Extended Stay America And Others Win During Pandemic

By CHUCK GREEN Now, how about a little, um, pop-up pop quiz? You. Put…the…iPhone….down. Okay, then. What did Marilyn Monroe. Elizabeth Taylor and, oh, say, Tennessee Williams, have in common? Whether compelled by business reasons — or simply because it was how they rolled – the trio lived in hotels. Probably beat the price of real estate. Even back then. Even for them. Seems they were onto something. Today, at least temporarily, a number of individuals – you know, us regular joes – also call hotels or motels la casa. Perhaps they’re working on location for relatively limited time on a short-term out-of-town job and, given the paucity of housing in many parts of the United States, other accommodations are…

What’s The Buzz About Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

By CHUCK GREEN Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Is it the place to be? Why not? Portsmouth’s a medium size coastal city with 22,277 residents as of July 1, 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city’s rife with attractions including a new jazz club, theaters, restaurants, overall safety, outdoor living, and the school district has 6 schools with 2,531 students. Here’s the scene from Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club on New Year’s Eve: Happy New Year’s Eve from Portsmouth, NH! pic.twitter.com/5wwd4JU4sJ— Kimberley Haas (@KimberleyHaas) January 1, 2022 The Seacoast region has and will continue to benefit from market demand that is generated by people looking for a higher quality of life within an urban setting, Jim Goldenberg, principal of Cathartes,…

Multifamily Homes Needed: Will The Demand Be Met?

By CHUCK GREEN Home sweet… multifamily home construction? If, well, the spare bedroom fits. And that it seems to do in light of a new report from Construction Coverage showing a spike in construction of multifamily homes in the U.S. With a jump in multifamily housing projects, home building in the U.S. catapulted to a nine-month high last December, according to Reuters. There was a 2.4% hike to a rate of 737,000 units among multifamily homes under construction. “As long as supply chains remain stressed, builders will struggle to complete projects, slowing sales and likely limiting growth in the supply of new homes,” said Ben Ayers, Senior Economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio. Earlier in the year, addressing the International Builders’ Show in…

Rents, Mortgage Payments Jumped In February

Average monthly asking rent in the U.S. leaped to new heights in February, up 15% year-over-year to a record high of $1,901, though mortgage growth outpaced it yet again, according to Redfin. Rent growth saw its largest annual increase since Redfin began tracking rental data in February 2019. Mortgage payments rose 31% YOY to $1,716, also the biggest increase recorded by Redfin. Mortgage payment increases outpaced rent increases in 44 of the 50 largest U.S. metros. “The cost of housing is going up for homebuyers and renters, but it’s going up more quickly for homebuyers,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  “That’s because mortgage rates have increased sharply, and will likely continue to do so. When the cost of homeownership…

6 Million US Homes Are Worth $1M Or More

U.S. home prices have broken another record: 8% of homes (6 million) are now worth $1 million or more, according to a new report from Redfin. That is nearly double the share from before the pandemic when the share was only 4.8% (3.5 million). The Bay Area has the biggest share of million-dollar homes, with nearly nine out of 10 properties in San Francisco and San Jose making the list. This isn’t surprising given its long history of being the most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. Anaheim, CA, saw the biggest increase, with its share of million-dollar homes jumping to 55% from 27% two years ago. California dominated the top five, following up with Oakland (55.1%),…

Despite Changes, Office Spaces Are Not A Thing Of The Past

By DOUG OHLEMEIER Despite many employees working from home and companies adopting hybrid work models, investors are still attracted to the land of cubicles. While office suites aren’t as packed with workers as before the pandemic, the commercial market remains strong. “There is investor interest in office properties,” said Stephen Newbold, National Director in the U.S. office of research for Colliers International, a Toronto, Ontario-based global real estate services and investment management company. “We are at a stage where we can fairly confidently say that we’re not going back to those (2020) levels. It may fluctuate a little, but my overarching view is we are stabilizing on vacancies and space on the market.” Observers aren’t sure how the new work…

Austin Home Values Equivalent To Ecuador’s Total GDP

December 2021 saw a record annual surge in US home value, the largest gain seen in any December since at least 2001, according to a new analysis of Redfin’s Housing Value Index. U.S. home value rose 18.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $38.6 trillion. Austin, TX, saw home values double that, jumping 39.2% YOY. That shakes out to $365.9 billion, roughly the 2020 GDP of Ecuador and the biggest gain of any metro tracked by Redfin. December marked the 17th consecutive month of double-digit price gains as inventory shrank to a record low. Cape Coral, FL, saw the second-highest gains (36.9%), followed by Grand Rapids, MI (33.1%), Phoenix (32.8%), and Boise, ID (32.8%). Cape Coral and Phoenix have consistently made the list…

Finding A Mortgage On Your Phone? FinTech Companies Catering To Those Customers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The typical American spends between five and six hours a day on their mobile phone so mortgage companies are developing new technologies to help them meet customers where they are. Brett Bivenour, Chief Technology Officer at Nationwide Mortgage Bankers in Melville, New York, explained during an interview with The Mortgage Note last week that for too long, the process seemed arduous for the average person. Even prior to the pandemic, consumer expectations about what they could do online had shifted because of what was happening outside his industry, he said. “As more and more aspects of people’s everyday lives were happening online, that certainly influenced their expectations of what it looks like to get a mortgage in…

MBA: Pace Of Forbearance Exits Drops To Lowest Since June 2020

The total number of loans in forbearance fell from 1.67% of servicers’ portfolio volume to 1.41% in December 2021, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Loan Monitoring Survey. The pace of monthly forbearance exits is at its lowest point since MBA began tracking exits in June 2020. MBA estimates 705,000 homeowners are currently in forbearance plans. Independent mortgage banks saw a 0.28% decline from 1.94% to 1.66%, while depositories saw a 0.28% drop from 1.52% to 1.24%. The share of forborne Fannie and Freddie loans fell to 0.68%, down by 8 basis points, while Ginnie Mae loans fell from 2.10% to 1.63%, down 47 basis points. PLS and portfolio loans in forbearance dropped by 51 basis points to 3.43%.…

Study: Americans Moving To Be Closer To Family

A new study from United Van Lines found Americans moved to lower-density areas to be closer to their families in 2021. The study, which uses data from the migration patterns of United Van Lines customers, found Vermont and South Dakota had the highest inbound migration, at 74% and 69%, respectively. South Carolina (63%), West Virginia (63%), and Florida (62%) also had high inbound migration rates. New Jersey had the highest number of people moving out of the state, at 71%, for the fourth year in a row. Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%), and California (59%) also saw high outbound migration. Kentucky and Wyoming were among several “balanced” states that saw similar numbers of people moving in and out.…