Putting Housing in Order with Orphe Divounguy of Zillow

Gusto Editors

Episode 27

Episode summary

Housing is one of the hottest topics in economics right now, and it’s no wonder. It reaches all corners of the country, and countless small businesses are impacted by its effects. In this episode, Liz welcomes one the foremost minds on the subject: Orphe Divounguy, Senior Economist at Zillow.

Shownotes

Orphe Divounguy [Zillow]
Orphe Divounguy [LinkedIn]
Everyday Economics [Apple Podcasts]

Transcript

Liz Wilke (00:00:32) – Hi, I’m Liz Wilke. 

Caleb Newquist (00:00:35) – I’m Caleb Newquist. 

Liz Wilke (00:00:37) – And this is the Gustonomics Podcast. In each episode, we bring you a little bit of economics knowledge so you can be more informed, use the information in your business or work, or have something to take your mind off of the sad performance of your March Madness bracket. 

Caleb Newquist (00:00:55) – Please remember to rate, review, and subscribe to the show or share it with an economics curious friend. Anything you can do to spread the word about the podcast is greatly appreciated. Hello again, Liz. 

Liz Wilke (00:01:07) – Hi, Caleb. 

Caleb Newquist (00:01:08) – Today is kind of a special episode though, right? 

Liz Wilke (00:01:11) – It is a special episode because we have a guest. 

Caleb Newquist (00:01:13) – Yeah, which we’ve done once before, but this is a completely different kind of guest. It’s an economist. It’s one of your peers. 

Liz Wilke (00:01:21) – One of my peers, indeed. His name is Orphe Divungi, and he is a senior economist at Zillow. 

Caleb Newquist (00:01:29) – Yeah, that’s a cool job. So briefly tell us or tell our audience, but I guess for my purposes too, but please briefly tell us about how you know Orphe, like what’s your history with Orphe? 

Liz Wilke (00:01:42) – Actually, Orphe and I started off as LinkedIn Connections. I was a fan of his. He is a LinkedIn top voice on economic and housing issues. So he came across my feed a couple of times and then I started to follow him. And then I think he started to follow me as I started to talk a little bit more about economics and small business issues. And then we actually met in person last year at the National Association of Business Economists meeting in California. I walked into a presentation room and I looked over and there he was sitting at a table. 

Liz Wilke (00:02:13) – And I had that moment where you sort of recognize a celebrity, but you kind of want to be cool about it. And then he looked over at me and I don’t know if he had that exact same moment, but there was a glimmer of recognition. And then, you know, we just hit it off from there. 

Caleb Newquist (00:02:29) – Yeah. Oh, that’s fun. You know, we brought him on the show at your suggestion. And so I’m just curious, like what kind of thought, what made you think, Oh, Orphe will be a great guest. Fill us in on what you were thinking about when you wanted to bring him on before we get into the conversation. 

Liz Wilke (00:02:45) – I thought Orphe would be a great guest because he just has a encyclopedic knowledge and thoughtfulness about the housing market and about how it relates to the larger economy. So now as we are talking this year about potential rate cuts and a decline in interest rates, I think there’s a lot of questions running around about what that will do to the housing market. Plus there’s a lot of other things that are happening. 

Liz Wilke (00:03:10) – And I really thought that Orphe would be a great person to have to talk a little bit about what the housing market looks like, either if you own a home or if you’re thinking about buying a home and how that intersects with some of the economic issues that we’ve talked about on the show before. 

Caleb Newquist (00:03:25) – So Liz, more broadly, why is housing an important issue for everyday small businesses? 

Liz Wilke (00:03:33) – Yeah, well, I think the first most direct thing is that, as you say, there are lots of small businesses attached to the housing segment. So construction outfits, but also one of the industries with the highest prevalence of small businesses is actually real estate. So many, I mean, most real estate agents are themselves small businesses, right? So there’s a lot of small business employment attached to the housing market. So that’s one. 

Liz Wilke (00:03:57) – But there’s actually this really interesting secondary dynamic that Orphe and I talk about a little bit here, which is about the relationship between housing wealth and business starts and entrepreneurship. 

