Does selling a home online fund the ‘Great Reset?’
By A. Dru Kristenev —-October 23, 2022
Watching commercial television these days comes with constant hawking of pharmaceuticals, fast food, insurance and, increasingly, home sales to or through online vendors.
It’s hard not to question the growing number of real estate ads centering on panicked home mortgagees (most folks don’t hold clear title to their residence) racing to buy a bigger house. In truth, how many homeowners can really afford to move up in a recessionary economy that’s artificially inflating real estate values? Why are corporate property peddlers pitching rushed sales in a market beset by rising interest rates due to the devalued dollar that’s shrinking real wages? Throw in the inflation strangled stock market where 401(K)s and retirement plans have lost $4 Trillion in value as of October 18, 2022, and it’s dubious why homeowners are being pressured to upgrade when their savings are being slashed by pernicious economic policies.
The Biden energy fiasco has caused gas, heating, food stuffs and dry goods prices to shoot skyward
During the Covid lockdowns, homeowners started moving in droves to states staying open for business where they could continue to flourish. Rural property became a hedge against mandates while allowing residents to locate closer to food producers and establish self-sufficiency as they worked remotely from their homes.
As the 2020 Covid-induced slowdown deepened in 2021 and continues crashing in 2022, all the markets are tied to the decline. The Biden energy fiasco has caused gas, heating, food stuffs and dry goods prices to shoot skyward. Urban and suburban costs of living have outstripped benefits that might have been gained by selling a home at an inflated value.
Early in the pandemic it was a sellers’ market, but the tide has turned to where sellers divesting themselves of a house that had a low fixed interest rate are stuck, strapped to put down enough cash on another property at a higher rate unless it’s inferior to what they sold. That’s how fast prices have increased and with Home Price Appreciation rated at 10 -11%, homeowners looking to trade up could find themselves back in a rental.
The underlying question is, who are the buyers, the corporate vendors advertising a frenzied message that owners should use their online services for a quick and easy transaction?
Opendoor, Invitation Homes, Zillow, Vanguard and Blackrock
Opendoor, the online home buyer plastering networks, cable and internet outlets with commercials, is one of numerous influential enterprises where two investment firms are major shareholders – Vanguard and Blackrock. Between just these two corporate investors, they manage $18 trillion dollars in assets around the world and have already created supply chain problems in the United States where they cornered the market on DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid).
Not only are Blackrock and Vanguard two of the largest stockholders in Opendoor but they are main players in Zillow, the real estate listing company that has overtaken online property searches.
On the flip side is the largest international rental proprietor, Invitation Homes, that advertises luxurious lifestyles available for non-owners. It’s no great leap to realize that the major stockholders in Invitation Homes are, of course, Blackrock and Vanguard.
With an asset pipeline funneling real estate acquisitions to property managers, it wouldn’t be difficult to construe that they are involved in: First) purchasing homes from individual owners then, Second) building their rental pool by selling properties to themselves (Invitation Homes, valued at $19.86 Billion) or other management firms rather than putting them back on the open market.
These two players are drivers in the ESG (environmental, social, governance) pressure guild, forcing corporate entities within their sphere of influence to capitulate to World Economic Forum’s catchphrase, “you’ll own nothing and be happy.”
Vanguard and Blackrock are drivers in the ESG (environmental, social, governance)
As inflation rockets (oh, by the way, Vanguard and Blackrock are also main stockholders of Rocket Mortgage RKT and similar funders), although home prices are not expected to continue climbing at the current rate, achieving the American dream of home ownership is already becoming unattainable. And with real wages declining and rental prices going up, the prospect of a family living in a larger three or four bedroom home dissipates with the value of the dollar.
Homeownership is under attack by asset conglomerates that have no compunction about deceiving the public. Flooding airwaves with ads depicting panicked buyers builds a narrative to persuade current homeowners to sell. Corporate-induced alarm about housing could result in families being burdened with financial obligations of bigger house payments that they may not be able to cover in the long run, inflation continuing to eat their paycheck before they can fill their pantry. What follows is foreclosure.
Opendoor has already been smacked with a $62 Million fine for misleading home sellers. It’s not unwarranted to think that these monster corporations care that they’re luring homeowners into untenable situations where selling their current property leaves them unable to afford the purchase of another home.
There is a price to be paid by gargantuan asset managers following the ESG protocol. Missouri has removed $500 Million of its pension fund from Blackrock for their “woke” policies and USB, Credit Suisse, has downgraded Blackrock’s stock price as a result of the same ESG investment policies.
Corporate communications drill down on building market share by creating panic, whether it’s buying up irrelevant toilet paper as occurred at Covid’s outset in 2020, or scaring homeowners to sell in the middle of a volatile housing market beset with increasing interest rates.
In a storm, and this is an economic tempest, there are times to act and there are times to hold a steady course, but panic will sink a ship.
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