No Doubt About It: This Is A Sellers Market

A pair of housing reports finds that U.S. home prices and sales continue to climb quickly amid a market scarcity and the coronavirus pandemic. A Zillow report found that home values increased 0.7 percent in August to $256,663 – the biggest month over month increase in nearly seven years. Meanwhile, a Redfin report found that home prices in blue counties, red counties and swing counties increased by double digits from a year earlier. “Homeowners in counties of all colors—blue, red and purple—are benefiting from a strong housing market even during this deep recession,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Home values are up, which is great financial news if you’re a homeowner, regardless of your politics.” Using 2016 electoral data, Redfin…

Single-Family Housing Starts Increase In August

Single-family housing starts increased in August at its highest rate since February, the month before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States, according to a report released Thursday by the federal government. Overall, housing production fell 5.1 percent due to a large decrease in starts on condos and apartment buildings, the report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family starts increased 4.1 percent to 1.02 million. Multifamily starts plummeted 22.7 percent to 395,000. “Consistent with surging builder confidence, single-family starts rose in August to meet rising buyer traffic,” said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “Builders continue to face concerns…

Fewer Students Means Lower Rent In College Towns

As colleges across the country operate completely or primarily online, fewer and fewer students are living in college towns – which means landlords are charging less rent in those neighborhoods. A study released Thursday by Zillow found that the average rent in college areas has fallen 1.2 percent since February – while rent has increased 1.4 percent in areas with fewer college students.  “The softening rental market across the country is more stark in college neighborhoods as pandemic-mandated campus closures and opportunities to complete courses online have provided motivation for young people to move back home,” Zillow senior economist Cheryl Young said. “With many leases ending at the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall, we can expect…

Home Prices Skyrocket In August

The national median home price jumped 11 percent in August from a year earlier – the largest annual increase in more than six years, according to a report released Thursday by Redfin. The median home price in the United States was $328,400. Median prices increased in all 85 largest metropolitan areas that Redfin tracks. The smallest increase was in New York (2.7 percent), while Bridgeport, Conn. (30.7 percent), Memphis (20.5 percent) and Tulsa (+19.8 percent) saw the largest year-over-year increases.   “The supply of homes is tighter than ever, and home prices are growing at the fastest rate in years. Why isn’t this historic seller’s market holding back buyers?” said Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Homeowners are just now deciding to sell; they were just a little…

11 Million Households Miss Rent, Mortgage Payment

Roughly 11 million households fell behind on mortgage payments or rent, and 30 million Americans missed at least one student loan payment during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The report, created by MBA’s Research Institute for Housing America, found that 5.88 million renters (or 11 percent) missed, delayed or reduced at least one payment, and 5.14 million homeowners missed or deferred at least one mortgage payment. “RIHA’s study shows that households were largely successful in navigating a difficult economic landscape and continued to make their housing payments during the first three months of the outbreak. In contrast, nearly half of student debt borrowers missed at least…

Housing Recovery Keeps Chugging Along

The housing market remains strong and is resisting the typical fall slowdown, realtor.com’s Weekly Recovery Report released Thursday showed. Realtor.com’s Housing Market Recovery Index increased 1.5 points to 107.7 in the United States for the week ending September 5, which means the market is 7.7 percent stronger than the pre-COVID baseline. “Sellers are calling the shots in today’s market; prices are rising and housing inventory is vanishing almost as fast as it appears,” according to realtor.com®‘s Chief Economist, Danielle Hale. “But this week’s report revealed two indicators worth keeping an eye on. Housing demand cooled slightly, while new listings showed a smaller decline than previous weeks. This could be a hiccup in weekly activity, or if these trends continue, they could…

Redfin: More Than Half Of Offers Face Bidding Wars

Buying a house? More often than not, you may face some competition. Redfin reports that 54.5 percent of offers on its homes faced bidding wars last month – down slightly from 57.3 percent in July. It is the fourth straight month with more than half of offers facing competition. “The market is on fire. There just isn’t enough on the market to supply the huge demand for homes,” San Diego Redfin agent Lisa Padilla said. “A lot of military buyers are trying to take advantage of the low interest rates for VA loans. Anything on sale for less than $600,000 has multiple offers, and sometimes they’re getting more than 20 offers. Only condos are a little slow, as most buyers…

Home Prices Surge In August As Inventory Tightens

Median listing prices surged 10 percent to a record $350,000 in the United States in August as houses on the market remain scarce this summer, according to the Monthly Housing Trends report released by realtor.com. The report found: The inventory of houses on the market was down 36 percent in August from a year ago, while new listings were down 12 percent.There were nearly 500,000 fewer homes for sale in the United States than a year ago.Homes are selling in an average 56 days, five days faster than last year.Of the top 50 markets, Miami was the only one to experience a decline in listing prices. “It’s difficult to imagine that the housing market will be able to sustain the…

Home Prices Boom In July

Home price growth accelerated considerably in July, as the housing market proved strong and resilient even as the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact other parts of the economy, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic. Home prices nationwide increased 5.5 percent from July 2019 to July 2020 – and increased 1.2 percent from June to July, according to the CoreLogic study, which also predicts that prices will increase by just 0.1 percent in August and 0.6 percent by July 2021. “On an aggregated level, the housing economy remains rock solid despite the shock and awe of the pandemic,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “A long period of record-low mortgage rates has opened the flood gates for a…

Pending Home Sales Strong In July

Pending home sales increased for the third consecutive month in the United States in July, with each of the four regions of the nation seeing monthly and yearly gains, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Thursday. The Pending Home Sales Index increased by 5.9 percent in July – and were 15.5 percent over last July. “We are witnessing a true V-shaped sales recovery as homebuyers continue their strong return to the housing market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings.” Pending home sales increased by 25.2 percent in July and were 20.6 percent higher than last year.…