Zillow’s Senior Economist on Why You DON’T Want Mortgage Rates to Fall

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Everyone wants low mortgage rates again, but getting there might be one of the most economically treacherous roads many have ever faced. The sacrifice needed to get interest rates down would be substantial and lead to severe effects throughout the economy and all of our lives. After you hear today’s interview with Senior Economist at Zillow, Orphe Divounguy, you’ll know exactly what we mean.

Orphe’s team tracks anything and everything to do with the housing market. From home prices to migration, mortgage rates, new construction, and more, their finger is closer to the housing market pulse than most. But, if you want an episode where we talk about home prices coming back down and rates finally falling, this isn’t it. Orphe brings on the housing market facts and forecasts a future many of us didn’t think possible just a few months ago.

We’ll go over home price predictions, what could cause rates to finally fall, underrated affordable markets, recession risk, and how to get started investing in real estate during such a tough market.

Dave:
Hey, everyone. This is Dave Meyer, your host for On the Market. Joined today by Kathy Fettke. Kathy, we have a bit of a double whammy today. We have an economist who it turns out is also a new investor and I think this is going to be a really fun conversation.

Kathy:
I thought when you said double whammy, you were talking about the surfboard that hit my nose.

Dave:
I didn’t want to bring that up. That was a double whammy or just one big whammy? What happened?

Kathy:
A double whammy for the show. My nose is double the size. It may be broken. I’m not sure. We’ll find out when I go get it checked, but maybe I’ll come back with a new nose. Who knows?

Dave:
What happened?

Kathy:
Well, I learned to wake surf and I got it and it’s called an endless wave and it was like a dream come true and I was just surfing forever and I was in another state of mind. Whenever you fall, you should always cover your face. I didn’t do a bad fall, but then the next thing you know there was a board in my face.

Dave:
No, no.

Kathy:
It was worth every bit of pain.

Dave:
I’m sorry. Well, if it’s that great, I’m sure you’ll be up to it again.

Kathy:
Oh, yes, I will.

Dave:
You know something? I think I’ve technically had two nose jobs. Because similarly, I got hit in the face with a baseball and shattered my entire face when I was a kid.

Kathy:
Oh, my. That sounds terrible.

Dave:
I had to get my whole nose reconstructed. Only recently my mom was like, “I’m so glad that worked.” I was like, “What do you mean so glad it worked?” She was like, “The doctor said there was a 30% chance it wouldn’t work and your face would just be all Messed up until you were 18.” Which was 10 years later. I’m glad it worked. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen to you.

Kathy:
A free nose job, who wouldn’t want that? We’ll see.

Dave:
We do have a double whammy today in terms of our guest. We have Orphe Divounguy, who is a senior economist at Zillow. He’s the former chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, and he is going to drop some interesting knowledge on us. He writes a lot about the economy in general, macroeconomics. He knows a lot about construction and new construction and that’s obviously playing a big role in the market right now. We’re going to talk to him about that. We just found out that he also recently became a landlord. I know we’re going to have some questions for him because it’s always interesting to see someone who studies the housing market and also, invests in it.

Kathy:
I cannot wait for this interview. I just think it’s going to be so robust. Can’t wait.

Dave:
Absolutely. I can tell you ahead of time that this is going to be a five-star interview. Appropriately, maybe give us a five-star review on either Apple or Spotify. We greatly appreciate when you take a couple of minutes and help out the show like that. With no further delay, let’s bring on Orphe. Orphe Divounguy, thank you so much for joining us for this episode of On the Market. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Orphe:
Thanks for having me, Dave. I’m a big fan. Big fan of the show, big fan of yours.

Dave:
I am completely shocked to hear that, but I’ll take the compliment where I can get it.

Kathy:
I’m so glad that got recorded.

Dave:
Thank you. I know, I’m going to be bragging to Kathy about this later. Orphe, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Zillow?

Orphe:
I’m a senior economist at Zillow and Zillow Home Loans. I work at looking at the impact of the macroeconomic environment on housing market participants, so buyers, sellers, landlords, renters, and even developers, to try to understand what’s going on and where the market is headed.

