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Our core formula here at GRE is simple, buy-and-hold real estate. Then where does your profit come from? I explain.

Where will your next tenant come from? Essentially, market intelligence analyst Rick Sharga & I answer this today.

We explore job growth, wage growth, and the condition of today’s consumer / tenant. 

Rick Sharga doesn’t believe that mortgage rates will fall substantially until the Fed Funds Rate does. This isn’t likely to happen until at least June.

Consumers are exhibiting some distress signals. Credit card debt has swelled. We break it down.

Many economic indicators still show that they’ll still be an economic slowdown. 

In most recessions, home sales and home prices both rise.

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Complete episode transcript:


Keith Weinhold (00:00:00) - Welcome to gray. I'm your host, Keith Weinhold. We aren't fooling around on April Fool's Day. How can you be assured of having rent paying tenants in the future? That's dictated by the economy, job growth and real wage growth above inflation. Well, how exactly does all that relate to the housing market? We break it down today with an expert guest on Get Rich Education. When you want the best real estate and finance info, the modern internet experience limits your free articles access, and it's replete with paywalls. And you've got pop ups and push notifications and cookies. Disclaimers are. At no other time in history has it been more vital to place nice, clean, free content into your hands that actually adds no hype value to your life? See, this is the golden age of quality newsletters, and I write every word of ours myself. It's got a dash of humor and it's to the point to get the letter. It couldn't be more simple. Text GRE to 66866. And when you start the free newsletter, you'll also get my one hour fast real estate course completely free.


Keith Weinhold (00:01:16) - It's called the Don't Quit Your Daydream letter and it wires your mind for wealth. Make sure you read it. Text GRE to 66866. Text GRE to 66866.


Corey Coates (00:01:33) - You're listening to the show that has created more financial freedom than nearly any show in the world. This is get rich education.


Keith Weinhold (00:01:49) - What category? You're listening to one of America's longest running in most listened to shows on real estate investing, the Voice of Real Estate since 2014. This is get rich education. I'm your host. My name is Keith Weinhold, and you probably know that by now. But what we never truly know is the direction of the economy and how it shapes the housing market. Well, an expert and I are putting our heads together for you today to give you the best indication that we possibly can. I'll be with us shortly. And he is coming, armed with all of his best indicators and statistics. Last week here on the show, I got somewhat philosophical with you at times when I posited the question, do you want to retire? And I helped answer the question, what is retirement today anyway? I had a lot of good feedback on that show, but today we're talking about more concrete indicators with some numbers.


Keith Weinhold (00:02:50) - For example, historically in a recession, what really happens to real estate prices? We're going to answer that and more questions like it today. Now, I like to say that wealthy people's money either starts out in real estate or ends up in real estate, but there are so many ways to do it, so many ways to do real estate right? Hence so many ways to do it wrong as well. Our formula that we use here at GRE more than any other, is something we use because it is so simple that I think some people overlook it. It is buy and hold. Yeah, mostly long term buy and hold residential rentals. Now, we sure talk about some other things too, but that's really a cheap formula, something that we focused on since day one here. Now there surely can be some other good strategies as long as you execute, right? Flipping, wholesaling, Oreos, the birth strategy, self-storage units, RV parks and a lot more. But with buy and hold, I think some people know the real estate.


Keith Weinhold (00:03:58) - They might then ask, well, well where's your margin on that? Where does your profit come from if you just buy and hold? Or they might even think that that strategy is really slow and a 40 year game plan. Well, then they learn about the five ways and that changes that. It's largely about buying strategically and then managing your manager. I think most people dream of a life where they can just spend their time remotely managing their investments here and there. Now, for me, most months, I don't have anything to do with managing a property manager in a certain market. I just get the cash flow and then I do browse the monthly property statement. Some months had only been do that because from the amount of cash flow received, I can often see that nothing really went wrong for the month because from the amount of cash flow received, I can often see that nothing really went wrong for the month. Tax benefits as one of the five ways you're paid. That takes some management to and you know this tax time of year with my bookkeeper.


