Report: Minorities Hard Hit In Housing Market

By Jessica R. Towhey A new survey from Redfin points to demographic differences in the housing market as furthering the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.”  The study , which the real estate brokerage said highlights the “wealth divide” in the United States, looked at unemployment rates, demographic housing sales data, and racial breakdowns among industries hit hard by the economic shutdown versus those that appear to have weathered the storm. “The housing market has mostly been driven by white households with higher incomes—households less likely to have been severely affected economically by the coronavirus shutdowns,” Redfin said, adding that this exacerbates inequality trends in the housing market over the past decade. “The great injustice of this recession is…

Pending Home Sales Rebound In May

After the largest drop in history in April, pending home sales mounted a record comeback in May. Funny how that works. The Pending Home Sales Index increased by 44.3 percent to 99.6 in May, the highest month-over-month gain since the National Association of Realtors started the index in 2001. That comes a month after back-to-back decreases, including a 21.8 percent drop in April. “This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.” NAR said every major region recorded an increase…

Prices Increasing Quickly For Most Affordable Homes

Affordable homes are getting a less affordable. A report released Friday by Redfin found that the most affordable third of homes in the United States were 5.5 percent more expensive at the end of May than they were a year ago – while the price of the most expensive third of homes increased just 2 percent. “The severe shortage of affordable homes that we’ve been grappling with for years is now being exacerbated by an increase in the number of  buyers who are in search of lower-cost houses,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Many Americans—especially millennials—were already toying with the idea of buying their first house before the pandemic. Now they’re actually taking the plunge because mortgage rates are so…

Time On Market Drops As Housing Recovery Continues

By Jim Perskie The housing recovery is continuing, even as the coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of letting up across the United States. The realtor.com Weekly Housing Recovery Index released Thursday increased two points for the week ending June 20 – climbing to 92 points, just eight points short of the pre-pandemic baseline. This week’s data shows the housing market is continuing to warm up as economies reopen and more buyers return to the streets, but with COVID cases increasing in some regions uncertainty still remains,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.  The report found: Time on market dropped by three days last week, though remains 13 days slower than last year.New listings are down 19…

Existing Home Sales Drop For 3rd Straight Month

Existing home sales dropped 9.7 percent in the United States in May, the third straight month of declines as the nation continues to cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total existing home sales dropped to 3.91 million in May, which is 26.6 percent below May 2019 levels, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. “Sales completed in May reflect contract signings in March and April – during the strictest times of the pandemic lockdown and hence the cyclical low point,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening, and could even surpass one-year-ago figures in the second half of the year.” All four…

Report: Housing Recovery Led By Tech Hubs

The recovery in the housing market is continuing – and is being led by five high-tech hubs, according to the Weekly Housing Recovery Report released Thursday by realtor.com. For the week ending June 13, realtor.com found that local markets with strong tech job presences are bouncing back more quickly than others. Five of these communities – Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego – pushed past their January 2020 pace last week. “As the market heads into the summer, growth in online home searches and asking prices has surpassed pre-COVID levels, but movement in supply and time on market remains well below seasonal pace,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “But locally the story is much…

Single-Family Permits Post Strong May Numbers

The housing market is gaining steam. Single-family permits issued in May were 11.9 percent above April levels in the United States, while all privately-owned housing unit permits were up for 14.4 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Total housing starts also were up 4.3 percent for the month. “We expect this momentum to continue as economic activity recovers,” National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “In another promising sign, single-family permits are up almost 2 percent on a year-to-date basis and builders are bringing back thousands of workers laid off in March and April to meet renewed demand.” On a regional and year-to-date basis (January…

Scarce Home Inventory Drives Bidding Wars

Good news for home sellers: Bidding wars are making a comeback. A new report released Monday by Redfin found that 49.4 percent of Redfin offers faced competition in May – up 43.9 percent in April. The uptick is being fueled by a shortage of inventory, as there were 18.9 percent fewer houses on the market in May than a year earlier. “Bidding wars also jumped in May because homebuyers felt they were starting to get more clarity around where the economy was headed, with cities around the nation lifting stay-at-home orders. This gave house hunters more confidence to compete,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “But with coronavirus cases back on the rise in many states, only time will tell whether…

Housing Market Recovers In Face Of Pandemic, Unrest

In an attempt to measure housing’s comeback from the coronavirus pandemic, realtor.com created the Housing Recovery Index – with the initial report showing the U.S. housing market is recovering even in the face of COVID and civil unrest across the country. The report uses realtor.com search traffic, media list prices, new listings and median time on the market to compare it to a baseline of 100 – established based on January 2020 market trends. The higher a market’s index value, the bigger the recovery and vice versa. For the week ending June 6, the Housing Recovery Index was 88.8 nationwide, 11.2 points below the January baseline and up 1 point over the week before. The slight increase in this week’s overall…

COVID: 4+ Years For Millennials To Recover Savings

The economic shutdowns in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing people to dip into their savings to cover basic necessities – and that will put a crimp in people’s ability to save for a down payment for a home. That is especially true for millennials, as a new realtor.com analysis reports that it will take “nine months of saving to recoup a single month’s worth of expenses” for the average millennial. The report found it would take the average millennial 53 months to recover that value back into their savings, if they had no income for six months.  “Millennials may largely escape the worst of COVID-19, but with an unemployment rate of 13.4 percent, this age group is not…