Real Estate News 11/26/18

 With more and more renters feeling the affordability crunch, there seemed to be some light on the horizon recently with the steady rise in rents appearing to finally slow down over the last few months. Never mind. As it turns out, rents are still going up and just hit an all-time high, again. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that during the third quarter, the nationwide median asking rent topped $1,000 for the first time ever. According to the Census data, the median asking rent during the third quarter was $1,003, an increase of $52 over the second quarter and an increase of $91 over the same time period last year. That’s an increase of nearly 10% in just one year, when rents checked in at $912. The increase has been dramatic over the last few years. Just three years ago, the asking rent was a full $200 less per month than it is right now. The rise in asking prices isn’t confined to rental units either. The median asking sales price for homes is going up as well. According to the Census data, the nationwide median asking sales price for a home rose to $206,400 during the third quarter, which marks the first time that figure has crossed $200,000. Source: HousingWire

Lower affordability and continued inventory crunches aren’t sidelining single women home buyers, who, for the second consecutive year, account for 18 percent of all buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Single women are the second most common buyer type behind married couples (63 percent), according to NAR’s report. Single men are the third most common buyer type, accounting for half the number of their female counterparts at 9 percent. However, single men tend to purchase pricier homes than single women—a median of $215,000 compared to $189,000. Single women buyers, many of whom are first-timers, are proving a powerful force in the housing market. First-time buyers comprised 33 percent of the housing market this year, down from 34 percent last year. “With the lower end of the housing market—smaller, moderately priced homes—seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Low inventory, rising interest rates, and student loan debt are all factors contributing to the suppression of first-time home buyers.” However, Yun notes that existing-home sales data has shown in recent months that inventory is rising slowly on a year-over-year basis. That may “encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market,” Yun says. Source: National Association of Realtors®

The national housing inventory grew by two percent, or 25,000 listings, in October, according to new data from This marks the first time in four years that the inventory level increased. The fastest inventory growth was found in condominiums and townhomes, which are now up seven percent year-over-year, compared to single family homes which are up one percent. The increased volume of new listings in October were eight percent less expensive than existing homes for-sale. During October, the national median listing price remained at $295,000, a seven percent increase year-over-year but lower than last year's 10 percent increase. "Buyers have been struggling for four years to find homes in their price range, while dealing with bidding wars and multiple offer situations," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for "The inventory increase will not solve the problem overnight, but it should provide some relief to those still in the market, especially if the growth we're seeing in more affordable homes and condos holds steady. However, affordability is still an issue with increasing interest rates and prices keeping many would-be buyers on the sidelines." Source: NMP 


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