Keith Weinhold (00:05:11) - At times she emails me and asks me for this and that scrap of information. The mindset that helped me manage all the generous tax benefits of real estate is not taking my bookkeepers questions as an occasional annoyance, but rather taking the mindset of tax benefits or something that you can manage throughout the year. And that way when my bookkeeper goes an entire month without asking me for something, it can feel like a short break. Sort of like something was turned off for a month. And hey, first world problems, right? Downloading a document and emailing it to your bookkeeper ten minutes a month., today is also talking about where your next tenant is coming from, which really, at the end of the day, is what a real estate economics discussion is about. Well, it's also about giving tenants the housing that they want, meeting their desired lifestyle and the set of amenities that are both going to attract your renter in the first place and then retain your renter over the long term every year. Building,, the property management software company, they ask thousands of renters which amenities and property layouts would motivate them to choose one rental property over another.


Keith Weinhold (00:06:33) - That's what they're asking tenants. And what you imagine that renters might want could be different from the reality. For years now, renters are prioritizing their neighborhood quality. In the amenities that are actually inside the rental unit. Those things are more important than they are the shared community amenities like a pool, lobby, clubhouse or gym. Renters are gravitating toward neighborhoods that are safe and quiet, but yet are still convenient to stores and restaurants. And that led to half of the renters surveyed to rental properties that are located in the suburbs. Now, when it comes to the amenities within their rental unit that they're prioritizing, renters want a space with kind of all those comforts of home air conditioning and a washer and dryer to the option to own a pet. And these are the feature types of single family rentals, although some newer apartments can meet that too. And some condos community amenities. Then like a fitness center or a pool. I mean, they still hold some appeal to residents in these surveys, but lately they're seen more merely as perks instead of necessities for today's cost conscious renters.


Keith Weinhold (00:07:55) - So the bottom line here with this survey is that it's what's actually inside the unit that's become more important. And maybe that's a little too bad as people tend to get less social. They're using community areas less, they're prioritizing them less. And hey, maybe they just want to lie on the sofa and scroll their phone in a nice, comfortable place. Hey, you've got a suit and fit the world as it is, not as the way that you wanted to be, at least when you're providing others with housing. Hey, coming up here both on the show and on our YouTube channel, why do Western US homes cost more than eastern US homes on average? This seems geographically paradoxical. It feels backwards to a lot of people, because almost two thirds of the United States lives east of the Mississippi River, and yet that area comprises just over one third of all the land. You've got almost two thirds of people living on just over one third of all the land in the East. So to some more people on less area, oh, that would have to mean that eastern home prices are more costly.


Keith Weinhold (00:09:09) - No, it is exactly the opposite. In fact, coming up on a future show, I'll share eight plus reasons why. This is why Western US homes cost more than eastern ones. And this is also why many of the best cash flow markets, they tend to be in the eastern half of the US. They have those lower purchase prices also coming up in the future. I'm about to have a talk. This talk isn't going to be on the show here, but a talk with a conventional financial advisor about my own personal retirement. I've got an appointment with this person and this ought to be interesting. We'll see what he says about my situation. I'll try not to lecture him on how financially free beats debt free or anything like that. We'll see if I can hold off doing that. And if that meeting produces some interesting takeaways or just humorous ones, I'm going to share that with you in the future. And if you want to be sure to hear those upcoming episodes on subjects like that, I invite you to follow the show here on your favorite podcast.


Keith Weinhold (00:10:17) - And that way you won't miss any upcoming episodes. I only met today's guest about two years ago. We enjoyed that conversation and now we collaborate regularly. He helps provide crucial market updates that straight ahead. I'm Keith Reinhold, you're listening to episode 495 of get Rich education. You know, I'll just tell you, for the most passive part of my real estate investing, personally, I put my own dollars with Freedom Family Investments because their funds pay me a stream of regular cash flow in returns, or better than a bank savings account up to 12%. Their minimums are as low as 25 K. You don't even need to be accredited for some of them. It's all backed by real estate. And I kind of love how the tax benefit of doing this can offset capital gains and your W-2 jobs income. And they've always given me exactly their stated return paid on time. So it's steady income, no surprises while I'm sleeping or just doing the things I love. For a little insider tip, I've invested in their power fund to get going on that text family to 66866.