Dave:
What data points, what pieces of the economy are you tracking most closely right now in that effort?

Orphe:
Honestly, just about everything that’s related to housing. Anything related to housing, Zillow wants to know about it, Zillow tracks it. Right now, really, it’s mortgage rates. Just like everybody else, we want to know where mortgage rates are and where they’re headed, why they are, where they’re at and where they’re headed. Because mortgages have a huge impact on housing demand and housing supply. By the way, very few people expected that we would’ve seen a big decline in the number of existing homeowners coming on the market to sell their homes like we had in the past year and a half or so. Mortgage rates have had a disproportionate impact on supply more than demand I would say in the last year or so. I keep track of all that. I look at inflation, expected inflation and expected economic growth because they’re leading indicators, they tell us where mortgage rates are headed.

Kathy:
I, for the record, have been completely wrong on my forecast of mortgage rates where I thought they would come down this summer with inflation coming down. I think we even have it on record of me thinking we’re going to get down to below 6% by the end of the year, which I’m wrong. I will say that publicly.

Dave:
It’s the worst part of being on a podcast by the way, is that everything we think and sometimes we’re just rambling off the cuff is all recorded. It’s terrible.

Orphe:
That’s right.

Kathy:
I don’t have the graphs and charts and data in front of me, although I guess I should because you’ve made that very public and you have so much information for us to be able to go through. It’s been confusing. Where is Zillow? Where are you at this point on where rates are headed at least till the end of the year?

Orphe:
Look, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury, which of course, mortgage rates tend to follow, depends on expected economic growth, but also, where investors expect future inflation is going to be. If you look at inflation expectations, they’ve remained fairly stable, slightly above the fed’s target. Economic growth on the other hand seems to be accelerating and recession risk is receding. What does that do? Well, it causes desired investment to exceed, to grow faster than desired savings. That pushes real rates and nominal rates higher. I expect that we’re going to continue to see, as long as economic growth remains pretty strong. If you look at GDPNow, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow estimates around 4.9%. Goldman Sachs forecast GDP to be around 3.2% right now in the third quarter. I think as long as economic growth remains pretty strong, then nominal rates are going to continue to increase and so will mortgage rates.

Kathy:
What’s keeping the economy so strong in this high-rate environment? I would say most people were shocked. Most economists were expecting a recession by now. I think at least that’s what I read. If we go back to last year, they’re like, “It’s going to be middle of next year.” Then you quote GDP rates like that, that’s high. That’s incredible. What’s causing it? Is it all the money printing or is it something else?

Orphe:
I think the first thing is most economists, not all. It usually takes a shock to bring us into a recession and no one can predict a shock. It’s a shock, by definition. It’s a shock. It’s unexpected. I think most people expected the US economy to start to slow down because the fed funds rate increasing by five and a quarter basis points in such a short period of time hasn’t been seen since the 1970s. Every single time that’s happened that we had a large increase in the fed funds rate, the economy ended up falling into recession. The consumer slowed down substantially. Again, I’m saying we are looking at what are some factors? I think some factors.
The labor market has been very strong. Wage growth has slowed less than price growth, so real wages have increased. The stock market has been resilient. Year to date, the S&P 500 is up in double-digit territory. Wealth, non-housing wealth has increased. Housing wealth has also rebounded. The fact that supply has decreased more than demand means that house prices have been increasing again. Home equity is at a near all-time high. When people feel wealthy, they spend more. You have rising housing wealth, you have a very strong, somewhat still strong labor market. Those factors contribute to helping, supporting the consumer and pushing growth higher. There are headwinds though. As every good economist, you got to look at the other side of the coin.
The headwinds are the student loan repayment coming up. You have the surge in oil prices, which are likely going to slow the consumer. You have another looming government shutdown. You also have tightening financial conditions that are likely to cause small and medium businesses to pull back on hiring. Because look, maybe they can’t expand, they can’t get a loan to expand and maybe in some cases, they might have to fire or lay off some workers. You have these headwinds. I suspect the headwinds will not be large enough to push us into a recession given where we are currently. That’s why I don’t think we’re going to see a big drop in mortgage rates like we saw every time, basically the US economy hits a wall.

