While people argue about what is real and fake news the widening gulf of inequality in the real world only continues to expand. This is actually happening and for the ultra wealthy that hold most of the wealth, all of this distraction is a good thing. The latest wealth report from Deutsche Bank Research shows that wealth inequality is at levels last seen during the Roaring 20s. The problem with this kind of inequality is that it has come from largely hollowing out the middle class and also creating a large crony financial system that is designed to suck out productivity in the real economy and shuffle it over to folks in suits sitting behind Bloomberg terminals. In other words, those that work and build the economy get shafted from the financial hubs of the world. This global financial drain does not adhere to national borders but is driven by the worldwide financial elite that collect trophy apartments in major metro areas. All this happens while your typical American family struggles to buy a home. There is nothing fake about the current level of wealth inequality.
Housing in a time of rising mortgage rates: A big jump in mortgage rates is here to stay for these reasons.
In the midst of everything that is going on, the bond market took a big hit to the tune of $1 trillion. What this means is that mortgage rates tied to Treasury bonds had a massive move, the largest in many years. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate jumped to nearly 4 percent, the highest rate in a year. The trend looks to continue as the expectation of inflation is now expected to happen. There are a variety of reasons as to why this will happen and we will go into this later in the article. But this jump in the mortgage market happened during a time that the homeownership rate is already low because people are too broke to afford homes at inflated prices. This is a problem because people are already walking on a financial edge. The housing market just got more expensive for regular people.
The most expensive housing market in the world: Vancouver levies a $10,000 a year tax on empty homes. Not telling the truth and it becomes $10,000 a day.
While many areas of the US are now back near housing bubble territory after correcting, Canada never corrected and today has seen real estate values inch into the stratosphere. Global wealth, largely from China is fueling the flames of the Canadian housing bubble. While many that live in areas like Vancouver are frustrated in finding a rental or even affording a home, thousands of homes sit empty. Why? Because extremely wealthy foreigners use real estate as an exit hatch in various nations. These homes simply become trophies for the globally connected. Vancouver is taking some action levying a $10,000 a year tax on homes that sit empty. This might seem odd to you that a home would simply sit empty but this is the case in many high priced markets. Let us look at the most inflated housing market in the world.
94,609,000 adult Americans not in the labor force: In January 2009, 80,529,000 were not in the labor force. Now we’ve added 14 million Americans.
There is truly a silent majority in the United States and those are people that are not in the labor force. It is hard to believe but since January of 2009 we have added a whopping 14 million Americans to the already staggering number of adult Americans that are not in the labor force. Many older Americans are fully reliant on Social Security and are one missed direct deposit from being out on the streets and starving. Adults not in the labor force are largely ignored because they have weak purchasing power. Who is going to advertise to them? Yet this massive group makes up nearly one-third of the entire population. Are we heading to 100,000,000 adult Americans that will no longer be in the labor force?
The story of inflation between 1996 and 2016 is of rising prices in things that you need: Prices skyrocket for middle class goods and services.
Inflation is rarely discussed in the mainstream press. Most people wake up every day and simply believe that prices go up as a natural state. These deeply held assumptions usually crack when new revelations happen like centuries ago with new scientific discoveries showing that our planet is not the center of the universe. Yet somehow people hold on tightly refusing to acknowledge that inflation is caused directly by banks, governments, and central banks. It is interesting to look at inflation data over a 20 year period, form 1996 to 2016. What you will find in the data is that prices are soaring in the items people need, especially those items to enter into the middle class. Since wages are not keeping up, it is no surprise then that the middle class over this time has shrank into a minority class.
The Suburban Ghetto: Today one in three poor Americans, about 16.4 million people live in the suburbs.
We tend to think of the suburbs as middle class utopias. When people think of the American Dream they usually draw up a picture of a home with a picket white fence in the suburb. Poverty is usually left to inner cities and crammed multi-family dwellings. So it might come as a surprise that over the last decade the fastest growing segment of poverty occurred in the suburbs. It occurred in this market as people were driven out of city centers where prices surged and people were driven further outside of the city. In the past, this push out was usually done by choice for quality of life and family purposes. This time, it has happened by economic force and poverty in the suburbs is exploding. This goes hand in hand with the shrinking middle class.
The Millennial Conundrum: Millennials are bogged down by massive student debt and confiscatory housing prices.
Millennials are a critical group in terms of where the economy goes in the next few years. The economy largely relies on younger people to spend and purchase consumption items. Think of a young couple buying their first home. That in itself is a big purchase. Then comes big ticket items like refrigerators, a family car, bed, television, and all the trappings of filling a home. Baby boomers followed a very clear script when it came to this consumption behavior. Millennials on the other hand have not. They are largely constrained by a couple of major things that simply were not tied to the previous generation. And what could those be? Millennials are bogged down by student debt and confiscatory housing prices.