MReport October 2020

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44 | M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST ORIGINATION Pandemic Changing Homebuyers' Priorities Agents report shoppers are trading city-center dwellings for more space and nature. A ccording to a recent Redfin report, home- buyers' priorities are shifting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Specifical- ly, more homebuyers are looking to move away from the cramped and more expensive big cities to the far more affordable suburbs. The Redfin report showed that the housing markets where home- buyers can get more, while paying less, are mostly found tucked just outside the nation's biggest cities. This getting "more bang for their buck" mentality is what has driven city dwellers out of their crowded, expensive meccas, as well as the recently adapted remote working phenomenon allowing for more mobility and flexibility for geographical locale. Also driving this exodus and rise in homebuyer demand are the current record-low interest rates being seen on the market today. Redfin compiled this data via its representatives, then ranked housing markets that have heated up and cooled down the most during this year thus far. Criteria for arriving at the specific rankings included year-over-year change in home prices, home sales, the share of homes that sold above their list price, the speed of home sales, and online searches. According to the report, number one of the list of locales where U.S. housing markets are cooling off the most is the Bronx. Keeping the Bronx company and accounting for an overwhelming 7 out of the "worst" markets where housing demand is cooling off are 7 other New York markets, including Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island to name a few. Specific statistics from the report showed that the Bronx's home sales have taken a 43% dive since last year, and the number of online searches among Redfin. com users within the Bronx area fell a whopping 16% during the second quarter. New York Redfin agent Ken Wile commented on this trend, not mincing words about the mass exodus from the Big Apple: "People want out of New York City. This pandemic has changed everybody's lives. People who had to commute to the city no longer have to, so they want more space, more value, and more nature." According to Wile, among those exiting the City, many are moving to nearby Westchester and Putnam counties. Also cooling down and losing residents is San Francisco County, which ranked number two. This has led to a huge influx of new home listings (a rise of 110% year over year in July to be exact). In fact, San Francisco's housing sup- ply has skyrocketed, increasing far more than any other major metro since the pandemic first hit the scene earlier this year. San Francisco Redfin agent Gabrielle Bunker explained how this has forced sellers to compro- mise when it comes to accept- ing lower bids: "I've been telling sellers that if they're not willing to compromise on price after a cou- ple of weeks, they'll probably be holding onto their home for two to four more years. A lot of sellers are having a hard time coming to terms with that—they're really, re- ally wishing that the market was the way that it was six to nine months ago. Existing-Home Sales Hit Highest Mark Since 2006 What caused the summer surge, and is it expected to continue in months to come? An economist answers those questions and more. A ccording to the Na- tional Association of Realtors (NAR), exist- ing home sales are sizzling as the summer closes out. As sales in this genre con- tinued to climb during August, the lion's share of the summer season (the past three months of May, June, and July) experienced positive sales gains. This growth (both month over month and year over year) was experienced across the board in America, with all four of its major regions posting gains. The most stellar performer among the four regions was the Northeast region, which showed the most improve- ment from the previous month. Specific statistics revealed by NAR were that total existing home sales (completed transac- tions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condomini- ums, and co-ops) saw an uptick of 2.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 million during the month of August. Regarding sales as a whole, those experienced an increase of up to 10.5% (year over year) from this same time last year (records showed 5.43 million sales in August 2019). NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun commented on this summer's surge in home sales, as well as what to expect in the weeks and months to come: "Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market. Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hover- ing around 3% and with continued job recovery." Further revealed by NAR in its recent report was facts relating to home prices on the present-day market. According to NAR, the median existing home price for all housing types during August was $310,600. This price tag shows an increase of 11.4% from last year in August, which showed home prices hovering at a far lower $278,800. With home prices rising in every region, the month of August's national price increase seems to be cause for celebration, marking 102 consecutive months of year-over-year gains.

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