Dave:
Well, here we are planning a show to talk to you about some new construction stuff, but now I have so many questions about this macro stuff. We’ll get to it everyone, I promise. I just have a couple of questions. Orphe, I agree with you about those headwinds. I’m also curious your thought on the UAW strike and if that could also add to some of the headwinds.

Orphe:
Totally.

Dave:
Does that mean you think that this will indefinitely postpone a recession or do you think it’s just pushing it out into 2024?

Orphe:
Again, impossible to predict. I think the consumer, if you talk to a lot of people, I mean look at the fed’s summary of economic projections. The revision is up, they revise everything up. I think what we’re seeing is basically, we have a strong consumer, we have a lot of headwinds, but with growth at 4.9%. By the way, Atlanta Fed GDPNow is rarely very wrong. With growth at 4.9%, there’s a big buffer.

Dave:
Huge.

Orphe:
By the way, you look at job openings, they still vastly exceed the number of available workers out there. Big buffer. They’ll have to come down a lot before we start to see a big jump in the unemployment rate. Layoffs would have to increase. You look at unemployment claims, which are a good leading indicator of what we’re going to see in the jobs report. They’re coming down.

Kathy:
They dropped huge last week. It’s crazy.

Orphe:
Exactly. I would say to the listeners out there, I think the risk is more on the upside than the downside. I talked to our forecasting team at Zillow and I say, “Look, I think we should think about mortgage rates increasing maybe 30 to 60 basis points, maybe.” No one can predict where mortgage rates are going. I’m just thinking out there, how much of all of this activity is already priced in to mortgage rates? I don’t know. I’d rather be on the cautious side and say, mortgages are going to be a little bit higher, and that’s okay. That’s okay. I think we should be okay with that. 7% is the norm, not the exception.
If we get productivity increases like we saw in the second quarter, you saw the improvement in productivity. You have AI coming. If you see all these improvements in productivity, what we’re likely to see is income growth, real income growth, real wealth increasing sufficiently so that people will become indifferent or accustomed to that 7%. Affordability will improve. Remember affordability, if you measure it as cost, housing cost as a share of income, if income is rising, then affordability improves. I think we should get used to this new normal the sooner we get there when we make that shift, the better.

Kathy:
Oh, my gosh. I love this. I love this because so often in real estate we’re like, “We just want rates to come down.” For them to come down, we have to see that recession, and people have been hoping for that. There is the other side of what if we just grow our way out of it and things become more affordable because we’re all making more money?

Orphe:
Look, one thing I tell people, I was doing a panel recently on this. I say, “Look, when have mortgages fallen drastically?” The bursting of the dotcom bubble, the start of the great recession. I don’t want to go back to September 2008. In March 2020, I really don’t want to go back to March 2020.

Dave:
Please, no.

Kathy:
Let’s not do that.

Orphe:
We forget that with recessions come, job losses. Job losses are a big negative for housing demand. I think I’d rather see a strong US consumer, because a strong US consumer is a big positive for housing demand.

Kathy:
Which is why it seems Zillow has been coming out with projections that actually home prices are going to go up. That was a recent report.

Orphe:
Absolutely. If you look at the impact of mortgage rates so far, mortgage rates have had a bigger negative impact on supply than on demand. If you could buy or refi when rates were at record lows, you did. It was the leverage of a lifetime. A recent Zillow survey shows that 80% of homeowners have a mortgage rate under 5%. The server also found that owners are twice as likely to sell if their rate is above 5%. We’re seeing new listings very, very low when compared to normal. You’re not seeing a lot of existing homeowners wanting to sell their homes. They’re enjoying that. They’re keeping that low monthly mortgage payment. I think as long as we continue to see that, you’re likely going to see that upward price pressure.

