Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, September 24 – October 1, 2020

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September 24, 2020
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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories

New home sales crush expectations, but the supply is running out (CNBC, Sept. 24)

-Sales of newly built homes jumped to the highest level in 14 years in August, but builders’ supply dropped to just 3.3 months’ worth at the current sales pace.

-While the pandemic created huge demand from buyers, it did just the opposite for potential sellers. About 400,000 fewer homes have been listed for sale since the pandemic began, according to


Pending Home Sales Hit Record High in August (The M Report, Sept. 30)

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is announcing its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) hit a record high in August with a 132.8 reading, up 8.8% from July and up 24.2% from August 2019. All four regional indices recorded month-over-month increases in contract activity during August: The Northeast PHSI grew 4.3% to 117.1, the Midwest index was up 8.6% to 124.5, the South rose by 8.6% to an index of 154.2 and the West ascended by 13.1% to 120.3.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun credited “tremendously low mortgage rates” in fueling the pending home sales activity last month, adding that the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep short-term fund rates near the 0% level “should, in the absence of inflationary pressure, keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtedly aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace.”


Oregon eviction moratorium extended for residents, but not businesses (PBJ, Sept. 29)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday pushed out the expiration of the state’s eviction ban until the end of the year, but with a catch: the new moratorium doesn’t cover places of businesses.

Oregon has for the past several months had eviction bans in one form or another. Brown issued her first executive order to that effect in March to protect residential renters, then looped in commercial tenants later. Lawmakers during a special session then extended eviction protections until the end of September and added a six-month repayment grace period.

Fast forward to today, and businesses won’t be part of the new extension.


COVID-19’s Impact on Homeowners vs. Renters (The M Report, Sept. 25)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on housing payments, as a new data study released by Clever Real Estate found nearly half of homeowners who missed mortgage payments this year reported being at least $2,000 behind on their mortgage.

The study also found 55% of homeowner respondents were living paycheck-to-paycheck and 15% did not currently have stable income. In comparison, 72% of renter respondents said they were on paycheck-to-paycheck existence and 30% lacked a stable income. Homeowners admitted to increasing their credit card debt or using their emergency savings to cover expenses, while renters were more likely to either tap their retirement savings, sell personal items, take a gig economy job, borrow from family and friends or move.

Furthermore, the study found homeowners were more 25% likely to stash away funds for retirement than were renters, and they were two times more likely to report their savings would last six months or more. However, 54% of homeowners have spent at least $1,000 from their emergency funds since March, versus only 36% of renters.


What’s Increasing Consumer Home-Buying Power? (The M Report, Sept. 28)

First American Financial Corporation’s recently released its July 2020 First American Real House Price Index (RHPI). The RHPI analyzes the fluctuations in price of single-family properties throughout the nation.

According to First American’s Chief Economist Analysis Mark Fleming, affordability greatly improved during July: “Affordability improved in July as two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, swung in favor of increased affordability, outpacing the rise in nominal house price appreciation. The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate fell by 0.75 percentage points and household income increased 5.5 percent compared with July 2019.”


Housing Inventory Dips to Lowest Level in 10+ Years (The M Report, Sept. 28)

A new forecast from Zillow predicts home sales will peak during the autumn and begin to moderate into 2021, but will remain above pre-pandemic levels.

The coming months will also see home prices remaining higher. Zillow is forecasting seasonally adjusted home prices will inch up by 1.2% from August to November and rise 4.8% between August 2020 and August 2021

Zillow explained this forecast was based on strong sales and vibrant pricing during the summer despite a serious imbalance between housing supply and buyer demand, coupled with a delay of this year’s buying season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


6 Home Upgrades Buyers Want in the COVID-19 Era (

If you imagined 2020 was the year you would finally list your house for sale, you may have hit the brakes on those plans when the coronavirus pandemic arrived.

But now, we’re more than six months into the COVID-19 era with no clear end in sight. As many people continue working and logging in to school from home, the real estate market is again heating up with buyers eager to upgrade to a new home….

  1. Upgrade your outdoor space
  2. Create a functional home office or classroom
  3. Add separation of space
  4. Add space for a home gym
  5. Give your in-law suite a makeover
  6. Spruce up the laundry room


Thanks for reading.