Caleb Newquist (00:04:08) – Very cool. All right. Well, that’s the perfect primer for us to get into the conversation between Liz and Orphe. Enjoy. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:04:16) – My name is Orphe Divounguy, I’m a senior economist with Zillow’s economic research team where I analyze economic data to identify emerging trends in the housing market. Some of the work I’ve done in the past is looking at evaluating the impact of economic policy. I started a consulting firm called the Quantitative Research Group right after grad school. And I’m the co-host of the Everyday Economics podcast. 

Liz Wilke (00:04:48) – Awesome. Thanks, Orphe. So I’m going to jump right into it. One of the reasons that I was really excited to have you on the podcast is, one, I think you’re great. And two, I think as we are entering spring and early summer housing markets and talking about inflation, everybody has got their eye on the housing market for both personal and economic reasons. And you just said before we started recording, housing is 40% of core inflation. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:05:15) – Absolutely. Well, Liz, first of all, thanks for having me on the podcast. Yeah, I cannot stress it enough. I go around the country telling people, look, housing is the heartbeat of the US economy. It’s so important. It’s the largest household expenditure. So when house prices rise really, really rapidly, what tends to follow is an increase in rent growth. And then it shows up in average rents. And we see it in the consumer price index. And then you end up in a situation that requires the Fed to step in and raise interest rates. Or we saw the large increase in interest rates in the last couple of years. 

Liz Wilke (00:05:59) – One of the things that we talk a lot about with the interest rate is we’ve sort of been talking about this story that housing sales have slowed down and housing appreciation has sort of stabilized a little bit because of this big increase in interest rates. I think everybody believes at this point that when interest rate comes down, mortgage rates will come down. Orphe, is this true necessarily? And if it’s not necessarily true, what other things could affect the price of housing and your mortgage rate besides the federal funds rate? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:06:32) – Yeah, no, I think that’s a misconception. I think people expect long-dated yields to respond directly to a one-to-one with changes in the Fed funds rate. And historically, that’s just not true. The decline in interest rates will be on the short end of the yield curve and probably not on the long end of the yield curve. Long yields are usually higher than short yields to account for a number of factors. If I’m an investor, if I’m a lender, and I’m going to lend to you today, I would want to be compensated for, especially over a long period of time, I would want to be compensated a little bit more for the risk that I’m taking over, say, a decade. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:07:24) – So if I lend to you for over the course of a decade, I’m going to ask you for a much higher interest rate than I would if I were to lend to you for just a month, where you might be able to repay me next month. I’ll know where to find you. Whereas over the next decade or 30 years, like is the case for a mortgage, a lot of things can happen between now and then. Inflation could increase very rapidly. And if you had an increase in inflation, then I’m losing that those funds that I’m lending, that I’m giving to you are losing their value over time. And so I would want to be compensated for the risk that things in the economy could change between the time I’m lending to you and the time I get to collect my money. And so long yields tend to be higher than short yields. And so what I expect to see is if the Fed does recalibrate policy and we avoid going into a recession, I expect short yields will fall slightly and long yields will remain elevated. And there are some that actually even question that. There are some that say, well, you look at the Fed summary of economic projections, the latest one, and what you see, you see that when you compare that to what we saw in December, you see a revision in real GDP growth, an upward revision in real GDP growth. You see an upward revision in their inflation forecast, the individual members of the FOMC inflation forecast. You see an upward revision in the path of the policy rate. And some people, including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, have been wondering and questioning whether or not the policy rate might have to stay elevated for much longer and whether or not the Fed might even have to cut at all, end up cutting at all. For me, there’s a big if still. The economy has been very, very strong, very robust. The unemployment rate is a low 3.9%. People are out there still spending. You look at retail sales. They’re slowing, but they’re still pretty strong. You look at the housing market, single-family rent growth that had been easing actually started accelerating again in the last two months. And so you see that upward pressure persist. And so there are all these ifs out there. And I’m in the camp of saying, hey, potentially we’ll see it, but rates might stay higher than most people anticipate for a while. It’s not a doom and gloom story. It’s a story of: hey, yields are going up because we’re we’re seeing strong wage growth, we’ve seen some disinflation, but a US economy that continues to to to grow really rapidly and the risk that inflation could stay somewhat around the 3% mark and maybe not fall all the way down to 2%. Why do I say inflation could, could stay elevated? I mentioned the housing sector, right, and the lack of supply. But you also look at the labor market. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:11:03) – You know, even though wage growth has declined 5%, wage inflation is not consistent with the 2% inflation target. So if you think of wage inflation as basically a combination of productivity and consumer price inflation, wage growth at 5% tells me that you need, in order to get inflation down to 2%, you will need productivity to be roughly at 3%. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:11:31) – And if you look at average productivity, at the increase in productivity- and last year it was about 1.3%, so we’re way off and so you’d have to see a bigger increase in productivity growth to have inflation underlying inflation at the 2% target. And so, and I don’t think we’re there yet, right? So we we have some time here. I like listening to Fed Fed governor Lisa Cook, and she talks about. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:12:02) – She’s hopeful because she talks about the potential from higher productivity growth coming from the rise in new businesses that we saw during the pandemic, and the idea here is that there’s really good research that shows that new and young firms account for half of all productivity growth, despite having only one-fifth of the workers potentially right, this increase in new firms. You have others talking about AI and AI potentially benefiting the middle class, the average worker- right, and so there’s all this hope. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:12:36) – We also saw productivity growth in the last quarter of last year really high, right, so, like three, I think 3% was a q3 or q4- one of those really high productivity growth in the last quarter, and so a lot of people are hopeful that we’re going to see the surge in productivity, and I I’m in this camp too, right, I’m, you know, I’m an optimist. I’m probably the most optimistic member of the Zillow economic research team, is what I like to say. So I’m in that camp. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:13:07) – I’m hopeful that we’re gonna see this surge in productivity that’s gonna help us with our inflation troubles or V. I want to come back to something that you said about pay increases: right. 