Keith Weinhold (00:11:31) - Oh, and this isn't a solicitation. If you want to invest where I do, just go ahead and text family to six, 686, six. Role under the specific expert with income property you need. Ridge lending Group Nmls 42056. In gray history from beginners to veterans, they provided our listeners with more mortgages than anyone. It's where I get my own loans for single family rentals up to four Plex's. Start your pre-qualification and chat with President Charlie Ridge personally. They'll even customize a plan tailored to you for growing your portfolio. Start at Ridge Lending Ridge lending This is Rich dad advisor Tom Wheelwright. Listen to get Rich education with Keith Reinhold and don't quit your daydream. You are going to get a fantastic real estate market update today, and you'll also learn lessons if you're consuming this 5 or 10 years from now. Our expert guest has been the executive VP of markets. Some of America's leading housing intelligence firms named it national lists of most influential real estate leaders. He's frequently quoted on real estate, mortgage and foreclosure markets, too.


Keith Weinhold (00:12:59) - He runs the real estate market intelligence firm, the C.J. Patrick Company. Hey, welcome back to Great Rick Saga. Always a pleasure to spend some time with you, Keith. Thank you for having me. Oh, same here, because, Rick, you've been with us here every six months for about two years now. You and I discussed the condition of the overall economy as well as the real estate market. I think of both of those as resilient today. Now, back when I was a new real estate investor, Rick, I didn't know to look at the broad economy at all. I was more concerned with if, say, on a vacant unit that I had, I had the drywall texture just right to try to attract a new tenant ASAP. Now that surely matters. But time gave me the perspective to know that what matters more is to have a local stable of tenants that are capable of paying the rent, and that's what matters more. So with that in mind, where would you like to begin? That's great counsel.


Keith Weinhold (00:14:03) - And it's really important for investors or even somebody looking to buy a house, understand what's going on economically, both across the country and in their region. So why don't we start by taking a look at what's going on in the economy? There's been a lot of conversation about potential recession. We can talk a bit about that, but if you're good to go, we'll start by just sharing some information about the US economy and some of the trends that we're seeing. Yeah, let's go ahead and do that. And yes, that dreaded our word may very well come up. That thing that we've all been waiting for but has never happened. Don't count your chickens just yet. But let's see what's going on. Because on average, recessions do happen every five years. It's just a normal part of the business cycle. Yeah, that's important to keep in context. I'm glad you brought that up. Recessions are a normal part of the business cycle and the economic cycle. We may be slightly overdue to have one at this point, although the last one that we had took very, very long to recover from, the Great Recession that started back in 2008 took a full decade to recover from, which is also very unusual.


Keith Weinhold (00:15:05) - So we'll take a look at some of these cycles and see where we are today. Keith, the basic metric that most economists look at when they're trying to figure out the strength of the US economy is is something called the gross domestic product, the GDP.


Rick Sharga (00:15:18) - We track that to see if it's growing, if it's declining. The technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. And there's been a lot of talk about the GDP slowing down in the US. But really it's been mostly talk. In fact, if you look at the last quarter, we have data four, which was the fourth quarter of last year. You can see that the GDP grew by 3.2 3.3%, which was a much higher number than what most economists had forecast.


Keith Weinhold (00:15:47) - That resilient economy with a low unemployment rate, jobs being added and productive growth in the GDP.


Rick Sharga (00:15:54) - Yeah, we're going to get to all of that. And it's a great point. If you look at what makes up the GDP, about two thirds of it is comprised of consumer spending, right.


Rick Sharga (00:16:04) - So typically when you see strong GDP numbers, you're consumer is doing pretty well. And a lot of this probably has to do with consumers still having money to spend from the enormous amount of stimulus that the federal government poured into the economy to help prevent a recession or depression during Covid. About $15 trillion in all of the stimulus that was sent out to consumers and businesses alike. And that's probably helped us weather the storm of what normally might have been a slowdown in the economy. We are, however, Keith, in a globally interconnected economy, and it's important to note that not all of our peers are doing quite as well. Canada may already be in a recession. The UK is almost certainly in a recession. The eurozone barely escaped going into recessionary numbers in the last quarter, and even markets like China aren't doing as well as as expected. And I'm not saying that to gloat about how well the US is doing. I'm saying that is sort of a warning that if we do get into a situation where it looks like there's a global recession going on, it's very unlikely the US will come out of that untainted at all.


Rick Sharga (00:17:09) - So it's something to keep an eye on as we move forward.


Keith Weinhold (00:17:11) - Right. 100%.


