Top News Of The Week

June New Home Sales Show Strong Uptick
Redfin Reports Median Sale Price Hits Another Record High
Housing Has Recovered Strongly, Realtor.com Index Shows
MBA’s Fratantoni: Mortgage Rates Will Drop Further
Shiller Says Long-Term Impact of COVID Still Uncertain
Buffalo is Sellers Market, For Sure
Real Estate CEO Fears Evictions
NAR Endorses House Bill to Boost First-Time Buyers
Low Mortgage Rates Could Be Hurting First-Time Buyers
Foreclosures Sink; Is a Spike Coming?
Don’t Get Too Comfy IN That Home Office
NAHB Finds Enthusiasm for Home ownership Undaunted
Fannie Mae’s Duncan Remains Largely Upbeat
Freddie Mac Finds 1.4 Million Granny Flats
San Diego Clears Way for More Tiny Houses
Buyers Growing Confident About Making Offers Sight Unseen

June New Home Sales Show Strong Uptick

Sales of newly-built homes turn sharply upward in June, fueled by pent-up demand and record low mortgage rates.

The government estimates June sales at an annual pace of 776-thousand units, up 14-percent from May.

Before the figures came out, Jerry Howard, the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, told Yahoo Finance.

The new home sales figures come on the heels of the report that existing home sales in June were up almost 21-percent.

Redfin Reports Median Sale Price Hits Another Record High

The median sale price of a home in the U.S. has risen to another all-time high.

According to figures compiled by Redfin, in June the median price was $311,300, up 2-point-8 percent from June of last year.

In a normal year, home prices peak in June, then gradually decline through January. But, of course, this is not a normal year, and Redfin’s analysis leaves open the possibility that prices could rise further before the end of the year.

Housing Has Recovered Strongly, Realtor.com Index Shows

The housing market has made a rapid recovery.

The latest Realtor.com Recovery Index is now at its highest level since the pandemic started, according to chief economist Danielle Hale.

In the face of what Hale calls a “roller coaster ride of optimism and pessimism,” the housing market has benefited as buyers seek stability amidst the chaos.

MBA’s Fratantoni:  Mortgage Rates Will Drop Further

Adding fuel to the pent-up demand for homes are all-time low mortgage interest rates.

And many experts think we haven’t hit bottom yet.

Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in an MBA video.

Fratantoni says 2020 is going to be a big year for mortgage lending, with a forecast of some 2-point-8 trillion dollars in mortgage originations this year.

Shiller Says Long-Term Impact of COVID Still Uncertain

We’ve already witnessed an exodus of some city dwellers to the suburbs in response to the pandemic..

But is that going to be a long-term trend?

Yale economist Robert Shiller, co-founder of the Case-Shiller index, told Fox Business:

But Shiller says he does not see a wild speculation in housing like that which led to the housing market meltdown of more than a decade ago.

Buffalo is Sellers Market, For Sure

Buffalo, New York is the place to be right now, if you’re a homeowner looking to sell.

Donna Littlefield, president of the Buffalo-Niagara Association of Realtors, told Buffalo’s 7 Eyewitness News.

Littlefield says one seller she represented got 34 offers.

Real Estate CEO Fears Evictions

For millions of American renters, the recession is far from over.

Now, Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens said on CNBC that she fears that property owners will be unable to make their mortgage payments, and there will be waves of evictions….

In many parts of the country, moratoria on evictions have expired or soon will.

NAR Endorses House Bill to Boost First-Time Buyers

COVID-19 has made it harder for many first-time buyers to get into a home of their own.

But one Washington lawmaker has introduced a bill that would remove one barrier for first-time buyers.

And his bill has the backing of the National Association of Realtors.

New York Congressman Sean Maloney’s bill would make it easier for first-time homebuyers to withdraw ,money from their retirement accounts for a down payment.

Low Mortgage Rates Could Be Hurting First-Time Buyers

Record low mortgage interest rates are certainly great, but could they actually be hurting some first-time home buyers?

People looking for their first home often run into that severe shortage of homes for sale,

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, told Yahoo Finance.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that refinance activity is more than double what it was just a year ago.

Foreclosures Sink; Is a Spike Coming?

Foreclosure filings in the first half of this year were down 44-percent, compared to 2019, according to new figures from ATTOM Data Solutions.

But a storm could be coming.

Jonathan Woloshin is bead of U.S. housing at UBS Global Wealth Management. He told CNBC why he’s concerned.

CoreLogic recently reported that the nation’s overall delinquency rate was 6-point-1 percent in April.  That’s the highest overall rate since January 2016.

Don’t Get Too Comfy IN That Home Office

Maybe we shouldn’t get too accustomed to that home office, after all.

Marcus & Millichap CEO Hessam Nadji told Fox Business.

And Nadji says when we emerge from this, and new jobs are created, there will be a newly increased demand for more office space.

NAHB Finds Enthusiasm for Homeownership Undaunted

There is more evidence that Americans’ appetite for homeownership has not been diminished by the pandemic.

The latest National Association of Home Builders Housing Trends Report found that the share of people who say they plan to buy a home in the next 12 months is almost unchanged from what it was a year ago.

Six in ten of those prospective buyers are first-timers, about the same proportion as a year ago.

Fannie Mae’s Duncan Remains Largely Upbeat

The latest Fannie Mae economic forecast tells of slumping home sales this year – but it could have been a lot worse.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan.

Duncan commented in a video produced by Supreme Lending Southeast.

Freddie Mac Finds 1.4 Million Granny Flats

There are now nearly a million and a half homes across the U.S. that have a granny flat.

According to an analysis by Freddie Mac, 1-point-4 million American homes include an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU.

And as more state and local governments legalize ADUs, the Freddie Mac study finds their numbers are growing, especially in high-cost fast-growing areas in the South and West.

San Diego Clears Way for More Tiny Houses

The San Diego City Council has approved a new kind of affordable home.

The council has added “tiny houses” to the list of options for those looking for an affordable home.

Tiny houses are typically smaller than Accessory Dwelling Units, and can range from 150 to 400 square feet.

But their price may make you question the definition of affordable. Those tiny houses can sell for $40,000 to as much as $100,000.

Buyers Growing Confident About Making Offers Sight Unseen

Virtual online home tours are here to stay, and there is growing evidence to suggest that for many home buyers, that virtual tour is all they need before they make an offer.

This spring one out of four real estate professionals surveyed by the National Association of Realtors said their clients put contracts on homes they had never actually visited in person.

And why not? CNN reported recently that virtual tour technology has improved so much that some buyers say they don’t see an upside to arranging an in-person tour.

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