Dave:
It’s so interesting talking about supply, because we touched a little bit on demand, and I can see it going a couple of different ways because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the economy. With supply, I just can’t figure out what would move it. I actually saw Zillow release a survey recently saying that they thought somewhere around 5%, five and a half percent is where people might list their homes again. I don’t think that’s coming anytime soon. It sounds like you don’t think it’s coming anytime soon. Do you see anything that could move supply upward in the coming year or so?

Orphe:
I told another group I talked to last week in DC, I think we really need new construction. It’s all about new con. We got to support new construction as much as possible. Look, before the pandemic, we came into the pandemic with massive under-building. I saw a paper by the Chicago Fed President, Austan Goolsbee, that basically said, “Construction productivity growth has lagged the rest of the US economy over the last 40 years. Why is productivity so sluggish in the construction sector?” There are many reasons. You have geographic constraints to building. Climate change could be another one, especially going forward.
You also have these land use rules that prevent building, prevent supply from responding quickly enough to increases in demand. I think that provides an opportunity. That’s where there’s an opportunity for us to make some major changes in order to allow supply to catch up. My hope is in new construction. Unfortunately though, with mortgages increasing, builders are pulling back a little bit. If you look at starts and building permits, we’re about at the same pace that we were at in 2019, and yet we’re short almost 900,000, almost a million existing homes. All that new building is probably not going to fill the gap that’s missing. Whatever we can do to support builders in this high-cost environment is what I’m basically preaching right now.

Kathy:
Yes, support the builders. I can tell you why builders are terrified. Because unless you’re a national home builder, the smaller builders, we syndicate a lot of new construction, and it’s been brutal. It’s been absolutely brutal. Lot prices are high, construction materials are still really high. Just a year ago, we couldn’t even get them. We would’ve paid anything just to get them. Couldn’t, because we weren’t the national builder that could buy all your materials in advance. It’s been brutal to bring on new construction. Not to mention then the cities want to put the affordable housing on us. In order to even get approvals, we need to provide 30% affordable housing in a time where that’s impossible. How are we supposed to build something affordable when all the costs are so high? I couldn’t agree with you more. Support the builder. We’re struggling out there.

Orphe:
Land costs are rising.

Kathy:
Yes.

Orphe:
That’s a big, big issue. We need to find more build-able land. How do we do that? By reforming zoning rules. At least that would be the first step. One thing that we saw though builders do really, really well when cost increased in 2022 is builders pivoted into higher density. They really leaned into higher density. Construction starts, fell 12% for detached single-family homes and increased 3% for attached homes. Town homes and condos. Builders are pivoting, builders are trying to make the math work. They’re creating beautiful spaces, but they’re also really trying to work with buyers in terms of meeting them where they’re at when it comes to their budget constraint. You’re also seeing builders offering all types of incentives right now. Rate buy downs, offering to pay some of the closing costs. That’s helping, but unfortunately, maybe not enough to heal this housing market completely.

Kathy:
Then not to mention that the cost to borrow is getting harder and more expensive too.

Orphe:
That’s right.

Kathy:
That’s really going to be the solution, is bringing on new construction. We just saw the most recent report with actually permits seemed to be higher, but new starts were down. That seemed to be mostly in the multifamily. Because once again, to build a multifamily building and have the high cost of construction plus the high cost of debt, the numbers just aren’t really working out. All that new supply, it’s slowing down, it appears. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think builders are going to be able to get up and running?

Orphe:
No. I think we’re going to continue to see multifamily slow down. By 2022, we had the most multifamily construction in almost 40 years in terms of starts and permits. Now with rent growth cooling, apartment rent growth has cooled substantially, I think multifamily starts are going to continue to pull back. Now, the good news is there’s still some units, some projects under construction right now that are going to come on the market. Good news for renters. Maybe not as good for landlords. Landlords are still sitting in a very comfortable position. It’s just that they’re probably not going to be able to raise the rent as much as they had in the past couple of years.

Dave:
Well, that brings up a good point, Orphe. Do you think rent is at any risk of going down or just slowing growth?