Rick Sharga (00:17:13) - You mentioned unemployment a couple of minutes ago, Keith, and that's one of the other economic metrics we check. Unemployment went all the way up. And I say that facetiously. The 3.9% in the numbers, full employment is considered to be anywhere at 5% unemployment or lower. And we haven't been at 5% unemployment. Probably since about 2016, with the exception of the blip we had during the Covid pandemic, when the government shut things down and we had a huge increase in unemployment temporarily. But we are continuing to see very, very strong job numbers, both in terms of these low levels of unemployment and in terms of job growth. The January and February numbers again caught the economists who come up with these consensus forecasts by surprise. In January, about 350,000 jobs created. In February, about 250,000 jobs created. I should put an asterisk on some of these numbers. When you hear politicians talking about all the jobs they've created over the last few years.


Rick Sharga (00:18:15) - Keep in mind that during the Covid pandemic, we wiped out about 22 million jobs virtually overnight. A lot of the millions of jobs that have been created over the last few years were really those old jobs being refilled. We filled most of those within about two years, and we have continued to create jobs since then. We have more jobs than we have people looking for work. They're about 8.5 million jobs open, about 6 to 6.5 million people looking for work.


Keith Weinhold (00:18:43) - You can almost think that this is an over employed condition.


Rick Sharga (00:18:46) - And it almost is in most cases, not all cases, but in most cases, somebody who doesn't have a job right now just isn't looking for a job right now. And these are not all service level jobs. That's the other pushback I get when I'm out talking to groups sometimes. Oh yeah, but not everybody wants to work at Starbucks. Well, first of all, you get pretty good benefits of Starbucks free coffee healthcare. But let's not do a Starbucks commercial. These are government jobs.


Rick Sharga (00:19:10) - They're manufacturing jobs. They're construction jobs. They are some type of service level jobs. But these are jobs across the board. And because there are more jobs available than people are looking for work, we're seeing wages go up. The average hourly wage across the country last month was over $29 an hour, which is the highest it's ever been. And if you look at wage growth on a year over year basis, it's running at about 5%. And really, Keith, this is the first time in a number of years that we can say with certainty that wage growth is actually running at a higher pace than the rate of inflation, right.


Keith Weinhold (00:19:44) - And that really matters. That really helps pay the rent. One thing that detractors say with the unemployment rate, you talked about them not necessarily being consolidated in the low paid service sector area, is that a lot of people lament, well, aren't many of these part time jobs? Where are your thoughts there?


Rick Sharga (00:20:01) - There are a probably historically large number of part time jobs, but we also have an awful lot of people who have opted out of full time work for a variety of reasons, and are thrilled to be able to pick up some money working in the gig economy.


Rick Sharga (00:20:16) - So whether they're driving for Uber or Lyft, they're doing DoorDash or something else that's a part time job that they're doing just to either, in some cases, kill time or to make a little bit of extra money. This isn't an economy where the majority of part time workers are in part time jobs, because they can't find a full time job. That's simply not the case, and the data doesn't support that.


Keith Weinhold (00:20:41) - Now, if you, the listener and viewer here are wondering, well, this stuff doesn't apply directly to me. I'm good. I'm secure in my job. Maybe I don't even need a job. Keep in mind that we're talking about the financial condition of your tenant today.


Rick Sharga (00:20:57) - Yeah. When I'm talking to to real estate investors in general, I know that you were talking about drywall earlier, and sometimes you really can't see the forest for the trees. You're kind of overwhelmed or you're not sure where you should actually be looking. I tell them in many cases, to pay less attention to home prices and rental rates and more attention to some of the underlying fundamental economic conditions.


Rick Sharga (00:21:20) - Are you in a market where population is growing or declining? Are you in a market where there's job growth? Are you in a market where there's wage growth? If you're at a market where the population, jobs and wages are all growing, you're going to be in a pretty healthy market for real estate, whether it's owner occupied properties or its rental properties. On the other hand, if jobs are leaving your market, if wages are going down, if population is declining, those are warning signs. And it might be an indication that that's not a good market to start investing more in. So everything we're talking about really does get connected back to the housing market, whether it's rental housing or owner occupied housing. And it's important to see these trends for what they are.


Keith Weinhold (00:22:04) - And of course, we're talking about these factors on a national level. As we know, our real estate is local, and our audience is often interested in studying a metro market before they decide to invest there. So on that more regional level, Rick, or local level, do you have any favorite resources or websites or apps that you think are important for prospective investors to look at first within a certain region or MSA? Well, you.


