Category Archives: Bedford Hills

Home prices up 15%, sales up 26% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Fueled by record-low mortgage rates and strong demand, existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose for a fifth consecutive month in October and reached its highest level in almost 15 years.

Total existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million in October, the highest level since November 2005. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 26.6% higher than a year ago.

The first-time buyer share increased to 32% in October from 31% both last month and a year ago. However, price gains threaten this share in the future. The October inventory level fell to 1.42 million units from 1.46 million units in September and is down from 1.77 million units a year ago.

At the current sales rate, the October unsold inventory represents an all-time low 2.5-month supply, down from 2.7-month in September and 3.9-month a year ago. This low level supply of resale homes is good news for home construction.

Homes stayed on the market for an average of just 21 days in October, an all-time low, seasonally even with last month and down from 36 days a year ago. In October, 72% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.

The October all-cash sales share was 19% of transactions, up from 18% last month but unchanged from a year ago.

Tight supply continues to push up home prices. The October median sales price of all existing homes was $313,000, up 15.5% from a year ago, representing the 104th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The median existing condominium/co-op price of $273,600 in October was up 10.3% from a year ago.

Regionally, all four regions saw month-over-month gains for existing home sales in October, ranging from 1.4% in the West to 8.6% in the Midwest. On a year-over-year basis, sales grew in all four regions as well, with the Northeast seeing the greatest gain (30.4%).

Though sales have flourished and demand remains strong due to low mortgage rates, the imbalance between housing supply and demand could hamper future sales by driving up home prices and restraining affordability. Though builder confidence soared to all-time high and housing starts at highest pace since the spring of 2007, more listings and home construction are still needed to meet this rising demand.

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eyeonhousing.org/2020/11/

Mortgage rates fall to another record low | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Mortgage rates in the U.S. have hit another record low.

The average for a 30-year, fixed loan dropped to 2.81%, down from 2.87% last week and the lowest in almost 50 years of data-keeping, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. It was the 10th record low this year. The previous one — 2.86% — held for about a month.

Mortgage rates have been on a downhill slide since March

The slide in borrowing costs that began in March, as fears of the coronavirus drove investors to the safety of Treasuries, shows no signs of stopping. The Federal Reserve has signaled it will hold its benchmark rate near zero through at least 2023. That should keep a lid on mortgage rates, which have been below 3% since July.

Cheap loans have been fueling a housing rally that has bolstered the pandemic economy, even amid persistent job losses. Purchases have soared and millions of current homeowners have been able to save money by refinancing. Home ownership has become increasingly un affordable. For those who can’t afford big down payments, mortgage insurance has become a fact of life. For all its expense, mortgage insurance doesn’t deliver the level of protection it should. The government should do what’s needed to reduce the unnecessarily high cost.

But surging demand for the scarce supply of properties on the market is pushing up prices, putting home ownership out of reach for many Americans. And lenders have tightened credit standards, presenting another potential obstacle for would-be buyers.

“It’s important to remember that not all people are able to take advantage of low rates, given the effects of the pandemic,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in the statement.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-15/mortgage-rates-fall-to-a-record-low-for-the-10th-time-this-year

Corelogic home prices up 5.5% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

  • Nationally, home prices in July were 5.5% higher than in 2019. That is a marked increase from the 4.3% annual gain seen in June, according to CoreLogic.
  • The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage fell below 3% for the first time even in July, giving buyers additional purchasing power.

Exceptionally strong demand, historically low supply and record low mortgage rates are combining to fuel the fastest home price growth since 2018.

Nationally, home prices in July were 5.5% higher than in 2019. That is a marked increase from the 4.3% annual gain seen in June, according to CoreLogic.

Falling mortgage rates helped bolster the pent-up demand from spring, when home sales ground to a halt due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed fell below 3% for the first time even in July, giving buyers additional purchasing power.

Prospective buyers visit an open house for sale in Alexandria, Virginia.