Orphe:
It really depends on the units. If you look at the single-family units, rent growth is back to normal. If you look at apartments, rent growth has slowed, close to zero. It really depends on what kind of unit you have out there. I think a lot of families don’t have the down payment, have been priced out of the housing market or going to want to live in a town home or a single-family house. You’re not going to have as many people going into these apartments. I think that if you’re a landlord and you have some town homes and a bunch of town homes, condos, maybe spaces, places with a little bit of space, you’re probably going to do better than someone with an apartment.

Dave:
What regional differences are you seeing in the market in general? Are there areas where you think there is sufficient construction or new supply coming on board versus others that are particularly constrained?

Orphe:
I think new con, when you think about the Northeast, I think the Northeast just doesn’t build enough. You look at all of the Northeast region, historically just hasn’t built enough. The South on the other, the Midwest has been affordable for a while. Now, it’s actually getting pricier because everybody’s moving into the Midwest because it’s still relatively more affordable than other places. I love the South. I love the South because the South is building rapidly. I look at units in Nashville, for example. Nashville, population growth is there. I was recently there. I look around and there’s construction everywhere.
The South, I think is going to continue to carry the, I should say, carry the US economy. Why do I say that? I’m a firm believer that housing is the heartbeat of the US economy. If you look at everything that’s going on right now, the fact that the rent components of inflation are basically 40% of core inflation. The reason why policy is as restrictive as it is right now. The fact that affordability challenges prevent workers from moving to where the jobs are, the most productive jobs are. All of that, to me, it’s one of the reasons why I love studying housing. I really think that housing is the key to the health and growth of the US economy.

Kathy:
I love the South and Southeast too. Would you say from a demographic perspective, that’s still where people are moving or are they just moving everywhere? Midwest, Northeast?

Orphe:
Totally. You look at population growth, I don’t have the latest numbers, but the South is where people are moving. I think we’re going to continue to see that going forward. Now, of course, climate change is playing a little bit of a role. You have the Florida hurricanes and the issues with insurance costs rising in some parts of the country, or even insurers refusing to insure people anymore. I think that’s going to be a big headwind going forward for housing, for the US economy as a whole. Recent research shows that basically people now take climate risk into account, into consideration when they think about their moving decisions. I think that’s going to grow in importance for the housing market and the US economy.

Dave:
I’d love to dig in a little bit on what you said about the Midwest. Because you said people are moving there as well, and it’s relatively affordable. What is your read on the housing market in the Midwest in general?

Orphe:
I love a place like Columbus, Ohio, for example. You’ve got some big businesses in the Columbus region. I heard Intel is moving to Columbus. You’ve got healthcare industry, you’ve got Ohio State University, you have big government employer in Columbus. There are places like that and it’s still so much more affordable than everywhere else. I look at places like that and I think, “Oh, my gosh.” I think you have these places that, and maybe it’s not necessarily people moving there, but even because it’s still so affordable, the locals are just going to buy up or having an easier time keeping the housing market moving in those areas. That’s why I think the Midwest could use some more new con. Because unless it builds more, it’s going to become the rest of the country where things are just not going to be as affordable anymore. You look at our rent measures year over year, price increases. Price increases in the Midwest are maybe not as hot as they were during the pandemic boom, but pretty hot still compared to everywhere else.

Kathy:
Builders maybe aren’t as attracted to building in the Midwest where it’s needed because where’s the profit when it’s still pretty affordable there?

Orphe:
That’s right.

Dave:
Because Kathy, it’s not proportionally cheaper to build in the Midwest than it would be in the South.

Kathy:
Builders are in it for the profit. They’re going to go where they can get more money. That does leave an opportunity for those buying existing homes in the Midwest. Certainly, there’s going to be demand.

Orphe:
When we talk about barriers to building, you look at laws that prevent homeowners from building ADUs, for example. I like ADUs. I feel like ADU are a boost for both renters and homeowners. It raises your home value and at the same time, you’re providing a unit most of the time below market rent for potentially a low-income renter. I think the ability to build ADUs everywhere in the country should be the norm. In so many places, ADUs are still illegal or too difficult to build.