Rick Sharga (00:22:33) - Can. Find a lot of local market data on some of the free housing sites that are out there. The Zillow's, the is the homes dot coms of the world. If you go beyond the basic home search, or if you dig deep into some of the information that they provide on local markets, within that home search, you'll find a lot of information there. There are third party companies. There's a company I'm familiar with it that works mostly with realtors, but has a lot of data that investors would probably be interested in. It's called keeping current matters. Yeah, they do an awful lot of reporting on this. But if you really want to do your own research and you don't mind doing a little bit of digging, I find that the Department of Labor and the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all government entities, have just copious amounts of local market information. You can find, you know, down to what does the local Pipefitter earn on an hourly basis in Peoria? There's all of that data out there for free on these government sites.


Rick Sharga (00:23:34) - You just have to be willing to do a little bit of research and dig through those sites.


Keith Weinhold (00:23:39) - Right. And sometimes the government websites don't exactly present their information in a beautiful, graphically rich way. But this is part of your research. Some people don't realize that, Fred, the Federal Reserve economic data has an awful lot of regional and local information, not just national information as well. Well, thanks for sharing some of those resources, Rick, and where you like to go and look, that can really help our audience. What else should a real estate investor know about today's overall economy?


Rick Sharga (00:24:08) - So we talked about consumer spending and the reliance our economy does have on consumer spending. And one of the things that I'm watching fairly carefully right now is an apparent disconnect between consumer confidence and consumer spending. So if you go back to when the pandemic hit and the lockdown occurred, consumer spending obviously fell off a cliff. There was just nothing to buy. And consumer confidence took a major hit with the announcement of the pandemic.


Rick Sharga (00:24:34) - Consumer spending as soon as the lockdown was over started to come back strongly and has never slowed down. It's hit an all time high today. Consumer confidence, on the other hand, was battered a little bit by subsequent waves of Covid, by threatened government shutdown in Washington, by the war in Ukraine, by the more recent war in the Middle East. And so the concern here is that if consumer confidence doesn't come back, we might see spending revert to the mean. And actually, as economists would say, and come back down, which would cause, at the very least an economic slowdown and at the worst, probably a recession. So it is something we're keeping an eye on. Consumer confidence has been improving a little bit lately, but historically it's gone hand in hand with consumer spending. And that simply hasn't been the case in recent months. So it is something we're keeping an eye on.


Keith Weinhold (00:25:25) - Now, one might wonder how do you measure confidence? Well, there are various surveys out there. And Rick, the way I think of it with consumers is that consumer confidence is more of a leading indicator, and then the actual consumption is more of a trailing indicator.


Rick Sharga (00:25:42) - I completely agree with you. The sentiment index that I follow most closely is one that's put out by the University of Michigan. Yeah, and it's been out there for decades. So there's an awful lot of history that goes with it. And generally speaking, on any index, you're looking for a number that's around or above 100 because that usually is your baseline. And some of the more recent months we've seen numbers down in the 50s and 60s. Now they've been trending up, as I said, in recent months. But that's something that's reported on very widely by the press. We were talking about sourcing things for investors. And I have to tell you, the just doing a basic Google search for something like, what's consumer confidence like today? You'd be surprised. The rich information that you can pull just from Google, that you can start to find some of these sources online. But that is one thing that we're watching. And, Keith, I think it's important to break out a little bit in more detail how consumers are spending or what they're spending with.


Rick Sharga (00:26:44) - And these are potential red flags for the economy, consumer credit card use. The amount of debt on credit cards surpassed $1 trillion in the third quarter of last year for the first time ever, and it got close to 1.2 trillion in the fourth quarter. That's an awful lot of credit card spending. Regardless of what you want to talk to me about, with inflation adjusted dollars, it's still $1 trillion. And that happened at a time when credit card interest rates had soared because of what the Federal Reserve was doing. So you're talking about people spending 1 to $1.2 trillion on their credit cards, when the average interest rate on a new credit card issued was between 25 and 30%. Gosh. Which, by the way, is a high enough number that it used to get you arrested for usury. And apparently now it's the new. Normal and it's okay. But this is concern. And one of the big concerns is because the cost of living has become so high and it's so difficult for so many families. The worry is that people might be starting to use their credit cards to make ends meet, to buy basic necessities, and that historically has not been a story with a happy ending.