Prospective buyers visit an open house for sale in Alexandria, Virginia

“Lower-priced homes are sought after and have had faster annual price growth than luxury homes,” said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist. “First-time buyers and investors are actively seeking lower-priced homes, and that segment of the housing market is in particularly short supply.”

The inventory of homes priced under $100,000 was down 32% annually in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. Compare that with the supply of homes priced at $500,000 to $750,000, which was down just 9%.

Of course, all real estate is local, and especially so now as the pandemic is hitting some markets harder than others. Homebuying is gaining significant strength in more affordable suburban and rural areas as buyers seek more space for the new work-and-school-at-home economy. CoreLogic cites Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, New York, where home prices jumped 4.3% annually in July, likely due in part to urban flight from New York City. Prices in the New York metropolitan area rose just 0.4%.

Home prices in San Francisco were also less than 1% higher annually, compared with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, which saw prices up over 5%. There is much less flight from the D.C. area than from San Francisco, as tech workers, who can now work from anywhere, leave the latter in search of more affordable homes.WATCH NOWVIDEO02:36Number of evictions set to rise as moratorium expires in 30 states

Economists at CoreLogic predict that homes will stay positive in 2021, but that the gains will weaken, as the initial surge of pandemic buying wanes. Certain markets particularly hard hit by the pandemic could suffer the most. Las Vegas and Miami are notable examples because their economies rely heavily on tourism and entertainment.  

There is also concern that as various mortgage bailout programs begin to expire, there will be a surge in sales of distressed homes. While the market will likely absorb these homes quickly, given the current housing shortage, the additional supply will take some of the heat out of home prices.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/01/home-prices-suddenly-see-biggest-gains-in-2-years.html

Pending sales up 16.6% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Pending home sales soared again in June, although the liftoff was relatively shallow compared to the 43 percent increase in May. The National Association of Realtors’® (NAR’s) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts to purchase existing homes, rose 16.6 percent compared to May, and increased year-over-year by 6.3 percent. The index is now at 116.1.

The two months of improving activity have brought the index back from its April level of 69.0 where it landed after falling by more than 20 percent in both that month and in March as much of the nation was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gains were above even the best guesses by analysts polled by Econoday. Their predictions ranged from a 10 percent downturn to gains of 15.6 percent. The consensus was an increase of 5.2 percent.

Lawrence Yun, cheif economist says, “Consumers are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates resulting from the Federal Reserve’s maximum liquidity monetary policy.”

In light of the apparent housing market turnaround, NAR has raised its forecast for the home sales market. For all of 2020, existing-home sales are expected to decline by only 3 percent and should be at an annual rate of 5.6 million by the fourth quarter. The same percentage increase is expected for new home sales.

Yun says he expects that the GDP will grow 4.0 percent in 2021 and that, along with mortgage rates that are anticipated to stay at near 3 percent over the next 18 months, should boost home sales. He projects a 7 percent growth in existing sales and 16 percent in new home sales in 2021. Home prices will likely appreciate 4 percent this year then moderate to 3 percent next year as more new supply comes to market.

Each of the four major regions experienced a second month of growth in month-over-month pending home sales transactions. The Northeast, which saw a 54.4 percent gain from May was the only region that did not move higher on an annual basis. Its PHSI is now at 95.4, down 0.9 percent from June 2019.

Pending home sales in the South increased 11.9 percent to an index of 140.3, 10.3 percent above a year earlier. The index in the West improved by 11.7 percent to 99.6, a 4.7 percent annual gain.

“The Northeast’s strong bounce back comes after a lengthier lockdown, while the South has consistently outperformed the rest of the country,” Yun said. “These remarkable rebounds speak to exceptionally high buyer demand.”

Yun says that as house hunters seek homes away from bigger cites – likely to avoid the coronavirus – properties that were once an afterthought for potential buyers are now growing in popularity.

“While the outlook is promising, sharply rising lumber prices are concerning,” Yun said. “A reduction in tariffs – even if temporary – would help increase home building and thereby spur faster economic growth.”