Kathy:
Often economists look at numbers and they analyze and rarely actually jump into the game. Before this call, you said, “Hey, I’m so excited. First of all, I’m a big fan of Dave.” I loved that, that you said that. Also, that you are a big fan of investing and buying rental property. With all the information you have, tell us what you’re doing. How are you getting into the game?

Orphe:
First of all, I think you need a good agent, an investor-friendly agent. That’s number one. You’ve got to find somebody who’s familiar with the area that you’re looking at. You have to have somebody, a good network, which is what I love about the BiggerPockets community. Good, strong network, builders, agents, mortgage professionals who understand investing in real estate. Some of the things that I’ve been doing lately is just going around. I used a couple of work trips. After my work trips, I get together with an agent and I go around the town that I’m interested in. I connect with people to try to find out where are the best deals, where are the areas that are up and coming where you could potentially own a place? Also, another piece of advice, and that’s for me, and maybe I got that from the BiggerPockets podcast, is because rates are so high right now, some people focus on cashflow.
I think shifting the focus on where are these appreciation markets? You may not be able to cashflow on day one, but you’re going to raise the rent 2 to 3% every year. Your home equity is going to continue to increase over time. Looking at these appreciation markets, I tell a lot of people, one thing I’ve said recently at another talk I gave is like, “Look, homeownership is how most Americans got to make and keep their wealth.” That’s just the way things have been done in this country. There’s huge tax advantages to being a homeowner or an investor, a real estate investor. There are so many ways to make the math work. Just getting in the game I think is really, really important. Again, best advice is find that community, find those people in the industry that can help you open the door for you.

Kathy:
I love that, boots on the street. Here’s an analyst who you’ve got access to data, but you still need that boots on the street information.

Orphe:
Absolutely. That’s what we tell everybody at Zillow. Zillow wants to support the agent community. We work with agents. I tell people, the first thing you need to do is get people on your side. You want an agent who knows the market really well, the market you’re interested in very well. Especially, in an environment where inventory is 40% below what it was in 2019. You don’t have a lot of homes on the market. You want a strong agent on your side. You want a strong loan officer on your side. You want somebody to help you figure out the math, figure out what it is that you can afford. You need those two people on your site.
Great tool that Zillow put out recently is a search by monthly cost calculator. What we do is we are allowing people to go ahead and search, put in what it is that they can afford on a monthly basis, and it will show them all of the available inventory that will fit within their budget. You put in a couple of assumptions here and there, like the current prevailing mortgage rates, et cetera, et cetera. Then you can start your search there rather than flying blind. Again, you cannot replace, you cannot replace. Even with all this technology, you cannot replace the agent, the community to help you understand the environment better.

Dave:
That’s great advice. Are you officially a landlord now? Are you a property owner?

Orphe:
Yeah. I have somebody I work with to help me with finding properties, buying properties. She’s also a property manager and she’s also built units in the Nashville area. I love the Nashville area. It’s a beautiful place and still growing tremendously.

Dave:
Well, congratulations. We’re going to maybe have to get you on the other podcast as a success story in a few years as your portfolio grows.

Orphe:
I’m a beginner and I’m learning from BiggerPockets, of course. Again, great resources. I’m a big fan.

Kathy:
I love that so much. I’m just curious, I still see so many people just in fear, but it comes across as hate on Threads and on social media and so forth. I posted an article that Warren Buffett was investing in new home builders. Because clearly, he thinks new supplies needed and that there’s not a lot of supply that’s going to come on just from foreclosures or whatever people think is going to happen. What do you say to people who are still just thinking that there’s a housing crash around the corner?

