MReport November 2020

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M REPORT | 55 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 DATA Q3's 'Clear Return' for Home Price Appreciation Home prices bounced back after slower home price growth in the second quarter. H ome prices during Sep- tember recorded a 7.8% year-over-year spike, according to the latest Radian Home Price Index (HPI) data released by Red Bell Real Estate LLC. For the third quarter, the Radian HPI tracked an annual- ized home price increase of 8.9%, up from the 6.8% annualized gains in the second quarter. On a year-to-date measurement, the Radian HPI ascended at a 7.4% annualized rate, up from the 6.4% rate recorded during the first nine months of 2019. Radian also reported the me- dian estimated home price during September was $262,505, with all six Radian HPI Regional indi- ces experiencing positive annual home price appreciation rates. During September, half of the nation's 20 largest metro areas saw faster appreciation rates than the prior month, while 19 of these 20 metros recorded greater apprecia- tion rates on a quarterly measure- ment. "After slower home price growth in the second quarter, the third quarter of 2020 showed a clear return to the faster price appreciation reported at the end of 2019," said Steve Gaenzler, SVP of Data and Analytics. The number of closed home sales between July and September was 39% higher than the average third quarter going back to 2007. Furthermore, homes were selling at a faster clip—the average length of time properties that sold in September were listed prior to their sale tied an all-time low of 89 days on market. However, Gaenzler also acknowledged housing supply is nowhere near the same level as demand. At the start of the third quarter, the number of active listings was only 8% higher than the level in December 2019, which was lower than any period during the Great Recession. As a result, there were nearly 165,000 fewer listings nationwide that would normally have been available to active buyers at the start of the summer buying season. "Until there are clear signs of a change in the substantial imbalance in supply and demand, all signs would point to a continuation of gains for home prices," Gaenzler said. "However, it is not unlikely that as prices continue to rise, affordability concerns may begin to cool appreciation rates in some markets." The Radian HPI is calculated based on the estimated values of more than 70 million unique addresses each month, covering all single-family property types nationwide. What are the Best Small Cities in America? City growth is slowing, and the suburbs are having a moment in the spotlight. T he suburbs are seeing a recent boom as city dwellers are beginning to search elsewhere to settle down. As city growth is starting to slow down—in part because of the pandemic and indi- viduals having more flexibility to work from anywhere—cities with smaller populations are likely to become trendy. An analysis from WalletHub examined 1,200 cities across the country with populations between 25,000 and 100,000. The analysis breaks down which small cities in the U.S. have the most to offer in 2020 in terms of afford- ability, economic health, education and health, quality of life, and safety. Massachusetts and Texas both landed three cities on the list. Here are the top 10 best small cit- ies across the country: 1. SAMMAMISH, WASHINGTON This city, named after Lake Sammamish, is ranked by WalletHub as the best small city overall. Sammamish is ranked highest of all small cities in terms of its economic health. It's also ranked #11 in the "Education and Health" category. 2. LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS Lexington is tied with Los Altos, California, and Milton, Massachussetts, for the highest percentage of the total population with insurance. It is also ranked fourth among all small cities in the U.S. for having low crime rates. 3. CARMEL, INDIANA This small Indiana city ranked third overall largely because of its affordability. It ranked in eighth place for affordability and ranked well in the "Safety" category. 4. NEEDHAM, MASSACHUSETTS The city of Needham was the fourth-best small city in the U.S. and is ranked #14 in the "Education and Health" category. It also was ranked twentieth for safety. 5. SUGAR LAND, TEXAS Sugar Land is southwest of Houston, and its economy is booming among small cities in 2020. It ranked second overall for economic health. 6. MILTON, MASSACHUSETTS Like Lexington, this Massachusetts city is also tied in first place for cities with the highest insured population percentage. It is ranked third for small cities with the low- est crime rate, ranking just above Lexington, MA. 7. BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE WalletHub ranked this suburb of Nashville as No. 16 in terms of affordability. It also has quite a healthy economy. 8. SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS This Dallas-Fort Worth suburb takes first place for small cities with the lowest housing costs and is ranked sixth overall for economic health. Southlake takes second place among small American cities with the highest population with a high school diploma or higher education level. 9. CEDAR PARK, TEXAS Cedar Park ranked in fifth place for the "Economic Health" cat- egory of small cities. The Austin suburb was also ranked well for its affordability. 10. REDMOND, WASHINGTON Finally, Redmond took the ninth spot in the category of "Economic Health." It has the benefit of being located just 15 miles east of the Emerald City.

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