The PHSI is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. Existing-Home Sales for July will be reported August 21.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

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http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/07292020_pending_sales.asp

5 reasons to get your mortgage application rejected | Bedford Hills Real Estate

mortgage-application-crumpled
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Picture this nightmare: You apply for a mortgage, but your application gets rejected. Suddenly, you’re hit with an overwhelming wave of embarrassment, shock, and horror. It’s like having your credit card denied at the Shoprite. So. Much. Shame.

Sadly, this is a reality for some home buyers. According to a recent Federal Reserve study, one out of every eight home loan applications (12%) ends in a rejection.

There are a number of reasons mortgage applications get denied‚ and the saddest part is that many could have been avoided quite easily, had only the applicants known certain things were no-nos. So, before you’re the next home buyer who gets burned by sheer ignorance, scan this list, and make sure you aren’t making any of these five grave mistakes, which could land your mortgage application in the “no” pile.

1. You didn’t use credit cards enough

Some people think credit card debt is the kiss of death … but guess what? It’s also a way to establish a credit history that shows you’ve got a solid track record paying off past debts.

While a poor credit history riddled with late payments can certainly call your application into question, it’s just as bad, and perhaps worse, to have little or no credit history at all. Most lenders are reluctant to fork over money to individuals without substantial credit history. It’s as if you’re a ghost: Who’s to say you won’t disappear?

Get Pre-ApprovedFind a lender who can offer competitive mortgage rates and help you with pre-approval.Enter the ZIP code where you plan to buy a homeGO

According to a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, roughly 45 million Americans are characterized as “credit invisible”—which means they don’t have a credit report on file with the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

There’s a silver lining, though, for those who don’t have credit established. Some lenders will use alternative data, such as rent payments, cellphone bills, and school tuition, to assess your credit worthiness, says Staci Titsworth, a regional manager at PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh.

2. You opened new credit cards recently

That Macy’s credit card you signed up for last month? Bad idea. New credit card applications can ding your credit score by up to five points, says Beverly Harzog, a consumer credit expert and author of “The Debt Escape Plan.”

That hit might seem minuscule, but if you’re on the cusp of qualifying for a mortgage, your new credit card could cause your loan application to be denied by a lender. So, the lesson is simple: Don’t open new credit cards right before you apply for a mortgage—and, even if your lender says things look good, don’t open any new cards or spend oodles of money (on, say, furniture) until after you’ve moved in. After all, lenders can yank your loan up until the last minute if they suspect anything fishy, and hey, better safe than sorry.

3. You missed a medical bill

Credit cards aren’t the only debt that count with a mortgage application—unpaid medical bills matter, too. When you default on medical bills, your doctor’s office or hospital is likely to outsource it to a debt collection agency, says independent credit expert John Ulzheimer. The debt collector may then decide to notify the credit bureaus that you’re overdue on your medical payments, which would place a black mark on your credit report. That’s a red flag to mortgage lenders.

If you can pay off your medical debt in full, do it. Can’t foot the bill? Many doctors and hospitals will work with you to create a payment plan, says Gerri Detweiler, head of market education at Nav.com, which helps small-business owners manage their credit. Showing a mortgage lender that you’re working to repay the debt could strengthen your application.

4. You changed jobs

So you changed jobs recently—so what? Problem is, mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of consistent income history when approving a loan. As a result, changing jobs shortly before you apply for a mortgage can hurt your application.

Of course, you don’t always have control over your employment. For instance, if you were recently laid off by your employer, finding a new job would certainly be more important than buying a house. But if you’re gainfully employed and just considering changing jobs, you’ll want to wait until after you close on a house so that your mortgage gets approved.

5. You lied on your loan application

This one seems painfully obvious, but let’s face it—while it may be tempting to think that lenders don’t know everything about you financially, they really do their homework well! So no matter what, be honest with your lender—or there could be serious repercussions. Exaggerating or lying about your income on a mortgage application, or including any other other untruths, can be a federal offense. It’s called mortgage fraud, and it’s not something you want on your record.

Bottom line? With mortgages, honesty really is the best policy.