Liz Wilke (00:13:19) – When we think about sort of livable cities or affordable housing, we often talk about the price of housing, but that fits in a workers or a household’s budget. So you can sort of balance affordable housing or livable housing or livable cities. Put it by two ways, right. You can decrease the cost of housing or stabilize the cost of housing, which is the biggest portion of most Americans budgets, or you can increase pay. Which one of these things is more likely, and should we prefer one over the other? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:13:50) – I think workers do that already right. So, like you know if, if I can’t, you know if I, if I, if I get a job offer today and it’s got to be in a high, inexpensive Metro like, say, San Francisco, right, I think workers take into account their expected income and their housing cost right in order to determine one. You know, when I negotiate a contract, how much should I get paid, and then whether or not I’m gonna take that job or moves or choose to go somewhere else. And I think employers are responding to that. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:14:33) – They’re either raising wages, and which is why wage growth has been pretty strong, stronger than you know what you know, stronger than you know then what, what we think would be consistent with the 2% inflation target, and you know you have a lot of businesses that are content with people working from home, and so you saw the rise in work from home and that you know that model has kind of stayed. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:15:03) – And then you also have firms that are moving to less expensive metros. You see a lot of these big California tech companies moving to Austin, Texas, because it makes sense. 

Liz Wilke (00:15:17) – I will say the cost of living is not cheap in Austin, Texas. I want to be very clear, it’s not San Francisco, but it’s not exactly on the list of livable cities from a cost perspective. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:15:27) – That’s right. That’s right. It is not cheap, especially for people who are there for the incumbents, people coming from other states, from California in particular, with much higher incomes and wealth, financial wealth, are able to go in there and purchase and kind of drive up prices a little bit. And so yes, a lot of these cities are seeing these massive upticks in house prices, but in the price of everything. I have a friend who built a house in Franklin, Tennessee. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:16:03) – And Franklin prices have surged, because you have a lot of people even from California moving to Franklin, Tennessee. And so you’re seeing a lot of these companies relocating. Some of them are going to the East Coast in that Research Triangle area outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. And so you see those movements. You see that the businesses are adapting. Workers are negotiating higher wages. And that’s part of the reason why it’s hard for a lot of people to imagine inflation returning to the 2% target anytime soon. 

Liz Wilke (00:16:48) – Let’s come back to Austin, actually, because I think it’s a really interesting case in point. There have been some headlines. So Austin saw huge housing cost increases during the pandemic. Austin’s built a ton of rental housing. And now rental prices, I won’t speculate because I haven’t seen the data on housing prices, but I also think they’re stabilizing. Rental prices are going down. They’re actually negative. They’re not even just slowing. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:17:11) – That’s right. And house prices, too. 

