Realtor.com predicted the peak of home buying season will be in August this year as opposed to the usual May.
“Real estate activity in the U.S. has regained its strength and continues on an upward trajectory as we enter the middle of the summer,” said Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com. “However, a sustained seller comeback still hinges on back-to-school plans and extended lockdowns. The housing market will need to remain above pre-COVID levels for at least another 10 weeks to make up for the lost activity in the second quarter of the year. As we head into fall, an anticipated resurgence in COVID cases and economic aftershocks are likely to create an uphill battle for home buyers and sellers.”
This week’s data shows growth in pace of sales, demand and prices have surpassed last year levels, while inventory continues to lag seasonal normals.
City Hall has, at long last, overhauled its residential neighborhood zoning.
After nearly six years of debate and delays, the Portland City Council on Wednesday approved a broad rezoning of the city’s neighborhoods—a policy that will encourage the construction of garden apartments and triplexes among single-family homes.
The policy will allow up to four homes on nearly every residential lot, and six units if three of them are affordable to low-income families.
Silicon Valley area remains most expensive
A new quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that median single-family home prices rose year over year in 96% of its measured markets in the second quarter. The national median existing single-family home price in Q2 was $291,300 — up 4.2% year over year.
“Home prices have held up well, largely due to the combination of very strong demand for housing and a limited supply of homes for sale,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Historically low inventory continues to reinforce and even increase prices in some areas.”
There were 15 metro areas that saw double-digit price growth, NAR said, including Huntsville, Alabama, 13.5%; Memphis, Tennessee, 13.4%; Boise, Idaho, 12.6%; Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington, 11.8%; Indianapolis, 10.8%; and Phoenix, 10.2%.
Yun said he doesn’t see home prices decreasing anytime soon, as low mortgage rates are attracting new buyers while there is record-low inventory. In Q2, 1.57 million existing homes were available for sale, 18.2% lower than total inventory at the end of Q2 2019.
Historical data may be less apparent as market accelerates
Last week, HousingWire reported surging mortgage volume and record low interest rates are putting excess pressure on appraisal turn times. This week, appraisal experts said those same variables are having a profound impact on an age-old conflict of appraisal reports versus what the market believes the home is worth.
First-time homebuyers face particular obstacles
According to the report, 53% of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home – an 8% decrease from June’s 61%. On the flip side, the percentage of people who believe it is a good time to sell increased 4% last month to 45% as July reports reflected a seller’s market.
Thoma Bravo acquired the company for $3.7 billion 15 months ago
Ellie Mae announced Thursday it entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by Intercontinental Exchange for approximately $11 billion. The move comes 15 months after Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm, announced it would acquire Ellie Mae in an all-cash transaction of $3.7 billion.
Both brokerages had to adapt to the pandemic
Brokerage giants RE/MAX and Keller Williams announced second-quarter numbers Friday, reflecting a business environment that had its share of ups and downs as a result of COVID-19. RE/MAX, a public company, released earnings, while Keller Williams reported agent numbers and other stats.
There’s a surprising amount of competition in the housing market this summer—even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But buyers aren’t likely to find themselves sparring with foreign shoppers and investors.
The number of purchases from international buyers dropped 16% compared with last year, as they closed on just 3% of existing homes (previously lived-in residences), according to a recent National Association of Realtors® report. They spent about $74 billion in total on their purchases, down 5% from the previous year.
“Foreign buyers stepping back a bit is good news for domestic buyers, who have a better chance of getting the property [they want,]” says NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun.
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