Orphe:
I’ve seen a big shock. I’ve seen a big slowdown in the labor market coming from something completely unexpected. I just don’t see it. I guess what I would say is, demand still exceeds supply. Demand fell, but supply fell even more. As long as demand exceeds supply, builders will not leave money on the table. They will build more efficiently. That’s what we saw in 2022. We saw builders actually more units being started offsite as opposed to onsite. We saw builders building fewer bedrooms, smaller units with fewer bedrooms. They built taller units. Leaning into higher density. Doing with what they have in order to build beautiful spaces that are not just what buyers want, but what buyers can afford. I think builders have the ability to make the math work for home buyers. Builders are really where this is going. We saw that. Existing home sales down, new home sales up.
Why are new home sales up? Because more units are coming on the market and builders are making the math work for home buyers. I have a lot of hope here that as long as demand exceeds supply, builders won’t leave money on the table, they will continue to build and we’re going to continue to see new home sales increasing. Again, lately, we saw the shock. Investors had to come to the realization that the US economy was more resilient than they had expected. That shock pushed mortgages higher, and that’s what slowing down housing starts a little bit. I think that as things adjust, so long as the demand is so resilient, which it is, mortgages are increasing because the consumer is still so strong. Then I think builders will continue to build, especially in the single-family space. I think that’s what, I hope at least, that’s fueling the enthusiasm for builders when you look at what Warren Buffets is doing.

Kathy:
Do you want a strong economy or low rates? I guess that’s the big question. Let’s go with strong economy.

Orphe:
Absolutely. A strong economy all day long. You want strong income growth, real income growth. You want strong stock market performance. Because those are the things that drive housing demand, propel housing demand forward. I

Dave:
I totally agree. If we can get back to a point where housing growth is more predictable, housing is more affordable without a huge crash in housing prices, that just seems like the ideal situation at this point, given where we are.

Orphe:
Totally.

Dave:
Well, Orphe, thank you so much for being here. This was very enlightening and also, a lot of fun. We appreciate it. If people want to follow your work at Zillow, where should they do that?

Orphe:
Zillow research. zillow.com/research is where all of our research is online. They can also find me on LinkedIn. I usually answer questions from people. I post quite a bit on my LinkedIn platform. I’m happy to talk to people, answer questions and discuss and learn really, from others where I may have blind spots about the future of the housing market and the US economy. I love engaging with people. It was a pleasure to be on the podcast. Thank you for having me.

Dave:
Thanks again. Well, that was just a good time.

Kathy:
Oh, my gosh.

Dave:
I had a lot of fun with that interview.

Kathy:
I just love that this senior economist at Zillow is a big fan of BiggerPockets and a huge fan of Dave Meyer.

Dave:
I still can’t believe anyone is a fan of me, which is very surprising. Clearly, you haven’t met me in person. That was awesome. I just love that he is so wise about the economy, knows everything there is to know, and is still is someone who is eager to get into investing right now and had such good advice. Maybe he watches the show, but he clearly understands what it takes to be an investor even in this type of environment.

Kathy:
I love it. I’ve interviewed so many economists and I’m always just shocked with the data that they have that they’re not just avid investors.

Dave:
That is so true. There’s so many of them who, I don’t know, maybe you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket kind of thing. You study the housing market, you don’t want to be invested in it. On this show, we always talk about the opposite. Kathy, you told me you had less than half percent of your net worth in the stock market.

Kathy:
It’s bad.

Dave:
Or something like that.

Kathy:
It’s so bad.

Dave:
Clearly, you don’t subscribe for that belief.

Kathy:
I have diversification in markets. Property type.

Dave:
It’s good. One of my favorite things that Orphe said was that you need a great team, as you obviously know, Kathy. If you need to find a great investor-friendly agent or an investor-friendly loan officer, you can find either on BiggerPockets for free. Just go to biggerpockets.com/agent, if you need to meet an agent. Biggerpockets.com/lender, if you need to meet a lender. Just enter a little bit of information about yourself and for free, you’ll get matched with someone who knows how to work with investors. If that describes you, go check it out. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate your time and this was a lot of fun. Thank you all so much for listening. We hope you learned a lot and had much fun as Kathy and I did. We’ll see you for the next episode. On the Market was created by me, Dave Meyer and Kailyn Bennett. The show is produced by Kailyn Bennett, with editing by Exodus Media. Copywriting is by Calico Content. We want to extend a big thank you to everyone at BiggerPockets for making this show possible.

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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