Monthly Archives: May 2021

New homes sales jump 48% year over year | North Salem Real Estate

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes dropped in April as prices surged amid a tight supply of houses, which is threatening to slow the housing market momentum.

New home sales dropped 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 863,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. March’s sales pace was revised lower to 917,000 units from the previously reported 1.021 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for a small share of U.S. home sales, at a rate of 970,000 units in April.

New home sales are drawn from a sample of houses selected from building permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Sales surged 48.3% on a year-on-year basis in April. Monthly sales declined in the populous South, the Midwest and Northeast, but rose in the West.

The market for new homes is being boosted by near record low inventory of previously owned houses, especially entry level homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled demand for spacious and more expensive accommodations as millions of Americans work from home and take classes remotely.

But the virus has disrupted labor supply at saw mills and ports, causing shortages of lumber and other raw materials.

That is limiting builders’ ability to ramp up construction of new homes to plug the inventory gap. The input shortages are raising new home prices as well. The National Association of Realtors reported last week that home resales dropped for a third straight month in April as prices surged to a record high because of the tight supply.

The median new house price soared 20.1% from a year earlier to $372,400 in April. Sales were concentrated in the $200,000-$399,000 price range. Sales below the $200,000 price bracket, the sought-after segment of the market, accounted for a mere 2% of transactions last month.

There were 316,000 new homes on the market last month, up from 304,000 in March. At April’s sales pace it would take 4.4 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, up from 4.0 months in March. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

About 73% of homes sold last month were either under construction or yet to be built.

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reuters.com/article/usa-economy-housing/

Case-Shiller prices up 13.2% | South Salem Real Estate

  • Home prices in March were 13.2% higher in March, compared with March 2020, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.
  • The 10-City Composite rose 12.8% year over year, up from 11.7% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite increased 13.3%, up from 12.0% in February.
A real estate broker, right, gives a tour for potential home buyers during an open house in Manhattan Beach, California.

Home prices in March were 13.2% higher in March, compared with March 2020, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

That is up from the 12% annual gain in February, and it marks the 10th straight month of accelerating home prices.

The March gain is the largest since December 2005 and is also one of the largest in the index’s 30-year history. Prices are being pushed higher by incredibly strong competition in the market. High demand is butting up against near record-low supply, resulting in bidding wars for the vast majority of listings.

The 10-City Composite rose 12.8% year over year, up from 11.7% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite increased 13.3%, up from 12.0% in February.

Cities with the strongest price gains continue to be Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle. Phoenix sits at the top with 20% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Diego with a 19.1% increase and Seattle prices rising 18.3%. All 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending March 2021 versus the year ending February 2021.

“These data are consistent with the hypothesis that COVID has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI.

“This demand may represent buyers who accelerated purchases that would have happened anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing,” he added.

Mortgage rates began rising during this period, with the average rate on the 30-year fixed just below 3% in February and then ending March at around 3.4%, according to Mortgage News Daily. Higher mortgage rates cut into purchasing power, and usually put a chill on home prices, but clearly unusual competition in the market is overwhelming the usual mechanics of the market.

There were just 1.16 million homes on the market in April, a 20% drop year over year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The continued shortage of homes, especially at the lower end of the market, forecasts that home prices will not cool off any time soon.

Sales are beginning to weaken, and prices usually follow, but again, the usual trends are not dependable in this very unusual housing market.

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cnbc.com/2021/5/25

Mortgage rates average 3.00% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.00 percent.

“After a run up over the first few months of the year, rates have paused and hovered around three percent since March,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Despite this favorable rate climate, there remains a shortage of homes for sale. The lack of housing supply has been compounded by labor disruptions and expensive building materials that are driving up the cost of new housing, making it difficult for homebuyers to find homes to purchase.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.00 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 20, 2021, up from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.29 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.26 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.70 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.59 percent with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.

The PMMS is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. 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.