Read more…

https://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/

Real Estate Prices Fall Sharply in New York | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Since the coronavirus shut the city down, the number of sales in Manhattan dropped 54 percent and the median price fell to $1 million.

After three months with brokers prohibited from in-person showings, many buyers and sellers are just starting to get back in the market.
After three months with brokers prohibited from in-person showings, many buyers and sellers are just starting to get back in the market.Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The coronavirus has dealt a blow to the Manhattan real estate market unmatched in recent history, and the prospects of a near-term recovery remain unclear.

The number of closed sales in the second quarter were down 54 percent compared to the same period last year, the largest decline in at least 30 years, according to a new report from the brokerage Douglas Elliman. The median sales price fell 17.7 percent, compared to the same time last year, to $1 million, the biggest drop in a decade.

The number of contracts signed for apartments in June, the latest indicator of buyer appetite, was down 76 percent, compared to the same time last year.

“This is what you get when the market is not able to function,” said Jonathan Miller, a New York appraiser and the author of the report, noting that in-person apartment showings in New York City were banned for nearly the entire quarter. “It’s an extreme moment, to put it lightly.”

Even after a full quarter of sales data in the midst of the pandemic, outlining the shape of an eventual recovery is difficult. More than 90 percent of the sales recorded in the second quarter were actually signed before the virus gripped New York in March, said Bess Freedman, the chief executive of the brokerage Brown Harris Stevens.

“A lot will ride on what happens with schools at the end of the summer,” Ms. Freedman said, because few potential buyers with children who have left the city to escape the pandemic will choose to return, if virtual classrooms continue.

Pent-up demand, from buyers who were unable to view apartments before the city started to reopen, is likely to fuel sales in the next quarter, and home sellers seem to agree. Last week, 550 new listings hit the market, nearly twice as many as in the same week last year, according to UrbanDigs, a real estate data firm. But overall, listings in Manhattan are still down 26 percent compared to last year, the first year-over-year drop in inventory in five years, according to the Corcoran Group.

“I’d like to say it dropped because we sold it all, but that’s not the reality,” said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive of Corcoran, noting that many sellers pulled their homes off the market because of the shutdown.

Despite the significant drop in sales price in the quarter, more time is needed to make sense of the sharp decline. “There are plenty of examples of discounts, and just as many without,” said Mr. Miller, who notes that the market is only now entering a stage resembling normalcy.

One of the looming questions heading into the third quarter is how the pandemic will shift buyer preferences. There has been a spike in search traffic for apartments with outdoor spaces and home offices, said Rory Golod, the regional president of the brokerage Compass.

“People are more attracted to a property that no one has ever lived in before,” said Steve Kliegerman, the president of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing, adding that the shift could be a boon for the new development market. That is not yet the case, though. Just 98 contracts on newly built apartments were signed or closed from mid-March to mid-June, a 75 percent drop from the same period last year, according to a report from his firm.

Several agents have said that units in larger buildings have been a particularly hard sell, because of concerns over crowded elevators and shared lobbies. And even though state guidelines no longer prohibit in-person showings, some buildings have not relaxed their rules and are still refusing to allow move-ins or apartment showings.

There may be more lasting changes in the months to come. The share of all-cash buyers dropped to 41 percent, down from an average of about 50 percent over the last several years, Mr. Miller said. That could have major implications for the luxury market, which had been propped up by investment buyers who typically bought without financing.

The market may return to some semblance of normal by the first quarter of 2021, said Garrett Derderian, the chief executive of GS Data Services, a real estate analytics firm. But that will depend not only on whether the city experiences another wave of infections, but also on whether the state decides to raise income taxes to shore up pandemic-related budget shortfalls.

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Building materials prices drop 6.6% Bedford Hills Real Estate

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased 4.1% in April (not seasonally adjusted)—the largest monthly decline on record—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The year-to-date decline (-5.4%) in residential construction inputs prices is more than three times larger than the previous record (-1.3% in 2009).

