Q&A with AMC Lending Group's Logan Mohtashami

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AMC Lending Group

Q&As and Interviews

Q&A with AMC Lending Group's Logan Mohtashami

Shauna O'Brien Oct 28, 2014

We recently spoke with AMC Lending Group’s Senior Loan Officer Logan Mohtashami about the current and future state of the U.S. housing market. Below, Logan makes some interesting points about the housing market and its recovery.

Insights from Logan Mohtashami

In reading much of your recent commentary regarding housing data, you have continued to take quite a skeptical stance as far as Wall Street’s constructive vantage point.

My core thesis since 2010 has been simple. We simply won’t have enough qualified home buyers in America ( X out cash buyers) because we never had the financial good in the first place. Take demand from 1996-2007 with a grain of salt on two fronts:

  • We had 2 economic cycles that had a financial bubble factor to it, creating fake demand for fake good paying jobs. We don’t have that in this economic cycle.
  • Exotic loans are all gone. This is a a very good thing as it shows that Americans simply don’t make enough money to own the debt and total cost of a home.

For a clip of Logan commenting on the housing market, click here.

Mortgage purchases as a percent of the market sales has been 20% below historical trends for years now and rates have been 5% since early 2011.

Warren Buffett was quoted recently as being surprised at how slow the real estate recovery has been. Can you point to some of the most recent data that is evident of a housing market that continues to sputter and not quite give us the affirmation of a classic bull market?

In 2000, existing home sales were 5.2 million with 8% interest rates and we had 4 million less people working in the U.S. 2014 is the year that a lot of bulls said demand would grow because supply was coming back. It didn’t happen because we lack real demand from main street.

In 2014

  • We had rising inventory
  • We had lower rates
  • We have rising rents

Still demand is going to be negative year over year.

For additional information, check out Rising Inventory & Low Rates Hasn’t Created More Housing Demand.

Are there areas of the country that stand out from a loan application standpoint?

California is a housing inflation nightmare. My own data shows that 82% of the working population is priced out of the housing market based on Median Income to Median Prices, once you exclude the Rich which to me is 3 times median income, so roughly 180K.

You have cited multi-family housing as a lone bright spot. Do you see this trend continuing?

Demographics of America are bullish for multifamily because we will have a lot of young Americans, aged 20-35, working (hopefully) for 2 decades and they will be natural renters until they rent, date, marry and then buy.

Not sure if you have a market forecast for interest rates for 2015, but where do you see mortgage rates heading?

I don’t see rates going too much higher from here. We could be in a range of 4%-5% for 2015.

The Bottom Line

Logan makes some engaging points about the current state of housing market and how it differs from previous time periods. For more insights from Logan, be sure to check out loganmohtashami.com.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of MutualFunds.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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