Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
News from Washington | By Luke Villalobos
CPI report shows continued inflation increase

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Thursday showing an overall increase of 0.4 percent. The data show that the index for shelter contributed to over half of the monthly items increase.

“Today’s report on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) makes clear that rising housing costs continue to fuel inflation. While increased interest rates are reducing demand, they are also crushing housing supply, blunting their impact,” said David Dworkin, NHC President and CEO in a press release. “I am increasingly concerned that this blunted tool may be doing more harm than good, and risks reducing the ability of housing markets to lead the nation out of an increasingly unavoidable recession,” Dworkin said.

“Bipartisan legislation like the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act would create 2.5 million homes over the next ten years. The law of supply and demand cannot be repealed, and increasing housing supply is the best tool to address inflation.”
Mortgage Rate surpasses 7 percent

Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest averaged 7.08 percent on Thursday. The data comes as a result of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98 percent. Prior to the release, Fannie Mae reported that consumer confidence in housing hit a new all-time low based on their Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which is down 18.8 points since this time last year. The new low indicates that consumers are pessimistic about home buying and selling conditions, which reflects the impact of higher interest rates.

“As the housing market adjusts to rapidly tightening monetary policy, mortgage rates again surpassed seven percent,” said Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater. “The housing market is the most interest-rate sensitive segment of the economy, and the impact rates have on homebuyers continues to evolve. Home sales have declined significantly and, as we approach year-end, they are not expected to improve.”
HUD announces disaster recovery funding

HUD announced $1.447 billion in Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Funds for communities recovering from 2021 climate disasters. These funds will support 10 local governments and 13 state governments in recovery and efforts to build resilience toward the impacts of climate change. These efforts are a part of an agency-wide strategy under HUD’s Climate Action Plan working to address climate justice and racial equity.

“We want to make sure that we are doing it in a way that is beneficial and equitable to those who were already underserved before the disaster struck. We must also push forward to build back stronger to prevent future destruction from disasters and climate change impacts as much as possible,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Chart of the week
Chart of the week: Renters vote at lower rate than homeowners

A new study from Apartment List examines voting differences between renters and homeowners and general attitudes towards housing costs as a political issue. The study notes that homeowners have a large financial motivation to vote due to policies impacting local property values. Renters face additional struggles to vote, including lack of time and higher likelihood of voter suppression since renters are more likely to be minority groups. However, it also found that renters are far more likely to view housing as a key issue in the midterms. According to their study, 65 percent of renters agree that rising housing costs have had a negative impact on their families, and about the same number say that it is a critical issue that affects their vote.
What we're reading
An article by NPR offers an overview of affordable housing measures passed in election votes across the country. Dozens of cities had ballot measures to approve spending for housing, including Kansas City looking to fund deeply affordable housing and Austin passing a housing bond measure to help repair existing housing and build new homes.

American Enterprise Institute published their most recent Housing Finance Watch report. Key takeaways from the report include tight supply and work from home changes helped to extend the sellers market, but they anticipate the national seller’s market to end in 2023. It also reports a 30-year mortgage rate of 7.25 percent, and notes that Fed rate hikes may inflict harm on low-income borrowers who are less able to withstand price volatility from inflation.

The New York Times published an article encompassing the scope of challenges within the housing market, ranging from mortgage rates to inventory to impact on rents. The volatile market changes have led to embracing the pre pandemic slogan “Date the rate, marry the house,” among mortgage brokers hoping to encourage buyers to purchase now and refinance later.
The week ahead
Monday, November 14
Tuesday, November 15
Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1:00 - 5:00 PM EST
Next-Generation Innovations in Housing Affordability (Urban Institute), 1:00 - 5:30 PM EST online and in Washington, DC

Wednesday, November 16
Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1:00 - 5:00 PM EST

Thursday, November 17
Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1:00 - 5:00 PM EST

Friday, November 18
Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1:00 - 5:00 PM EST
The National Housing Conference is a diverse continuum of affordable housing stakeholders that convene and collaborate through dialogue, advocacy, research, and education, to develop equitable solutions that serve our common interest.
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