Over the past 18 months, U.S. mortgage rates have soared from 2.9% to 7.6%, their highest since 2001. Will this tremendous increase in mortgage rates cause the U.S. housing market to crash like it did in 2008?
On one hand, higher mortgages have led to a steady decrease in the number of new mortgages being issued. In recent weeks, the number of new mortgages has fallen to its lowest level since 1995.
On the other hand, there is a major difference between today and the period leading up to the global financial crisis: vacancy rates.
Vacancy rates are extremely low. Before the 2008 financial crisis, 10% of rental properties and 3% of owner-occupied properties were vacant. Today, only 6.4% of rental properties are vacant, near their lowest since 1985, while owner-occupied properties have a record low vacancy of 0.7%.
Home prices have stopped rising, but so far, they aren’t collapsing. Over the past year, the price of buying a home in the U.S. has fallen by about 1%, while rental costs have risen by around 8% as higher rates force many would-be buyers into the rental market.
OpenMarkets is an online magazine and blog focused on global markets and economic trends. It combines feature articles, news briefs and videos with contributions from leaders in business, finance and economics in an interactive forum designed to foster conversation around the issues and ideas shaping our industry.
All examples are hypothetical interpretations of situations and are used for explanation purposes only. The views expressed in OpenMarkets articles reflect solely those of their respective authors and not necessarily those of CME Group or its affiliated institutions. OpenMarkets and the information herein should not be considered investment advice or the results of actual market experience. Neither futures trading nor swaps trading are suitable for all investors, and each involves the risk of loss. Swaps trading should only be undertaken by investors who are Eligible Contract Participants (ECPs) within the meaning of Section 1a(18) of the Commodity Exchange Act. Futures and swaps each are leveraged investments and, because only a percentage of a contract’s value is required to trade, it is possible to lose more than the amount of money deposited for either a futures or swaps position. Therefore, traders should only use funds that they can afford to lose without affecting their lifestyles and only a portion of those funds should be devoted to any one trade because traders cannot expect to profit on every trade. BrokerTec Americas LLC (“BAL”) is a registered broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (www.FINRA.org), and is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (www.SIPC.org). BAL does not provide services to private or retail customers.. In the United Kingdom, BrokerTec Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. CME Amsterdam B.V. is regulated in the Netherlands by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) (www.AFM.nl). CME Investment Firm B.V. is also incorporated in the Netherlands and regulated by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), as well as the Central Bank of the Netherlands (DNB).