The Week Ahead: Measuring Housing Market Dynamics

On Wednesday, July 10, Fitch Ratings will present, its “U.S. Cross-Sector Housing Monitor Webinar” at 10:00 a.m. Central.

While the nation’s housing market remains tight, sales are tracking well below housing demand, and rental and homeowner vacancy rates are plummeting to multi-decade lows. These dynamics will drive growth in the U.S. residential housing economy, which represents approximately 17% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

And while new construction may be necessary to create slack in the market, over the longer term, the rebalancing needed will originate from lower rates that ease the lock-in effect.

During this webinar, Fitch Ratings will present a cross-section of industry stakeholders discussing the drivers of housing economy expansion, factors impacting homebuilder credit, the home loan lending environment, and mortgage delinquency expectations.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • U.S. housing economy gains as spending and investment continue momentum
  • Homebuilder expectations as revenue growth continues
  • Mortgage delinquency trends, which are currently low, but payment shock risk may be rising
  • Non-bank mortgage profitability–volume constraints, but competitive dynamics improving

Meet the speakers

Fitch Ratings has assembled a panel of experts, including Olu Sonola, Fitch’s Head of U.S. Economic Research; Ryan O’Loughlin, Fitch’s Senior Director, U.S. Structured Finance–RMBS; Eric Orenstein, Fitch’s Senior Director, Non-Bank Financial Institutions; Sarah Repucci, Senior Director, Credit Policy Research for Fitch Wire; and Robert Rulla, Fitch’s Senior Director, Corporates–Homebuilding and Building Products.

As Head of U.S. Economic Research at Fitch Ratings, Sonola is responsible for coverage of U.S. economics, including the labor market, consumer spending, inflation, demographics, and many more. He joined Fitch in 2007, and has held various roles since then. Sonola frequently speaks about the U.S. economy to Fitch analysts, investors, issuers, and the media. He is often quoted by major media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, USA Today, CNN and many more.

O’Loughlin is a Senior Director in Fitch Ratings’ North American Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Group, and is based on New York. His focus is split between analyzing new issue rating transactions, as well surveying the existing portfolio of outstanding ratings. Ryan joined Fitch Ratings in 2012. He graduated from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management with a BS in Business Management, with a focus on finance and mathematics and is a CFA charter holder.

Orenstein has a diverse work experience that spans several roles and companies. He began his career at T. Rowe Price as an Equity Research Intern in 2013, and in 2014, joined Wells Fargo Securities as an Asset-Backed Finance Analyst for a few months before transitioning to Fitch Ratings. At Fitch Ratings, Eric held various positions including Associate Analyst, Analyst, Associate Director, Director of ABS, and eventually Director of the Office of Global Analytical Head. In these roles, they focused on areas such as non-bank financial institutions, leveraged finance workflow, credit opinions, and ABS. he has extensive expertise in mortgage originators, servicers, consumer finance, shipping lessors, and independent investment banking advisors.

Repucci is a Senior Director in Fitch Wire, a specialized research team in Credit Policy. Previously, she was a Criteria Officer in Fitch Ratings’ Criteria Review and Approval Group (CRAG) based in New York. As a Criteria Officer, she was responsible for the review and approval of Fitch’s rating criteria and models, and as a founding member of CRAG, she helped develop the review framework. Repucci served for six years as a Group Credit Officer within the Credit Policy group, focusing on Public Finance and Global Infrastructure. In this role, she was responsible for reviewing criteria, developing topical research, monitoring rating trends as they relate to economic developments, and ensuring consistency and integrity in analysis across sectors. Prior to her work in Credit Policy, Repucci was an analyst in Structured Finance, with a primary focus on utility stranded cost transactions, credit card transactions, and asset-backed commercial paper conduits.

Rulla is a Senior Director in Fitch Ratings’ U.S. Corporate Finance Group, focusing on companies in the home building and building products / materials industries. Prior to joining Fitch Ratings in 2004, Robert spent more than 14 years with JP Morgan Chase (formerly Bank One) in a variety of positions, with the last five years as an associate director and credit underwriter in the large corporate real estate credit group. In this capacity, he had credit underwriting responsibility for a portfolio of homebuilding and REIT/REOC.

Click here for more information or to register for the “U.S. Cross-Sector Housing Monitor Webinar” presented by Fitch Ratings.

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Eric C. Peck

MortgagePoint Managing Digital Editor Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career in New York City with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage finance space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for
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