Rick Sharga (00:27:52) - So we are watching credit card use. We're also watching personal savings rates. When the government stimulus came out, we saw a savings rates at all time highs. We then saw savings declined rapidly to all time low levels. They've recovered a little bit, but they're still on the low end of things, historically speaking. So the same worry here, Keith, which is that we're worried that families might be dipping into personal savings in order to make ends meet. And that combination, there's some research that suggests that, on average, the US household has more credit card debt than they have savings, and that's just not a healthy ratio for anybody to have.


Keith Weinhold (00:28:30) - Yeah, America has very much so they live for today mindset I think. So therefore it was a pretty predictable that after the Covid stimulus payments that savings levels probably would drop.


Rick Sharga (00:28:42) - Yeah. It's just that they drop further than what we had hoped they would. We're going to talk about inflation in the second. I have a bit of skepticism about some of the inflation numbers that we see reported from the government because of what they include or exclude, or some of the data is trailing by a long time.


Rick Sharga (00:28:56) - So I out of frustration, I created my own CPI. It's not the consumer price index, it's the Costco price index. And I look at one of my leading indicators is salmon because I buy my salmon at Costco. And a year ago that salmon cost 999 a pound. Today shopping a Costco, that salmon costs 1299 £1.30 percent. That's a 30% lift for all the talk we hear out of the administration about gas prices going down, I can tell you that where I buy my gas at Costco, it's a couple dollars more a gallon than it was just a few years ago. And I say this with a little bit of a chuckle, and I say this knowing that it's a nuisance for me. But I've been blessed. And it's not a life or death decision for me. But there are families out there who are deciding whether or not they can buy salmon this week. And I would submit that on average, your rental family's income is lower than your owner occupied houses, families, income. And so for all of your listeners who are landlords, this is something to be paying very close attention to, despite the fact that inflation is coming down.


Rick Sharga (00:30:02) - Keep in mind that these inflation rates are on top of very high prices that we have as a result of the previous cycle of inflation. So it's going to take a while, even with wages going up for those households to catch up here. And the hope is that wage growth will continue to outpace inflation growth long enough that they'll be able to do that.


Keith Weinhold (00:30:23) - Yes, that's a positive trend. Yeah. Rick, as long is in your Costco price index, Costco doesn't try to skimp, inflate and replace your wild elastic salmon with Atlantic farmed salmon. I'm sure you're going to be paying attention to that as well as you fill your own shopping basket and come up with what's really happening with inflation. Because for those that believe the CPI, it's been reported in the low threes lately and CPI peaked at 9.1% almost two years ago in June of 2022.


Rick Sharga (00:30:55) - And what the Federal Reserve has done is unprecedented. We've only ever seen rates go this high this quickly, once in the last 50 or 60 years. That was back in the 1980s, when inflation was really in runaway mode and out of control.


Rick Sharga (00:31:10) - And normally what the Federal Reserve does is very methodical, very thoughtful. They'll raise the fed funds rate a quarter of a point. They'll sit back and wait to see what happens. They'll raise another quarter point and give it some time to take effect and so forth and so on until they feel like inflation is under control. And then they'll then they'll drop that fed funds rate. In this case, they've admitted a few things that probably took a lot for them to say out loud. They admitted that they underestimated how high inflation would get. They admitted that they underestimated how quickly it would rise. And they also admitted that they underestimated how difficult it was going to be to get it under control. So what it did peak at about 9.1% a couple of years ago. They took unprecedented steps in terms of the size of of rate hikes and the rapidity with which they raised the fed funds rate. And now they're in a position where inflation is trending more or less in the right direction. It's in the low threes, as you said, it has not come down as much in the last couple reports as they would like.


Rick Sharga (00:32:10) - And that's probably going to result in them holding the fed funds rate at its current level for at least the first half of this year before they start doing rate cuts, because the last thing they want to do is cut too soon and see inflation start to come back up.


Keith Weinhold (00:32:25) - About one month ago, I did an episode titled Why the Fed should not lower rates. Rates are. Normal and the economy doesn't need the help. So if we do have this dreaded R-word, this recession, the most convenient tool for the fed to use is to cut rates. We don't want to use up that ammo while we're still in a good position like we are today.


Rick Sharga (00:32:47) - Yeah, I don't disagree with you. And there were some economists and mostly Wall Street, who had been predicting a fed rate cut as early as March and over the course of the year. And I thought they were all crazy great. And I've been saying at the earliest, May now I think it's probably not until June. The rates are a little higher than historic averages.


