NAR: Housing Affordability Improved In August

Housing affordability improved in August for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) housing affordability index report. Month-over-month, mortgage payments fell by only 1.1%, while median family income fell by 0.7%. The index hit a low of 146.5 in June but rose to 151.3 in August. But affordability declined year-over-year (YOY), with monthly mortgage payments rising 13.9% to $1,210 from August 2020. Median family income rose only 3.9%. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.89% in August compared to 3% a year ago. The median existing-home sales price rose 15.6% YOY. Home prices are in a seasonal cool-down, which could account for the numbers. But consumer sentiment on home buying continues to trend downward,…

Amazon Invests $2B On Affordable Housing

Amazon on Wednesday announced a $2 billion investment in affordable housing in communities where it has a significant business presence. The online retail giant created the Housing Equity Fund, which is designed to “preserve and create over 20,000 affordable housing units” in the Puget Sound region in Washington state, as well as Nashville and Arlington, Virginia. Amazon has or expects to have at least 5,000 employees in each of these areas in the near future. “Amazon has a long-standing commitment to helping people in need, including the Mary’s Place family shelter we built inside our Puget Sound headquarters. The shelter now supports over 200 women and children experiencing homelessness every night,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “This new…

Affordable Housing Rent Payments Increase

More tenants in affordable housing made payments in October than in any month since early in the pandemic, according to a report released Monday by MRI Software. MRI’s report found: Rent payments increased to 82 percent of the prior year, the first month since June since the rate was over 80 percent.Collections in public housing dropped slightly in October to 94 percent year over year, compared to 98 percent in September. Move-outs in affordable housing decreased by 17 percent year over year, leading to higher occupancy rates for the sector.Move-ins, at 92 percent of last year’s volume, affected the rates to a lesser extent. “The pandemic will continue to affect trends in both sectors,” said Brian Zrimsek, Industry Principal at…