Building materials prices have fallen 6.6% since April 2019 by -0.6% per month, on average. In contrast, prices increased 0.2% per month, on average, from April 2018 to April 2019. The index now stands at its lowest level since August 2017.

Prices paid for gypsum products decreased 1.3% in April (seasonally adjusted) after climbing 2.2% in March. The price index for gypsum products has decreased 4.4% in 2020 and has fallen 9.5% since its most recent peak in March 2018.

Gypsum product prices have declined 4.4% YTD, the largest January-to-April decrease since seasonally adjusted data became available in 2012.

Although the PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices declined 10.8% (seasonally adjusted) in April, the decrease is at odds with recent prices reported by Random Lengths.  According to their weekly data, prices fell a more modest 2.7% over the month.

The discrepancy between the BLS and Random Lengths data stems from known differences in survey timing.  We anticipated this in last month’s PPI post, in which we stated that the decline over the last 10 days of March “should be captured in next month’s PPI report.”

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) decreased 0.4% in April (seasonally adjusted), following a 0.7% increase in March. The RMC index has increased 1.1% year-to-date (YTD), which is close to the historical average YTD price change in April.

Prices were little changed from March to April in the Northeast (unchanged), Midwest (-0.2%), and South (-0.1%), but increased 1.9% in the West region (not seasonally adjusted). Since the beginning of 2020, RMC prices have decreased 3.2% in the Midwest but have climbed 5.0%, 1.1%, and 0.5% in the South, West, and Northeast, respectively.

Other changes in indexes relevant to home building are shown below.

in April (not seasonally adjusted)—the largest monthly decline on record—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The year-to-date decline (-5.4%) in residential construction inputs prices is more than three times larger than the previous record (-1.3% in 2009).

Building materials prices have fallen 6.6% since April 2019 by -0.6% per month, on average. In contrast, prices increased 0.2% per month, on average, from April 2018 to April 2019. The index now stands at its lowest level since August 2017.

Prices paid for gypsum products decreased 1.3% in April (seasonally adjusted) after climbing 2.2% in March. The price index for gypsum products has decreased 4.4% in 2020 and has fallen 9.5% since its most recent peak in March 2018.

Gypsum product prices have declined 4.4% YTD, the largest January-to-April decrease since seasonally adjusted data became available in 2012.

Although the PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices declined 10.8% (seasonally adjusted) in April, the decrease is at odds with recent prices reported by Random Lengths.  According to their weekly data, prices fell a more modest 2.7% over the month.

The discrepancy between the BLS and Random Lengths data stems from known differences in survey timing.  We anticipated this in last month’s PPI post, in which we stated that the decline over the last 10 days of March “should be captured in next month’s PPI report.”

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) decreased 0.4% in April (seasonally adjusted), following a 0.7% increase in March. The RMC index has increased 1.1% year-to-date (YTD), which is close to the historical average YTD price change in April.

Prices were little changed from March to April in the Northeast (unchanged), Midwest (-0.2%), and South (-0.1%), but increased 1.9% in the West region (not seasonally adjusted). Since the beginning of 2020, RMC prices have decreased 3.2% in the Midwest but have climbed 5.0%, 1.1%, and 0.5% in the South, West, and Northeast, respectively.

Other changes in indexes relevant to home building are shown below.

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eyeonhousing.org

Existing sales drop, prices rise | Bedford Hills Real Estate

U.S. home sales dropped by the most in nearly 4-1/2 years in March as extraordinary measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus brought buyer traffic to a virtual standstill, supporting analysts’ views that the economy contracted sharply in the first quarter.

The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales tumbled 8.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million units last month. The percentage decline was the largest since November 2015.

The data reflected contracts signed in January and February, before the coronavirus paralyzed the economy.

A steeper decline in sales is likely in April, with the normally busy spring selling season in jeopardy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales tumbling 8.1% to a rate of 5.30 million units in March.

Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, rose 0.8% on a year-on-year basis in March.

