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Real Estate News 8/16/20

 Americans are going big and going home — with help from the lowest rates on home loans in history. Today's deeply cheap rates are allowing house shoppers to buy more expensive homes, often larger ones in more desirable parts of town, a new survey says. These low rates have been pushing house prices higher by boosting demand for homes at a time when fewer are going on the market. Three-quarters of homebuyers say the eye-popping rates are having an impact on their house shopping, according to a Realtor.com® survey. The savings most often are allowing buyers to look for bigger homes in nicer neighborhoods, the survey says. At today's interest rates, the payment for a typical home is $125 a month lower than it would have been at last year's rates, says Danielle Hale, Realtor.com®'s chief economist. Ultra-low interest rates aren't the sole reason many current house hunters are aiming higher. Nearly two-thirds say COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have helped them save more money. Not only are rock-bottom rates luring buyers into the housing market, but they're also encouraging homeowners to refinance their home loans, save heaps of money, and stay put in their houses. Source: Yahoo Finance

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said its second-quarter 2020 U.S. Home Sales Report showed home sellers nationwide realized a gain of $75,971 on the typical sale, up from the $66,500 in the first quarter and from $65,250 a year ago. The latest figure, based on median purchase and resale prices, marked yet another peak level of raw profits in the United States since the housing market began recovering from the Great Recession in 2012. ATTOM said the typical $75,971 home-sale profit represented a 36.3 percent return on investment compared to the original purchase price, up from 34.5 percent in the first quarter and from 33.7 percent a year ago, to another post-Recession high. This comes as median home prices increased, year over year, in almost every market around the country with enough data to analyze. They rose by at least 5 percent in more than half the markets analyzed. Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM, said prices and returns rose despite the economic damage caused by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, which has put millions of people out of work in the United States and remains a threat to the stability of the housing market. “The housing market across the United States pulled something of a high-wire act in the second quarter, surging forward despite the encroaching economic headwinds resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic,” Teta said. Source: ATTOM Data Solutions

The share of Americans who are considering the purchase of a home in the next 12 months was 11% in the second quarter of 2020, essentially flat when compared to the same quarter in 2019 (12%), according to NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, this finding indicates that the overall number of Americans who want to buy a home has not been impacted by the pandemic. Similarly, the share of these prospective buyers who are first-time buyers is about the same in the second quarter of 2020 (59%) as it was a year earlier (58%). The timing of the data collection for this report (June 16-28) is notable, as results need to be interpreted in the larger context of the U.S. economy and the trajectory of new case counts at the time. In June, the labor market showed signs of recovery, gaining 4.8 million jobs as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. The 30-year fixed rate home loan continued to fall as well. The number of COVID cases nationally were stable through the first half of June, only beginning their ascent around June 15. Source: National Association of Home Builders

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