Liz Wilke (00:17:13) – Actually negative, yeah. So you can look at this two ways. As a homeowner, it’s not so great for you if you’re a homeowner, especially if you bought your house in the last few years, right? Maybe you haven’t seen that much of a gain on it. But if you are a renter or now in this housing market, it’s probably looking very good for you because you can now be in a market that maybe you thought you would be priced out of. So from those sides, I mean, which should we prefer? 

Liz Wilke (00:17:41) – Should we prefer ever appreciating housing prices for homeowners, or should we prefer a huge expansion in supply to bring housing prices down for everybody that isn’t an incumbent, as you say? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:17:54) – Yeah, I think that’s a great question. I got a similar question. I was doing an event, The Apartment Strategies. I think it was the National Housing Multifamily Council. And someone on stage said, well, we have oversupplied markets. And my answer to that is we have healthier markets. When we look at the data, people are moving to places where population, when you look at the population migration across the country, and interstate movers are moving to places with more affordable housing, more supply of housing, a greater mix of housing options. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:18:43) – And so it’s a benefit. It’s a huge benefit, even to the locals, right? You have these people coming in. And as a result of coming in, what do they do? They bid up house prices. Homeowners, the incumbents, get more housing wealth, right? Their home equity rises really, really rapidly. And so part of the story in Austin is some of those people that lived there before the out-of-state migrants came in made a killing. Home equity rose like crazy in Austin. And that’s what kind of drove prices. Movers came in. They drove prices up. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:19:25) – Homeowners also, when their housing wealth goes up, also tend to spend more, right? So we have the fact of there’s a wealth effect that flows from housing wealth and financial wealth to consumption. 

Liz Wilke (00:19:43) – And so- People take out home equity lines of credit or second mortgages or additional loans to renovate their home or to add a veranda or to take a vacation or whatever. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:19:55) – Or to start a business. You have all these out-of-towners coming into town, and they need a lot of services. And now you can actually provide the goods and services to these people and start a business, send your kids to college. So the incumbents have benefited, right, a great deal. And even with the recent decline in house prices in Austin, it’s nothing compared to how much money or home equity they’ve gained since the pandemic, right, from before the pandemic. And so everybody’s been a winner. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:20:33) – And new listings in Austin are up 37% when compared to last year. So you’ve got a massive increase in supply.

Orphe Divounguy (00:20:47) – Prices dropped, but they didn’t drop all that much compared to how much they rose during the pandemic. 

Liz Wilke (00:20:54) – Yeah. I think what I think I heard Orphe you say is that when that affordable housing has been the draw for remote-able workers, that’s created housing wealth by driving up the prices, even from their baseline, from wherever they are. And that wealth has translated into economic stimulus and business creation in these areas because people have financial assets to draw on from that wealth. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:21:23) – Absolutely. And when you see, even today, home values have decreased a little bit in Austin. I call that a moderation. 40%, 50% price growth in a couple of years is really not healthy. And so you have a healthier market. And the fact that inventory has increased is going to allow more people to go to Austin. It’s going to draw more people to the area because there’s more options. There are more options. In fact, the bulk of migrants, if you look at the American Community Survey data, well, they’re moving to Texas and Florida. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:22:06) – And so a lot of California, 30% of Californians move to Arizona, Texas, and Florida. And that’s a lot of people. It’s great for the tax base as well. So for local governments to be able to see an expansion in the tax base means more tax revenues, better quality schools, better public investments in the local area. It’s really benefited a lot of people. Now, of course, the critics, I hear the critics all the time. They’ll say, hey, well, what about infrastructure? Well, a growth in the tax base helps you to build better infrastructure. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:22:42) – And so that’s kind of my answer to that. 

Liz Wilke (00:22:45) – Yeah, I can attest that there is no shortage of highway construction in Austin and the Central Texas region, having been there recently. Orphe, you said that you think it’s not very healthy to see 40% and 50% price growth over such a short period of time. 