Home sales up 33.9%, prices up 19.1% | Cross River Real Estate

Existing home sales in the US unexpectedly sank 2.7 percent to 5.858 million in April of 2021, compared to forecasts of a 2 percent rise. It marks three consecutive months of declines as housing supply continues to fall short of demand. “We’ll see more inventory come to the market later this year as further COVID-19 vaccinations are administered and potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes. The falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory”, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. All but one of the four major US regions witnessed month-over-month drops. On the year however, sales surged 33.9 percent. The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was at a record of $341,600, up 19.1 percent from April 2020. Total housing inventory amounted to 1.16 million units, up 10.5 percent from March’s inventory and down 20.5 percent from one year ago. source: National Association of Realtors

United States Existing Home Sales
ActualPreviousHighestLowestDatesUnitFrequency
5850.006010.007250.001370.001968 – 2021ThousandMonthlySA
CalendarGMTReferenceActualPreviousConsensusTEForecast
2021-04-2202:00 PMExisting Home Sales MoMMar-3.7%-6.3%0.8%0.5%
2021-04-2202:00 PMExisting Home SalesMar6.01M6.24M6.19M6.25M
2021-05-2102:00 PMExisting Home Sales MoMApr-2.7%-3.7%2%0.7%
2021-05-2102:00 PMExisting Home SalesApr5.85M6.01M6.09M6.05M
2021-06-2202:00 PMExisting Home SalesMay5.85M5.7M
2021-06-2202:00 PMExisting Home Sales MoMMay-2.7%-1%
2021-07-2202:00 PMExisting Home SalesJun
2021-07-2202:00 PMExisting Home Sales MoMJun

Go to our Calendar for more events. Or learn more about the Calendar API for direct access.

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tradingeconomics.com/united-states

Housing production falls due to rising material costs | Katonah Real Estate

Housing production fell in April due to the increased costs of building materials that have priced out potential home buyers. Overall housing starts decreased 9.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The April reading of 1.57 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 13.4% to a 1.09 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 0.8% to a 482,000 pace.

“Housing starts and permits posted a monthly decline in April, as escalating prices for lumber and other building materials price out some home buyers from an otherwise hot housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “Policymakers need to prioritize the U.S. supply chain for items like building materials to ensure builders can add the additional inventory the housing market desperately needs.”

“The decline in single-family permits indicates that builders are slowing construction activity as costs rise,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While housing starts were strong at the beginning of the year, due to home builders constructing homes that were sold pre-construction, higher costs and limited availability of building materials have now paused some projects.”

Overall permits increased 0.3% to a 1.76 million unit annualized rate in April. Single-family permits decreased 3.8% to a 1.15 million unit rate. Multifamily permits increased 8.9% to a 611,000 pace.

Looking at regional permit data compared to the previous month, permits are 8.4% higher in the Northeast, 9.9% lower in the Midwest, 3.9% higher in the South and 4.1% lower in the West.

The number of single-family homes permitted but not started construction continued to increase in April, rising to 131,000 units. This is 47% higher than a year ago, as building material cost increases and delays slow some home building.

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eyeonhousing.org

Mortgage rates average 2.94% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.94 percent.

“Since the most recent peak in April, mortgage rates have declined nearly a quarter of a percent and have remained under three percent for the past month,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Low rates offer homeowners an opportunity to lower their monthly payment by refinancing and our most recent research shows that many borrowers, especially Black and Hispanic borrowers, who could benefit from refinancing still aren’t pursuing the option.”

Khater continued, “Additionally, the low mortgage rate environment has been a boon to the housing market but may not last long as consumer inflation has accelerated at its fastest pace in more than twelve years and may lead to higher mortgage rates in the summer.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.94 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending May 13, 2021, down from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.28 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.26 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.72 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.59 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.70 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.18 percent.

The PMMS is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. 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.

Building materials prices continue to rise | Bedford Real Estate

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction ex-energy rose 1.7% in April (not seasonally adjusted) and have increased 12.4% over the past 12 months, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Building materials (i.e., inputs to residential construction less food and energy) prices have declined just twice since December 2019.

The index for inputs to residential construction, including food and energy, increased less (+1.3%) as the index for final demand energy declined 2.4% over the month.

Steel mill products prices climbed 18.4% in April following a 17.6% increase in March.  Prices are up 55.6%, year-to-date, and the month-over-month percentage increase set a record high for the third month in a row. Steel mill products price volatility is greater than it has been at any time since the Great Recession.

Over the past three months, prices have climbed 22.0%.  Perhaps more concerning than rising prices is that the pace of price changes has quickened each of the past nine months.

Prices paid for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) rose 6.5%, setting a new record high for the third consecutive month. Lumber prices have remained extremely volatile since the 88.5% increase between April and September 2020. Since falling 22.9% between September and November, the softwood lumber PPI has risen 52.0%.

In addition to nominal price movements and tariffs on Canadian lumber, cross-border purchasers are affected by the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the Canadian dollar. The USD has depreciated 5.0%, year-to-date, and 13.1% over the past 12 months.

