Deciphering the NAR Lawsuit Settlement: Impacts and Insights

In light of recent developments, we are analyzing the fallout from the NAR lawsuit settlement and its implications for the industry. Amid a backdrop of subtle movements in mortgage bonds, let’s delve into the settlement details and what this means for the landscape of real estate transactions.

The NAR Lawsuit Settlement Breakdown

A monumental $418 million settlement has been reached by the NAR, marking a significant shift in real estate practices set to take effect this July. The settlement brings about a pivotal change, particularly in cooperative compensation agreements. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Cooperative Compensation Agreement Changes: The traditional method of listing buyers’ agent compensation on the MLS is set to change. While pre-determined compensation listings on the MLS will be prohibited, negotiations for buyers’ agent compensation can still occur outside the MLS framework.

2. Buyers’ Agent Compensation Dynamics: Compensation discussions between buyers and their agents can now be initiated upfront or incorporated into the offer. This adjustment introduces a potential for new negotiation dynamics and could influence underwriting guidelines related to seller contributions.

3. Financial Implications for Buyers: Without agent services included in the offer, buyers might face additional costs for agent services. This shift necessitates a reevaluation of financial planning for prospective homebuyers, particularly those less equipped to handle extra expenses.

4. Potential Market Effects: The settlement could prompt a reexamination of home values and selling price negotiations. Sellers, reassessing the costs associated with real estate fees, may exhibit greater flexibility in pricing, influenced by market conditions and demand.

Economic Data and Market Observations

In tandem with industry changes, economic indicators such as the HNB housing market index suggest a buoyant mood among builders, signaling robustness in construction activity. However, economic optimism is countered by concerns raised by recent inflation reports and retail sales data, hinting at consumer caution and potential spending retrenchment.

The February Producer Price Index (PPI) notably exceeded expectations, highlighting persistent inflationary pressures, particularly in energy. This inflationary spike, alongside subdued retail sales growth, underscores the economy’s complexities, from consumer behavior to inflation dynamics.

Preparing for the Federal Reserve’s Decision

As the industry braces for these shifts, all eyes are on the impending Federal Reserve rate decision. Anticipated discussions around rate forecasts, balance sheet strategies, and economic projections will be crucial in shaping our understanding and strategic outlook in the coming months.

The NAR lawsuit settlement and evolving economic data present real estate and mortgage professionals with a mix of challenges and insights. Staying informed and adaptable will be vital in navigating this altered terrain as we move forward.

In this transition period, our collective ability to adapt and remain informed will be key to successfully managing the implications of these changes. Here’s to approaching the future with insight, agility, and readiness for what lies ahead.

Global Recession Indicators & Its Impact on the US Housing Market


A storm might be brewing on the global economic horizon, with indicators hinting at a potential recession in some of the world’s largest economies. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), in particular, is on a downward trend, with countries such as Japan, the UK, the Eurozone, and Australia showing significant declines. Could we be witnessing the final countdown to a global recession? Let’s take a look.

 The Global PMI Signals and the Recession Countdown

The PMI numbers for Japan, the UK, the Eurozone, and Australia have all been declining. Japan’s PMI has already slipped below 50, which indicates economic contraction. The PMIs for the UK, the Eurozone, and Australia are hovering around the 50-mark, but they have all shown a decline from the previous month. This suggests that a move into negative territory could be imminent, hence the fears of an impending recession.

Despite these indicators, any potential recession could bring unexpected benefits, particularly for the US housing market. A recession often leads to a fall in mortgage interest rates and long-term issuances, which would be welcome news for many American homeowners.

The US Economic Landscape and Its Peculiarities

The Conference Board’s leading economic indicators in the US suggest a slowdown in economic activity. The report showed a 7/10 percent decrease last month and a 7.9% year-over-year drop, marking the 14th consecutive month of contraction. We last observed such a trend in 2007, just before the Great Recession. Despite these warning signs, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stated that the odds of a recession have decreased, citing the strong labor market and declining inflation.

However, there’s more to the story. Apart from the headline job creation number, the labor market shows signs of strain, with claims at very high levels. Interestingly, inflation tends to decline during a recession, so its current downward trajectory doesn’t necessarily mean we’re out of the woods yet.

The Housing Market: A Seller’s Paradise

On the home front, the US housing market continues to display strength. Recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests a robust sellers’ market, with an average of 3.3 offers per sale, the highest since June 2022. They have even waived inspection contingencies in a quarter of these transactions, indicating fierce buyer competition. This trend is likely to persist, given the tight inventory, despite predictions of a price decline.

The Financial Market’s Response and What Lies Ahead

In response to these developments, mortgage-backed securities have seen an excellent start, up 23 basis points. At the same time, the 10-year treasury has witnessed significant volatility, currently down to 370, a nine basis point drop. We’ll be watching these trends closely, particularly as we approach the release of the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditure.

We must watch the changing tides as we navigate these tumultuous economic waters. A potential global recession, while concerning, could have silver linings for the US housing market. However, the signals from the labor market and inflation trends warrant careful examination. With strong housing data and fluctuating financial markets, we’re in for an exciting ride.

Recession Indicators in Focus: Trucking Surveys and Used Car Prices


As investors and market enthusiasts, understanding the nuanced indicators of economic health can give us an edge in predicting future trends. Today, we are focusing on two potentially telling signals of an impending recession – surveys of truckers and used car prices. Trucking is a key indicator of economic vitality in logistics, while used car prices often reflect consumer demand and purchasing power.

Trucking Surveys Indicate a Possible Recession

Evercore’s survey of truckers, a reliable economic barometer, suggests we might be on the cusp of a recession. When the survey dips below a score of 48, it is often seen as an impending recession signal. The score has plummeted to 35.6, significantly lower than the ‘danger’ mark.

Used Cars and Inflation Pressure

Used cars have been adding considerable pressure to inflation recently. However, the latest reports suggest a slight ease in that pressure, with the Manheim report indicating a 2.7% drop in used car prices in May. Additionally, CarGurus also reported nearly flat-line trends for used cars. Such data implies that used cars, previously contributing to inflation, could bring some relief in the forthcoming inflation reports.

Despite these potential recession indicators, there is still optimism in the bond market. We anticipate good inflation reading soon, which should spur positive reactions from the bond market. However, we will have to wait until next week for that data.

In the meantime, the struggles in mortgage applications are worth noting, with purchases down 2% week over week and down 27% year over year. While more sensitive to rate changes, refinances have also seen a year-over-year drop of 42%.

As the economic narrative unfolds, remember to stay informed and attuned to the ever-changing economic landscape. Whether it’s survey data or car prices, these factors offer valuable insights into our economy’s health and the direction we may be heading. So, watch for these indicators and adapt to the potential changes.