of lowering. Supply chains and lack of available workers are delaying the delivery of goods and also increasing costs. Companies are having to pay up for workers and there is some worry that the Fed is being pushed into a corner it will not easily be able to get out of unless it restricts monetary policy in a way that could upset markets. Should the bond market change its feeling about inflation, interest rates will move up quickly. One cannot underestimate the Fed’s ability to buy up the market, impose interest curve controls or other measures to contain interest rate volatility. However, while Fed policy is effective in creating demand, very low rates may actually be creating more demand than the supply side can handle. With no lack of demand in the U.S. for goods and with 11 million job openings, one has to wonder if we have reached the limits of what monetary policy is capable of. There seems to be more money chasing fewer goods (think autos, homes, washing machines, etc) and an increased threat of structural inflation.

China’s property market is of some concern as several trillion dollars of real estate corporate debt are at risk. Most don’t think what is happening in China will have a negative impact on the U.S., but some worry is warranted given the size of the Chinese property market, the size of the leverage, and the unforeseen risks associated with a drawdown on the largest property market in the world may have on the global economy.  

Some parts of the U.S. are starting to see a slowdown in home sales. Interest rates are still cheap so that is definitely a major factor for those who are actively looking to buy a new home. The rise in home prices has been dramatic over the last 18 months, and while there is concern about a market top, ultra-low interest rates have kept affordability at reasonable levels. Also, real estate has served as an excellent hedge against inflation historically with investment properties offering some excellent tax write-offs that help to lower ordinary income. One of many reasons that make California the leading residential real estate market is the diversity of businesses within the state. While an expensive state to operate in, it provides many entrepreneurs with such great opportunities. This is reflected in the housing market and many of the mega-homes sales that we read about weekly. Insignia Mortgage is honored to be part of many of these large sales as our expertise in structuring complex loans is a perfect fit in this type of market.

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These are the opinions of the author. For financial advice, please talk to your CPA or financial professional.