Prices paid for gypsum products increased 4.4% in March bringing the two-month increase to 6.6%. The PPI for all gypsum products has increased 12.5% over the past 12 months while the index for gypsum building materials (e.g., drywall) is up 13.3%.

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) climbed 1.1% (seasonally adjusted), following a 0.2% increase in February. RMC prices have exhibited unusual volatility since early 2018. increasing or decreasing by 1.0% or more five times during the period. Since January 2000, RMC prices have moved by 1.0% or more 26 times and five have been over the past three years.

Prices increased in all four regions from March to April, up 2.8%, 2.0%, 0.8%, and 0.8% in thes Northeast, West, South, and Midwest, respectively. The index increased the most in the Northeast (+5.6%), followed closely by the West (+5.3%).  In contrast, prices held relatively steady in the Midwest (+2.0%) and declined 0.6% in the South, year-over-year.

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eyeonhousing.org

Mortgage rates average 2.96% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.96 percent.

“Mortgage rates have remained under three percent for three consecutive weeks,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Consumer income and spending are picking up, which is leading to an acceleration in economic growth. The combination of low and stable rates, coupled with an improving economy, is good for homebuyers. It’s also good for homeowners who may have missed prior opportunities to refinance and increase their monthly cash flow.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.96 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 6, 2021, down from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.26 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.30 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.31 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.73 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.70 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.64 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.14 percent.

The PMMS is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. 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.

Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders, investors and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

NYS extends eviction moratorium | Bedford Corners Real Estate

On May 4, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an extension of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 and the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act. The legislation (S.6362-A/A.7175-A) extends moratoriums prohibiting residential and commercial evictions, foreclosure proceedings, as well as protections against credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic until Aug. 31, 2021.

“As we approach the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it is critical that we continue to protect both New York’s tenants and business owners who have suffered tremendous hardship throughout this entire pandemic,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Extending this legislation will help to ensure that vulnerable New Yorkers and business owners who are facing eviction through no fault of their own are able to keep their homes and businesses as we continue on the road to recovery and begin to build back our economy better than it was before.”

Residential Evictions

The legislation places a moratorium on residential evictions until Aug. 31, 2021 for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.

Residential Foreclosure Proceedings

The legislation also places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings until Aug. 31, 2021. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.

Commercial Evictions:

The legislation places a moratorium on evictions until Aug. 31, 2021 for commercial tenants have endured COVID-related hardship. The legislation applies to small businesses with under 50 employees that demonstrate a financial hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.

Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings:

The legislation places a moratorium on commercial foreclosure proceedings until Aug. 31, 2021.

Tax Lien Sales

The legislation prevents local governments from engaging in a tax lien sale or a tax foreclosure until at least Aug. 31, 2021. Payments due to the locality are still due.

Credit Discrimination and Negative Credit Reporting

Lending institutions are prohibited from discriminating against a property owner seeking credit because the property owner has been granted a stay of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, tax foreclosure proceedings or tax lien sales. They are also prohibited from discriminating because the owner is in arrears and has filed a hardship declaration with the lender.

Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption

Local governments are required to carry over SCHE and DHC exemptions from the 2020 assessment roll to the 2021 assessment roll at the same levels. They are also required to provide renewal applications for anyone who may be eligible for a larger exemption in 2021. Localities can also set procedures by which assessors can require renewal applications from people who the assessors believe may no longer be eligible for an exemption in 2021. Recipients of the exemption do not have to file renewal applications in person.

Gov. Cuomo first announced a state moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20, 2020 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords. Additionally, previous Executive Orders have prohibited charges or fees for late rent payments, and tenants facing financial hardship can still use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

Senate Housing Committee Chair and bill sponsor Brian Kavanagh said, “The COVID-19 numbers in New York continue to be stubbornly high throughout the state and we need public health measures like the eviction and foreclosure moratorium to keep New Yorkers safe, and ultimately to get past this terrible pandemic as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control have specifically found that permitting evictions increases the spread of COVID-19 and that moratorium laws like New York’s work to prevent transmission. Ensuring that everyone has access to a stable, safe place to live is always a priority, but it’s never been more important than it is now.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz added, “I am very pleased that the Assembly passed this critical legislation that will help keep people in their homes and small business owners in their stores. This is life-changing legislation that allows the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and other relevant agencies more time to disburse the billions of dollars in state and federal funding to people who need it. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic and the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. I believe it would be immoral to allow the current moratorium to lapse. This law will save lives.”

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Governor Signs Extensions of Residential, Commercial Evictions and Foreclosure Moratoriums