States and local governments have issued “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders affecting more than 90% of Americans to control the spread of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory illness caused by the virus, and abruptly halting economic activity. At least 22 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since March 21.

The slump in home resales added to a pile of dismal March reports that have led economists to believe the economy contracted at its sharpest pace since World War Two in the first quarter. The government will publish its snapshot for first-quarter gross domestic product next Wednesday.

The housing market was back on the recovery path, thanks to low mortgage rates, before the lockdown measures. It had hit a soft patch starting the first quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2019.

Home sales last month dropped in all four regions. There were 1.50 million previously owned homes on the market in March, down 10.2% from a year ago.

The median existing house price increased 8.0% from a year ago to $280,600 in March. At March’s sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to exhaust the current inventory, down from 3.8 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-housing/u-s-existing-home-sales-tumble-in-march-idUSKCN22320E?il=0

Mortgage rates average 3.33% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.33 percent, unchanged from last week.

“While mortgage rates remained flat over the last week, there is room for rates to move down,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “This year the 10-year Treasury market has declined by over a full percentage point, yet mortgage rates have only declined by one-third of a point. As financial markets continue to heal, we expect mortgage rates will drift lower in the second half of 2020.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 9, 2020, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.82 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.80 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Nahb polling numbers for Covid week 2 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

The second week of NAHB’s online poll showed that several of the coronavirus’s impacts on the residential construction industry have become more widespread and severe.  Once again, traffic ranked as the most widespread problem, with 93 percent of respondents saying the coronavirus has had an adverse impact on traffic of prospective buyers.

This result is based on 318 responses collected online between March 24 and March 30.  As in week 1, the largest share of responses came from single-family home builders; and respondents were most often owner, president or CEO of their companies.  The geographic distribution was somewhat different in week 2, however, with a greater share of responses coming from the Northeast and West Census regions.

The week 2 poll listed eight possible impacts of the coronavirus and asked if each has so far had a major, minor, or no adverse effect on respondents’ businesses.  After traffic, 89 percent of respondents for whom the item was applicable said the virus was having a noticeable, adverse impact on homeowners’ concerns about interacting with remodeling crews, followed by the rate at which inquiries for remodeling work are coming in (86 percent), cancellations or delays of existing remodeling projects (82 percent), how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a typical single-family home (80 percent), and how long it takes the local building department to respond to a request for an inspection (78 percent).  The least common problems on the list were supply of building products and materials and willingness of workers and subs to report to a construction site, but even these were cited as a virus-induced problem by over three-fifths of the respondents.

Five of these problems were also covered in week 1 of the poll.  Four clearly worsened in week 2.  For example, the 80 percent of respondents who said the virus has had an adverse impact on how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a single-family home was up from 57 percent a week earlier.  Comparisons across weeks should be interpreted cautiously, due primarily to differences in the geographic distribution of responses.  In this case, however, the percentage increased significantly in each of the four Census regions.

Similarly, the 78 percent who said the virus has had an adverse impact on how long it takes the local building department to respond to a request for an inspection was up from 50 percent a week earlier.  Again, the increase was present and significant in each of the four regions.

As mentioned above, problems with willingness of workers and subs to report to a construction site were less widespread than the other items on the list, but the 64 percent who cited it as a virus-induced problem in week 2 was nevertheless up from 42 percent a week earlier.  Again, the rising trend was consistent across regions.

Even a decline in the traffic of prospective buyers, the most widespread problem in week 1 of the poll, was more widespread in week 2.  The incidence of the problem increased in every region except the Northeast.  The Northeast, however, showed a marked increase (from 57 to 73 percent) in the share reporting that the virus had a major, rather than minor, adverse impact on traffic.

The trend was not completely consistent across regions for the fifth item present in both weeks of the poll: supply of building products and materials.  Although the overall share reporting this as a virus-induced problem was up, this was primarily due to a particularly strong increase (from 45 to 74 percent) in the Midwest.  For additional details—including tables for each question broken down by respondents’ region, primary business, and position in the company—please see the full survey report.

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eyeonhousing.org