Rick Sharga (00:33:05) - I could see maybe three rate cuts this year, maybe four if the economy slows down significantly. We're not we're certainly not going back to the zero rates that we had for a few years. I think the fed will be very cautious and reserved in its approach to scaling back the fed funds rate. One of the the side effects of what they did is they cast a lot of uncertainty and doubt into the financial markets, which have caused mortgage rates to skyrocket, which have caused private lending rates to skyrocket. For your listeners who borrow from private lenders. And I don't think we see those rates start to come down significantly until after the fed does its first fed funds rate cut, I suspect, and so far I've been right, that until we see that rate cut, we're going to see mortgage rates on a 30 year fixed rate loan kind of bounce back and forth in a very narrow band between about 6.75 and 7.25% for the next few months. And that's really where they've been since January. And I think that will continue to be the case until we see that first rate cut, at which point the market will probably say, okay, they're serious now we can have that sigh of relief, and then we'll see a slow and gradual reduction in mortgage rates.


Rick Sharga (00:34:21) - I did want to touch on two things related to the fed actions and the current economic issues. Keith, because I often get the question about likelihood of a recession. If you go back in history all the way back to World War two, not counting this cycle, the Federal Reserve has raised the fed funds rates 11 times in order to get inflation under control. Eight of those 11 times, they've wound up over correcting as they raise the rates right. And that steered us into a recession. The three times that didn't happen, the three times they executed a soft landing, not a recession. All three of those cycles had something in common, and that was that the fed didn't have to overcorrect because they started early. They acted proactively when it looked like inflation was getting started, and they were able to keep inflation under control without a drastic increase in the fed funds rate this cycle. They've already admitted that they waited too long and inflation got higher than they expected. And because of that, they've had to raise the rates more quickly and more dramatically again than anything we've seen in the last 40 or 50 years.


Rick Sharga (00:35:25) - So historically speaking, it would seem more likely than not that we'd see at least a mild recession. The people who say, well, if we would have seen one through this cycle, we would have already seen it often overlooked the fact that it can take 24 months after the Fed's rate hikes are done, to see the full effect on the economy.


Keith Weinhold (00:35:45) - Economies are complex and cycles move slowly. They do so, historically speaking.


Rick Sharga (00:35:50) - That's one thing. I look at the other and without getting to Inside Baseball for your listeners, is something called a yield curve inversion. Yeah. And that's when when the bonds markets sense a disruption in the force and think that Darth Vader may be hitting the economy, but basically it's when the the yields on longer term investments like ten year Treasury bonds switch places with the yields on shorter term investments like two year Treasury bonds. So the yield on a two year investment is actually higher than the yield on a ten year investment. And when you have that inversion, that's what they call a yield curve inversion.


Rick Sharga (00:36:23) - And the last eight times that's happened we've had a recession follow not always a long drawn out recession, but there's always been a recession. And this particular yield curve inversion cycle is one of the deepest and longest ones we've had in a long time. And again, using history as a precedent. That doesn't seem to be really good reason for this cycle to behave differently than the last eight half. Having said all that, we may get lucky. The fed may pull a rabbit out of its hat and actually execute that rare soft landing instead of a recession. If they do, we'll still feel the economy slowdown that's almost a given. And if they don't, if we do have a recession, every economist I speak with tells me the same thing that it's likely to be a very short, very mild recession because all of the economic fundamentals underneath are still very, very strong. And, you know, employment, wages, productivity and so forth and so on. So likely to see some sort of slowdown this year, Keith, whether it turns into an actual recession or is just very, very slow growth, that's the most likely scenario for the rest of 2024.


Keith Weinhold (00:37:30) - Well, Rick, as we wind down here, the. Last thing I'd like to ask you about is in a recession, what typically happens to real estate, because you and I both study history and something that I often say here on the show is oftentimes you need to look at history over hunches, for example, I think it's easy to have a hunch that when mortgage rates rise while home prices are definitely going to fall. No, actually, if you look at history, when mortgage rates rise, home prices typically rise because rising rates typically mean the economy strong. And another one is when home prices are up. Well, a lot of people think that others want to then jump into the housing market and buy when they see that prices are up. So then when home prices are up, well, that means rents must fall since everyone's buying. But no, these two things typically move together home prices and rents. It's about history over hunches. So with that in mind, talk to us with your historical research on in recessions, what typically happens to the real estate market?


