Even as the probability of a recession in the near-term remains low, we believe investors should look to sectors that are likely to be resilient in periods of higher volatility. One area in which we see a potential opportunity is U.S. housing, where fundamentals remain sound. Demand is outpacing supply, and it remains cheaper to buy a home than to rent one (see chart).
Furthermore, while recession risks have risen, we don’t see the same kind of imbalances in the real economy that we have seen in previous recessions: There is no over-borrowing, overconsumption or over-investment. Also, while the pace of home price gains is slowing and the pace of housing-related activity is slowing, valuations in the U.S. housing market look reasonably attractive.
As a result, we think this is a sector that will exhibit resiliency even if we were to get into a sustained period of weak economic growth or even a period of higher interest rates.
What it means for investors
With rising volatility and stretched valuations, we believe investors should emphasize flexibility and consider sectors like U.S. mortgages that have solid fundamentals and are less affected by swing factors like politics or trade.
For more insights into the factors that inform our favorable view of the housing market, watch “Quick Takes: Will Rising Rates Hurt the Housing Market?”
Daniel Hyman is head of the agency mortgage portfolio management team and lead portfolio manager of PIMCO’s Ginnie Mae and Mortgage Opportunities Strategies.