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The Economic Factors Impacting the Housing Market

Ed Delgado, Rick Sharga, Tim Rood, and Kevin Cooke at the panel discussion.

On Wednesday, Altisource hosted the Mortgage Insights Speaker Series in Plano, TX at Del Frisco's. At the event, industry thought leaders gave insights into the topic “U.S. Housing Market: Where Do We Go From Here?”

The expert panel was moderated by Kevin Cooke, Jr., VP of Enterprise Solutions at Altisource, and included Ed Delgado, President, and CEO of the Five Star Institute; Tim Rood, Chairman and Managing Director of The Collingwood Group; and Rick Sharga, EVP, Carrington Mortgage Holdings.

“We are honored to have three of the most respected voices in our space join us for this fun lunch,” Cooke said before the event. “Ed, Rick, and Tim have all proven to be entertaining, thought-provoking panelists and we are confident our guests will walk away with good knowledge and a smile on their face.”

The panelists discussed the U.S. macroeconomic conditions and its state in the coming year, covering trends and predictions for the U.S. housing market in a rising rate environment.

"FHA and the GSEs are continuing to be important instruments of public policy but we need to reconcile the government's motives and methods for achieving positive outcomes for renters and homeowners," Rood said.

Through the discussion, they explored the loan servicing environment, the record low delinquency rates, and reviewed emerging warning signs. They also debated how the contentious political environment was affecting the housing industry.

"Though we have seen a period of economic growth in recent years, there are leading indicators that paint a picture of an economy that is potentially slowing," said Delgado. "Of particular concern is the growing possibility of the yield curve that continues to flatten and move towards an inverted position. An inverted yield curve is almost always a harbinger for a recession within 18-24 months. Given the cyclical nature of the market, the mortgage industry should make preparations, ensuring readiness to the fullest extent possible whenever the eventual slowdown occurs."

Additionally, panelists discussed how inventory and affordability concerns have been pulling against otherwise strong economic factors.

“I think attendees got an inside look at why it’s difficult to forecast the housing market today,” said Sharga. “While a strong economy should be driving more home sales, the lack of inventory is driving up home prices, and diminishing affordability is keeping sales lower than what they probably should be. Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high, but lenders aren’t taking on any risk, and builders are reluctant to break ground on new developments, so demand–especially for affordable homes–continues to outstrip supply. And casting a shadow over all of this is the drama in Washington, where uncertainty over housing policy makes predicting the future almost impossible.”

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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