Liz Wilke (00:23:01) – Do you have a view on what a quote unquote healthy market looks like for something that’s growing fast enough to create the kind of economic effects that you just described, so that anybody who isn’t at the tippy top of the income or wealth spectrum can maybe think about buying their first home or upgrading to their next home? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:23:20) – I’m going to lean on the Fed for this, right? The Fed says, hey, 2% inflation is good, low, stable, and predictable. And it’s healthy, and it’s conducive to sustainable economic growth. And so we should hope that house prices don’t rise too much, and that we can maintain kind of a nice, low, stable, and predictable increase in house prices over time, because that’s conducive to healthy economic activity. So I think that’s my answer to that. Pre-pandemic, I think prices were growing at something like 3% to 4% every year. And it was healthy. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:24:06) – And wage growth, right? Wage growth was something like 3% to 4% every year. And so wages were keeping up with the increase in house prices. Now, interest rates being low for a long time meant that stock market wealth really, really soared. And unfortunately, not everybody participates in the stock market yet. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:24:29) – And so that might have had some redistributional effects, where basically those who are kind of higher and slightly more sophisticated in terms of stock market participation might have benefited a little bit more from that low interest rate era that we’ve just come out of. 

Liz Wilke (00:24:53) – What is the impact, in your view, of the increasingly large wave of retirees who both have housing wealth and stock market wealth, but who also maybe have very different preferences about their housing looking forward into the future? What role are aging Americans playing in the dynamics of the housing market that we’re seeing today? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:25:19) – Yeah, well, they play a huge role in everything, right? They hold all the wealth, right? And so a lot of these wealthier, older homeowners are also less likely to move. So when you look in the data historically, it’s younger people that are more mobile. They move to jobs and opportunities. Older Americans tend to stay in place.

Orphe Divounguy (00:25:50) – And so I know a lot of people have been talking about the potential for this. What is it? They call it? They call it a self tsunami of listings, right, of people- older folks, you know- listing their homes and moving it to smaller retiree communities. You know, look, I don’t have the answer right. I really don’t know yet, but here’s what I’m seeing in the data. We talk about rate lock in the housing market. You know, with interest rates increasing, the cost of selling your home went up for a homeowner. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:26:30) – A homeowner was less likely to want to trade a low 2% mortgage rate for a 6% or 7% mortgage rate, and so that raises the cost of entering the market and selling your home, right, and so a lot of people chose to stay on the sidelines. You know, you look at the data and what you see is okay. Well, yeah, mortgage rate lock-in had a huge impact. There’s new research that shows that the mortgage lock-in was responsible for a 57% reduction in home sales between 2022, quarter two of 2022 and quarter four of 2023.. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:27:06) – But you know, there are people out there, millions of homeowners, who are completely unaffected because they don’t even have any mortgage debt. When you compare the regions where we’ve seen the biggest uptick in new listings. The regions where you have the most homeowners without any mortgage debt are regions where you’re also seeing the most listing activity. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:27:31) – A lot of Midwest markets- florida- we’re seeing an increase in Florida, for sure- older, wealthier, mortgage debt-free are basically the ones that have no problem selling because they’re not necessarily affected by the change in mortgage rates. And then there’s a large share of those homeowners who normally don’t have any mortgage debt but they also have enough income to comfortably take on a new mortgage if they chose to, if they chose to do so, and those homeowners are in markets where it’s really affordable. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:28:15) – You know, you look at those Midwest markets that have continued to see a ton of activity and continue to see some strong price appreciation. They are the markets where there’s the most activity and where you have these homeowners who are mortgage debt-free. 

Liz Wilke (00:28:32) – So, knowing that there are many unknowns in the economy because it’s just a bunch of people, people in and around with other people- would it be safe to say that you are taking the position that, as housing affordability continues in these Midwestern areas that maybe haven’t seen quite the extreme pop like Austin or Miami or Orlando right, that are maybe already getting a little saturated on the affordability issue, that people might start to look at these cities with their really affordable housing stock and their connectivity and then start to create the same cycles of wealth creation, entrepreneurship that we’ve already seen in what you might call the first wave cities of remote work and post-pandemic work. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:29:16) – Look, I think it’s already happening, like you see a lot of big companies in, like Columbus, Ohio, and you’ve seen the rise of on the East Coast, like in the Carolinas. You’ve seen the tech companies going to Tennessee, right outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It’s happening. Businesses are moving where the workers are and workers are absolutely trying to get to where the businesses are, but they’re going where it’s most affordable, in other words, where they have the higher expected income and the lowest possible cost of housing. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:29:53) – Right, the combination of the two is how we define affordability essentially. Right, we look at how much of our income goes to housing. So if you combine higher expected income with lower housing costs, you get a very affordable metro area. 