Rick Sharga (00:38:28) - Typically, home sales go up from the beginning of recession to the end of a recession.


Rick Sharga (00:38:33) - And in fact, with the notable exception of the last recession, the Great Recession, housing is very often helped the economy recuperate from a recession and recover. And that's particularly true in the new homes market. Home prices also typically go up from the beginning of recession to the end of a recession. So you could have some short term disruption. You could see home sales volume or home prices dip slightly at the beginning of a recession. But historically speaking, in every recession except the Great Recession, we've actually seen both home sales and home prices go up. And to your point, higher mortgage rates do not historically equate to lower home prices. What they do equate to is home prices going up at a slower rate. And this last cycle has been very unusual because historically, we've never seen mortgage rates double in a single calendar year until 2022. And in fact, that year rates didn't double in a calendar year. They doubled in a couple of months.


Keith Weinhold (00:39:33) - And tripled overall.


Rick Sharga (00:39:34) - And they tripled overall. So if you look at that, we did see home prices actually decline in some markets, although nationally the number never went negative.


Rick Sharga (00:39:44) - And we saw home price appreciation drop off pretty dramatically but still stay positive on a year over year basis. So it's been kind of interesting. This has been a very unusual cycle for a lot of reasons, but historically speaking, your spot on a recession does not spell doom and gloom for the housing market. Whether you're talking about owner occupied homes or rental properties.


Keith Weinhold (00:40:06) - Rick and I talked about the general economy today. Next week, Rick is going to join us again, and we're going to focus squarely on the real estate market. So no long goodbyes, Rick. We'll see you next week.


Rick Sharga (00:40:18) - See you soon, Keith.


Keith Weinhold (00:40:25) - Yeah. Strong insights from Rick, as usual. To help sum it up, recession or not, expect some sort of economic slowdown later this year. It's expected to be mild. That's what Rick shared with us. And if that happens, expect less rent growth. Then in a recession, home prices tend to go up. That's what really happens. Wage growth keeps outpacing inflation. Now the longer that trend continues, expect more rent growth in the future.


Keith Weinhold (00:40:57) - But of course the real rate of inflation is slippery to measure. I think you could still make the case that wage growth isn't really higher than inflation. So to me, that part's actually not that bullish. Rick believes mortgage rates will stay near 7% until the fed makes their first rate cut. We discussed monetary policy today. And you surely know that's what the fed does. They control the flow of money and interest rate policy. We did not discuss fiscal policy. We're not going to next week either. Fiscal policy is something that Tom Wheelwright and I often do together. And what is the difference? Well, fiscal policy is the tax and spend side. When you think of fiscal think tax and spend, and it's often congressional committees and elected officials that make those fiscal policy decisions, not the fed. They're making the monetary policy. That's the difference. This is get rich education. So after all, we do often have these learning moments. There's more of Rick Saga next week as we pivot from talking about the broader economy this week.


Keith Weinhold (00:42:05) - And then next week, we'll really drill down on the housing market, including more on property price growth prospects, which regions are growing or shrinking, rent growth prospects, and any warning signs that investors should take notice of today. Hey, what? I'd like to think that I don't ask much of you, the listener. I'd like to ask you if you can help me out with one fairly quick thing today. I'd really appreciate it if you get value from the show here. Whether that was, say, last week's episode on what is retirement anyway or from, say, a few weeks ago, why inflation is actually an immoral force, or the latest trends like the content of today's and next week's show, or my upcoming breakdown of why Western US homes cost more than eastern US homes and other content like that that you just aren't going to find anywhere else. I'm simply asking you for your feedback. This takes the show from one way communication to some two way communication. Please consider leaving me a podcast rating and review, whether that's on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to the show.


Keith Weinhold (00:43:17) - Just do a search for, for example, how to leave an Apple Podcasts review so you can see how to do it. And then I'd be grateful for that. Rating and review more next week on the future direction of the housing market I'm Keith Weinhold. Don't quit your day dream.


Speaker 4 (00:43:37) - Nothing on this show should be considered specific, personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate, financial or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own. Information is not guaranteed. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. The host is operating on behalf of get Rich education LLC exclusively.


Keith Weinhold (00:44:05) - The preceding program was brought to you by your home for wealth building. Get rich

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