Liz Wilke (00:30:10) – Last question: A lot’s gonna change in 2024 in the housing market. Interest rates are gonna change. The NAR settlement is coming in July. Some people are looking at what you might think of as the first post-pandemic full year RTO mandates are going into place, A lot could potentially change about the housing market now. A lot of things are uncertain, but if you were to advise somebody thinking about buying or selling a home this year, what are the things you would tell them to pay attention to and why? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:30:40) – I get these questions a lot, like you know. Random people reach out and say, hey, should I buy, should I sell? What should I do right now? Where are mortgage rates headed? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:30:48) – And my answer is always the same: I don’t know. I really have no idea where mortgage rates are headed. I think it’s kind of foolish to try to time it. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:31:00) – Right. It’s, you know, I think most people don’t know, like investors don’t know if they knew we wouldn’t see huge fluctuations in mortgage rates every time economic news is being released. You know, you have a forecast, you have a, you know, you make your own, come up with your own forecast based on what you see. But then, you know, you get a news shock and you have to revise your forecast. So but here’s what I’m going to say. I look at the strength of the labor market. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:31:31) – I look at right and look at the fact that households, you know, are still in a pretty good place on average, at least. Right. And again, as long as the labor market holds up, you’re not going to get a big slowdown in terms of the household participation in economic growth. Oh, by the way, at government, the government sector and fiscal deficits are expected to be roughly 6 percent of GDP over the next decade. They’ve only been at 6 percent or higher in periods of recession in the past. So abnormally high fiscal deficits, that’s expansionary, right? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:32:13) – Government spends, that fuels demand. And so and that pushes inflation higher if supply can’t keep up. And so all of those factors tell me that interest rates are likely to remain elevated. Again, very personal decision. But if you look at the overall economy and you see the fact that, yes, disinflation continues, yes, we could get eventually get closer to a 2 percent target. But, you know, the Fed is revising their forecast up, right? 

Orphe Divounguy (00:32:49) – Fed participants are revising their real GDP growth forecast up and long term interest rates, which mortgage rates depend on, also depend on future economic growth and future inflation. And so if growth is very strong and inflation, even if inflation comes down a little bit, if growth remains very strong, mortgage rates aren’t expected to fall that much. And so if you have the opportunity, if you can afford it and you have the opportunity to get in the housing market now, then what I would do is I would do it. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:33:25) – I tell people you always have the opportunity to refinance later. You know, the train slowed down just enough for you to get on, is what I said. Right. And so you get on the train, you know, and then, you know, hopefully you get some price appreciation and hopefully you get to refinance later if mortgage rates decline at some point. I want to end with the fact that, and you probably heard me say this before, mortgage rates, big drops in mortgages have only occurred a few times in our recorded history. 

Orphe Divounguy (00:34:00) – And as long as I’ve been alive, I saw them fall drastically before the dot-com bubble, during the dot-com bubble, during the global financial crisis and during a global pandemic. And so unless you want to go back to a global financial crisis where unemployment rates soared or a global pandemic where, you know, I think 10 million Americans lost their jobs overnight. You shouldn’t be out there wishing for mortgage rates to drop. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. 

Caleb Newquist (00:34:37) – OK, that was really great. Liz, any final thoughts about your conversation with Orphe or or any final takeaways that you just want to mention for the audience? 

Liz Wilke (00:34:48) – I think what Orphe does very clearly in the conversation, you know, is tie, you know, that the housing market is a really integral part of the whole economy. Right. We think about sometimes what we call backbone industries. So transportation and logistics is one of those industries because what happens in that industry touches, right, a lot of other industries in the economy. And what’s really clear is that the housing industry, the housing market is a probably backbone-esque, if not actually a backbone industry. Because it’s so interconnected and it’s such a big portion of both wealth, but also income and business activity. And I think that’s something that we don’t usually think about. When we think about the housing market. 

Caleb Newquist (00:35:32) – Great. That was wonderful. Thanks, Liz. And thanks, Orphe. That’s it for this episode. I hope you learned something new and useful for yourself or your business. Please let us know what you think of the podcast by leaving a review or share it with a friend or colleague who might enjoy it. I’m Caleb Newquist. 

Liz Wilke (00:35:48) – And I’m Liz Wilkie. Thanks for listening.

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